Fire soot should not be treated simply as the dirt leftover from the charring of a fire. Soot refers to the smoke residue on surfaces that contains a complex mixture of substances representative of what burned in the fire. Smoke is a combination of different gases and particles and can include plastics, foams, fabrics, carpets, wood products, synthetic fibers or wool. Due to the nature of soot’s composition, it poses a respiratory hazard, even if it’s just on the surface of nearby items. The particle size of soot is 2.5 microns, a size that can be associated with deep lung penetration. This is why ServiceMaster Advantage always recommends calling in the professionals whenever your home or business suffers from fire damage or other smoke and soot damage combinations.
In addition to the health hazards involved in smoke damage, soot also deteriorates the materials on which it is left. Walls, surfaces and even kitchen appliances will begin to discolor within minutes of exposure while glass or mirror-like materials will etch. Any metal items affected will quickly tarnish as well. The chemicals contained in the soot eat away at the materials it rests on, so the longer you wait to call in the professionals to cleanup the damage, the less likely it is that your possessions will be able to be returned to pre-loss conditions.
Smoky odors will linger long after the fire has been put out. Odor removal is a standard restoration procedure when cleaning up smoke and fire damage. A smoky smell indicates that not all particulates have been removed from the air and may still pose a significant respiratory hazard. This is another reason why it is so important to ensure a complete and thorough clean by a professional fire damage technician.
Damages continue to accrue to your property’s structure and your personal possessions even after the fire has been put out. Charring damage isn’t the only concern, either. As we discussed above, the complex chemical interactions involved with soot make every passing minute important. Acting fast by calling in certified professionals to begin the restoration process as soon as possible is crucial. Call ServiceMaster Advantage at (281) 332 – 3900 whenever you have fire or smoke damage, we have technicians on call 24/7 to help you when you need it most.
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