Smoke damage includes physical damages that occur due to smoke, not from the actual fire. Note that smoke develops when something gets on fire and you put out the fire. More precisely, the fumes that spread from something on fire make up ‘smoke.’ Since smoke damage differs from fire damage, it’s important to hire smoke damage restoration services for this purpose.
Smoke can penetrate electrical sockets, get into HVAC vents, and hide behind walls. It causes damage because the acidic compounds in the smoke interact with different materials and cause adverse reactions. Therefore, you can observe discoloration and smell an unpleasant odor after a fire.
Finding an expert searching for smoke restoration near me on search engines is an ideal approach to dealing with the issue. The smoke repair and restoration process can help you find the right method for your space based on the level of damage. If you hire a professional, they will consider several factors before restoring your property. This includes the size of your property, things present in the house, level of damage occurred by fire, amount of smoke present in the space, your preferences, equipment available to deal with the situation, and regulations of your area. Your hired expert will discuss the damages and its possible restoration and repair methods with you before they make a decision.
Want to learn more about smoke damage prevention and restoration? In that case, read on. Here, we have mentioned some important aspects of smoke damage that you need to learn to make an informed decision.
What Kind of Damage Does Smoke?
Once the experts extinguish a fire, they practice some steps to remove smoke from the space. This is because smoke can damage the remaining belongings in your space that were untouched by fire. Different types of smoke cause different types of damage. Here are three types of smoke that can cause damages that determine the smoke damage cleanup process.
This smoke is sticky and heavy and usually develops due to burning plastic or rubber. Wet smoke can create a greasy layer and leave stains on your belongings.
This type of smoke is formed when wood or paper catches fire. It can cause an unbearable odor that makes it hard to breathe in the space.
This smoke occurs when you burn food or any type of organic material. It can lead to thermal fogging, odor, discoloration, and other problems.
Typically, when a property space experiences a fire, you can expect every type of smoke in the room. This way, the damage will be bigger, and you need to practice several things to eliminate smoke and reduce its impact.
Here are a few problems that lead to smoke damage repair.
This problem is common in spaces where you don’t eradicate smoke after the incident. Smoke residue is acidic, and when it contracts with glass, plastic, metal, or other types of substrates, it leads to corrosion.
Metal surfaces are more prone to the effects of smoke. The smoke reacts with metal quickly, which results in corrosion. To prevent this problem, you must immediately opt for smoke damage restoration. The sooner you decide, the less likely you will stain your home.
We all know that smoke can cause an odor that may or may not smell good based on the type of smoke. But the continuous smell of smoke in a space can reduce the air quality, leading to several health issues.
While getting rid of unpleasant odor may seem challenging, simple things like opening the doors and windows and using a scented candle in a space can greatly lessen the unpleasant odor.
When the fire is put out, the smoke residue, soot, covers all the surfaces where the fire has occurred. When soot covers different surfaces, it causes a reaction and stains of different colors, usually yellow and black.
These stains also paint your walls yellow, damaging them greatly. Unfortunately, it is mostly impossible to remove these stains once they develop. Nevertheless, cleaning the space soon after a fire and eliminating soot can reduce its impact.
Smoke can also lead to discoloration. As we have discussed, the smoke has acidic nature. So, when smoke stays in a room for long hours or soot settles on surfaces for a longer time, it impacts the color of your belongings.
Smoke causes discoloration of your furniture, home essentials, and other belongings. It leads to permanent discoloration of porous materials that most experts use in home construction. This includes marble, plastics, and hardwood floors.
The smoke itself can create problems for you, as things in your space can absorb smoke. Smoke can also hide in corners of your space. It can also get into the holes or openings of different things in your room.
So, even if you don’t see the smoke in your space, it can still be present in the corners or hidden areas. Therefore, deep cleaning is vital to get rid of the smoke in your house.
Serious Health Hazards of Smoke Damage
While smoke may be normal in some environments, it’s not good for your health. It’s important to avoid breathing smoke by entering spaces filled with smoke or using a mask to breathe in areas with smoke. Note that smoke has a composition of fine particles and complex moistures of gasses produced when metal, wood, food, and other materials burn. Generally, fine particles in the smoke lead to the most severe health issues. Since these are microscopic particles, they penetrate deep into your lungs upon inhalation. Exposure to smoke for a long time can lead to health issues like runny nose and burning eyes that trigger chronic conditions like lung and heart disease. Staying in a space with particle pollution can also result in premature death.
Here are some health problems that develop if you avoid smoke damage cleanup.
When the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract experiences irritation, they secrete more mucus. An increase in mucus and bronchospasm leads to reflex coughing. Also, the mucus can be black or clear based on the degree of smoke particles penetrating the trachea and lungs.
The worst part is that if the smoke lasts for days or weeks, the coughing worsens. It can prevent you from performing house chores and going to work. In fact, coughing can make even sleeping a challenge. Once you develop a coughing problem due to smoke, it can last a long time.
Whether it is a wildfire or house fire, it can greatly impact the passage from the throat to the lungs. Because of this, you may experience an itchy throat, especially if you have unstoppable coughing.
A sore throat may seem like no big deal, but it can be very painful. Chances are that you will feel intense irritation in your throat.
Smoke can trigger allergies, causing you to feel symptoms of your allergies. This sometimes results in a runny nose.
Also, irritation and burning in your eyes, common when you stand in a smoky area, is followed by sneezes and a runny nose.
