What Does Smoke Damage Do to Electronics?
We all know that fire brings extensive damage to any property, but what about smoke alone? Can smoke cause damage even when there’s no flames?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes; it contains different chemical compounds that can cause damage, including damage to TV’s, sound systems, etc.
Electronics tend to have fragile and sensitive circuitry and can be easily damaged by smoke. Keep in mind that you do not need a fire to have this type of damage! Even a small kitchen fire that fills the home with smoke can damage electronics.
So, how exactly does this happen? What are the likely results of smoke damage to electronics? Can the damaged electronics be saved?
All Dry USA experts are here to weigh in and help you prevent potential smoke damage in your house.
How Smoke Causes Damage
Smoke causes damage by overheating electronics, leading to failure. It infiltrates the inner components and coats parts with a black film.
When the inner workings are coated, especially the parts that produce heat as part of the electronics, it creates insulation and a magnetic charge. Then, the equipment will experience a short circuit and overheat. Extensive studies have examined this type of harm, covering how duration and concentration can affect electronics.
It also causes damage through soot buildup that gets pushed by smoke and makes contact with anything in its path. It will travel to cooler temperatures and keep traveling until it eventually dissipates. Soot from smoke contains acidity that will destroy metals and cause disintegration and discoloration.
These harmful traits can completely destroy electronics even after the fire is put out. This damage is even a risk if there isn’t a fire. Smoke and soot will linger and corrode circuity, causing short circuits. If you’ve had a small fire where flames did not reach the electronics, you should still be wary of this type of damage.
Also, if the area is damp, the moisture will make the soot more acidic, permanently staining surfaces, walls, and electronics.
Can Smoke-Damaged Electronics Be Saved?
Sometimes the damage is simply too disastrous to overcome. In other cases, careful restoration services can save the damaged electronics.
Either way, saving smoke-coated electronics will depend on the type of device and extent of the damage.
After a fire, your damaged electronics are a safety hazard. You should not turn any of them on until after talking to a professional. If you do turn it on, the corroding acids will immediately cause the device to fail.
If there was a fire, remember that water was used to put it out, so you may also have water in the electronics. Water or heavy soot levels can easily cause your electronic devices to short or disrupt their operational capacities.
One option is to unplug and remove any affected devices. Then, clean the items and wipe off any residue with a cloth. If you do this immediately, you will improve the chances of saving devices.
If the item has a heavy coating of soot or smoke or burn marks, do not attempt to restore it. These devices are often beyond saving and should be safely discarded.
On a practical note, always keep warranty records on your devices. If they are damaged beyond saving, it might be covered by any warranty plans. Typically, devices over $100 in value have warranty plans.
If you’re afraid your electronics might have smoke damage, it’s best for a professional to conduct a safety inspection. This will help determine the state of your devices and potential repair options open to you.
Consider an electrical safety inspection from All Dry USA. Our team of experts can evaluate your home and help you deal with any damage from fire and/or smoke.
Get in touch with us today for a free consultation!