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Smoke Damage: How to Eliminate It?


Table of Contents


What’s The Process For Clearing Smoke Damage


  1. Safety should be prioritized
  2. The insurance adjuster’s assessment is the first step
  3. Soot can pose health risks
  4. Smoke will continue to travel


How To Remove Smoke Damage From A Property


  1. The walls
  2. The finished/unfinished woodwork
  3. The plastic materials
  4. The textiles


Final Thought



Removing the smoke smell, soot, and damage from personal belongings, furnishings and the interior of the household can be difficult. When uncertain how to do so properly, staining can occur due to the oily consistency of soot.

This will leave any textiles, furnishings, and clothing vulnerable. The recommendation is to enlist the services of professional restoration services to eliminate the smoke and soot damage before the company attempts to deodorize and clean the rooms.

What’s The Process For Clearing Smoke Damage

When clearing smoke damage from your household, a specific protocol must be followed to avoid the possibility of adding to the damage. Soot has an oily texture capable of leaving stains when improperly handled. This can mean furnishings, drapes, carpeting, and even clothing are at risk.

Instead of attempting to rid the home of smoke damage as a home or business owner not versed in the process, it’s wise to seek professional services for adequate restoration. Here are some tips to remember before entering a smoke-damaged home.

1.  Safety should be prioritized

Smoke damage should be dealt with sooner rather than later but safety should be prioritized. As a property owner, you should avoid entering the structure without permission from the proper authorities. When rendered safe, the fire department will advise when the utilities can be restored.

2.  The insurance adjuster’s assessment is the first step

The insurance adjuster must make an assessment before restoration, repair, or cleaning begins. Starting the process before the adjuster comes through can lead to a denied claim.

The carrier needs to see the house as is immediately following the peril to make an accurate determination. You want to wait for that outcome before taking any corrective actions.

** TIPS:  How To Assess Possible Smoke Damage

3.  Soot can pose health risks

Not only can soot damage a household and personal possessions but it can also pose serious health risks when inhaling the acidic particles compromising respiratory health with conditions like bronchitis or asthma and the potential for causing heart disease.

The recommendation before clearing a smoke-damaged structure is to wear the proper PPE- personal protective equipment including a “NIOSH-approved face mask” to prevent inhalation of harmful materials while working.

4.  Smoke will continue to travel

Smoke will travel throughout the structure continuing to spread damage where there may not have been any when air is allowed to move inside the space.

The priority is to ensure the air circulates outside. That means opening windows and using heavy-duty fans serving dual purposes by protecting your lungs from inhaling the damaging smoke particles as well as the cleaning solutions.


How To Remove Smoke Damage From A Property

Loose soot will be the first to be removed typically from horizontal surfaces using a HEPA vacuum. This is followed by using a “chem sponge” (dry) to begin cleaning by wiping down the walls. Varied methods could be implemented with different materials and surface areas.

1.  The walls

When wiping down the walls a chemical sponge (left dry for the process) will be used. The cleaning will start at the top working down and then move from one side to the next.

If stains remain, a soft cloth dampened with either rubbing alcohol or paint thinner will be used to gently scrub in a circular motion.

2.  The finished/unfinished woodwork

When cleaning finished woodwork, it’s important to be gentle using oil soap-soaked cotton rags. If the damage is great, the wood may need to be refinished. This means using steel wool when cleaning if a more aggressive approach is needed. Degreaser is another possibility.

With unfinished woodwork, soot will absorb into the body making deep stains. These dark areas take an extraordinary effort to remove usually involving a fine sandpaper and the application of a degreaser.


3.  The plastic materials

Typically with plastic materials a solution like bleach combined with water will be applied using a soft sponge.

4.  The textiles

If soot is removed properly, stains can be avoided on the materials. By avoiding vacuum attachments and not pressing the nozzle into the surface, the soot can’t settle into the fibers. After the removal, the cleaning method will be based on the fabric instructions.

While the structure will be soot and smoke-free after the removal and cleaning process, there will still be the matter of the odor.

Varied spray solutions could have an effect but professional restoration specialists will have more permanent results with deodorization techniques. These include the following:

  • Ozone machine
  • Thermal fogging
  • Hydroxyl radicals
  • TOMI SteraMist

Deodorization techniques are a robust solution to not only odors resulting from smoke but other stubborn foul smells plaguing the house. For instance, you could be dealing with pet accidents, mold and mildew, smells from exotic cooking, tobacco smoke, and on.

TIPS:  Smoke Inhalation Care Instructions

As a property owner, it’s possible to handle minor smoke damages in a do-it-yourself capacity if you feel comfortable doing so. Extensive damage, however, is recommended to be reserved for professional removal specialists to ensure the structure is restored to its original condition.

These experts have extensive training, knowledge, and expertise in cleanup and deodorization techniques. They use specialized tools and equipment along with high-quality cleaning solutions for efficient, effective, and swift results.


Final Thought

Smoke damage is extremely unpleasant and difficult to remove from a property. Cleaning varies depending on what’s being treated whether textiles, walls, or other surfaces.

Professional removal specialists are trained, knowledgeable, and experienced in effectively and quickly eliminating smoke damage and deodorizing the odors.

The experts not only identify visible signs of damage but further get beneath the surface to find hidden elements that could eventually cause issues if missed.

These teams have specialized tools and equipment along with high-quality cleaning solutions meant to bring your property back to its original condition. This allows a sense of security and peace of mind that you’re safe in your home again.