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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

How To Remove Smoke and Soot After a Fire

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

The interior of a home completely damaged by fire Fire damage in a home in Dellwood, NC.

How to Get Rid of Soot and Smoke After a Fire

After a house fire in Dellwood, NC, the lingering effects of soot and smoke damage can be difficult to fully remediate. Fortunately, there are a variety of tactics available to get fire-damaged homes back to normal.

Smoke Cleaning

There are several methods of smoke cleaning used today. Three of the most popular are the following:

  • Air scrubbing
  • Ozone generation
  • Thermal fogging

As the air circulates, an air scrubbing machine traps the odorous particulates. Ozone generation releases ozone into the home, and the ozone combines with the smoke particles to create a new particle that no longer smells like smoke. Both air scrubbing and ozone generation are effective odor removal techniques. However, some situations call for thermal fogging. If smoke odor is trapped in porous surfaces, the other techniques may not be able to fully address the problem. In a fire, the heat causes some surfaces to expand. When the fire is extinguished, the surfaces cool and contract, trapping some of the smoke particles. Thermal fogging re-heats the area, causing surfaces to expand again and allowing the odor-eliminating fog to reach the smoke particles and neutralize the odor.

Soot Cleaning

In addition to smoke damage, your home is likely to suffer soot damage after a fire. The type of soot that remains after a fire has burned depends on the nature of the fire and the makeup of the items being burned. The following are four types of soot often left behind after a residential fire:

  • Dry soot
  • Wet soot
  • Protein residue
  • Oily soot

Dry soot is generally the least troublesome and can often be removed by using a HEPA vacuum on the affected surface. Wet soot, protein residue and oily soot are all more difficult to remove. Improper cleaning techniques can lead to further damage. An experienced restoration service can determine the type of soot present in your home and choose the best cleaning method.
Soot and smoke damage can wreak havoc on your home. However, thorough and careful remediation can fully remove all soot and smoke from your fire-damaged home.

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