People with chronic health issues like heart or lung problems may experience chest pain, palpitations, or fatigue. Shortness of breath is also common during exposure and is another cause that results in chest pain.
Also, a severe amount of smoke in an area can trigger unstoppable coughing, which creates pressure in your chest. Continuous pressure and smoke exposure can cause severe chest pain that can be greatly painful for you.
Exposure to smoke means inhaling carbon monoxide, which reduces your body’s oxygen supply. So, when your body doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can lead to headaches along with other problems like angina.
Headache can also result from being unable to control the situation or struggling to get out of the smoky space.
If you have asthma, smoke exposure can be fatal for you. When an asthma patient gets into a place with smoke, they struggle to breathe, which triggers an asthma attack.
If you don’t get medical assistance immediately and don’t get out of that area, you can lose your life. Therefore, immediately opting for a smoke cleanup service is important.
How to Decrease the Effects of Smoke Damage?
While handling smoke is not easy, you can still reduce its effects by taking certain steps. Of course, you can’t stop the immediate impact of smoke that occurs soon after you put out the fire, and smoke start to spread in the entire space. However, you can protect your belongings and things on your property, not impacted by fire from smoke and soot. Here are a few tips to reduce the effects of smoke damage.
Assess the Damage with Safety
The most important thing anyone needs to do after a fire is to assess the damage. Estimating the level of damage and amount of smoke in every corner of the property help you determine the suitable damage restoration practices for your space.
While assessing the situation, you also need to be greatly careful. A space that was on fire a minute ago may have damaged foundations or broken walls that can be dangerous for you. Therefore, you need to wear protective gear and take all essential steps to keep yourself secure.
Start Early Treatment
The simplest and easiest way to reduce smoke damage is by starting early. The sooner you begin the smoke damage prevention and restoration process, the lesser damage it will be. This is because soot will not be able to settle on things, causing discoloration or stains.
Also, if you remove smoke immediately after the fire, it will not get enough time to hide in the deep areas.
Until you have smoke damage prevention and restoration expertise, you can’t deal with the smoke damage by yourself. It’s not easy to remove smoke and soot from an area.
People without experience don’t know how to protect themselves when they step into a severely damaged space. So, it’s better to hire professionals than to remove smoke yourself. Just make sure to ask about smoke damage restoration costs before hiring them.
Special Care with Cleaning
While it’s important to clean smoke from every corner of the room, you need to be a bit cheerful while choosing the treatment methods for your space.
Of course, there will be different types of material in space, like wood, fabric, metal, etc. All of these materials react differently when you vacuum or use cleaning agents on them. Therefore, you need to choose a smoke eradicating method that doesn’t destroy your items.
Don’t do Fire Suppression
Many people make this mistake and use fire suppression to eradicate smoke from an area. However, a fire extinguisher doesn’t cause any impact on smoke.
Fire suspension can also cause damage in an area, as it leaves toxic particles on plants that cause them to die. These systems produce sodium bicarbonate and mono ammonium phosphate, which results in mild irritation in the throat and nose when inhaled. In continuous exposure, you might also feel dizzy, have shortness of breath and have a headache.
Immediate Steps to Take After Smoke Damage
We understand that it’s hard to determine what you need to do in challenging circumstances. Therefore, here we have mentioned a few steps you need to take immediately after handling a fire.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Restoration of smoke damage can be a big expenditure. It’s hard to pay for it in your pocket. Homeowner’s insurance policies can help you cover the repairing and restoration costs based on your purchased coverage. Contacting your insurance company soon after a fire will give you an idea of how much money you might have to spend from your pocket.
Some insurance companies also cover the cost of short-term rental, hotel, or food if you have to move out of your house. So, claim for your insurance coverage to start the process of replacing damaged items and repairing things.
Smoke damage restoration and prevention is a long process that requires high-tech machinery and clever techniques. Therefore, you need an expert who is fully equipped and experienced in dealing with every sort of issue in the process.
Another benefit of hiring a smoke damage cleaning service is that they have the expertise, skills, and knowledge to respond effectively to every type of situation. They have the ability to assess the situation before stepping into it. This way, you will also stay safe and not develop any health issues, while professionals will do the task on your behalf of you.
Ventilate Your Home
Another thing you need to do is to increase the ventilation in your house. This you can do by opening all the doors and windows.
Ventilation allows the smoke to get out of your house. Since most of the smoke will leave your property, items like furniture or clothes will not absorb smoke from the area.
When you hire smoke restoration companies, they will first try to remove the soot from the entire space, which is the main cause of the odor, discoloration, or corrosion.
To reduce soot effects, it’s important to eliminate soot as soon as possible from space. The easiest and simplest way is to vacuum the entire space.
Clean Surfaces Thoroughly
Smoke damage cleaning services involve practices like cleaning services. Your hired expert will use different methods to clean each thing in the room, like furniture, carpet, and crockery. They will use home methods like clothes, washing towels, or any technology to clean the space.
Cleaning an area will completely eradicate the residue of smoke, offering you a healthy and safe place to breathe.
Turn on the HVAC System
When your space gets clean and your expert gives you a head-up to enter the space, you can turn on the HVAC system.
Turning on the HVAC system will help eliminate the remaining odor on your property. It will also help improve indoor air quality, which tends to fall due to smoke. Plus, it improves the indoor temperature, making the space more comfortable.