What Is Considered Smoke Damage? The Basic Definition
Fire damage has deserved recognition as one of the most devastating types of house damage that’s also difficult to remediate. However, smoke leaves a nasty mark on damaged homes; it is responsible for destroying prized possessions and ruining the home’s air quality.
If you’re recovering from a fire and wondering if you have smoke damage, read on to learn what our team of experts at All Dry USA count as serious fume damage.
What Is Considered Smoke Damage?
Smoke damage is any physical or structural harm caused by smoke, not the fire itself. This is a common misconception that many people make. Smoke doesn’t destroy objects or property in the same way fire can, but it can still inflict devastating effects. This can include but isn’t limited to the coating of items in soot or a persistent odor.
Many don’t realize how greasy fumes can be, especially given its stature as a gas. When it settles on precious items, it can make them highly unpleasant to touch. This is especially detrimental to fabric items and furniture.
This is all made worse by how difficult it is to clean. It can also affect even the narrowest of areas, including wiring, pipes, or any small gaps in walls.
Most Common Types of Smoke Damage
We all know that smoke damage is caused by—you guessed it—a fire, but did you know the type of fire involved affects the damage? Depending on how the fire originated, the smoke produced will behave differently. The most common causes of fires in homes and businesses include electrical faults, smoking, cooking, and simple accidental fires. However, you may experience specific damage due to the following type of smoke:
This is the term given to fumes that arise from low-heat, smoldering flames. Rubber or plastic products both produce wet smoke when burnt, and they tend to possess a distinctly unpleasant smell.
These plumes are also thick and black, making them perfect candidates for damaging your property. This type is also especially greasy, making clean up even more difficult.
If you attempt to clean wet smoke damage up by yourself: good luck. It’s frustrating and stubborn. Leave it to the experts.
While this might sound like the latest gym supplement, it’s actually the name given to fumes produced from organic matter burning. It is most commonly found during haphazard kitchen endeavors.
This form of damage is especially difficult as it’s largely invisible. There’s no big black stain nor any greasy smears along your walls. The only tell-tale signs are paint discoloration and a pungent aroma.
The only type on this list with an obvious title: fuel smoke arises from burnt petroleum, oil, or similar fuel. It’s less likely that you will encounter this form of smoke in the average home or business. This form of fume damage is generally reserved for garages or similar locations where petroleum is stored in abundance.
It’s by far one of the most foul-smelling types of smoke damage and is especially difficult to clean. Any fabric the smoke gets into is likely ruined. Once settled, the residue is thick and sticky, meaning it attaches itself to just about any surface available. Without expert assistance, it’s a true nightmare.
Last on the list is dry smoke, caused by high-temperature fires that spread quickly throughout properties. They are often fueled by paper or wood, which is why they’re so often associated with home fires. The residue it leaves behind is powdery instead of sticky, which makes it significantly easier to clean up comparatively.
However, this powdery composition is also its biggest drawback. It can fit into even the narrowest of spaces, which can wreak havoc on your home structurally. It can also destroy your wiring, potentially leading to prolonged electrical damage. Luckily, the odor isn’t strong, and an expert team wouldn’t struggle to perform an effective clean-up.
Can Smoke Damage Be Removed?
Yes in some cases. This is especially true if you call in the experts quickly. Numerous businesses, including our team at All Dry USA, are specifically equipped with the tools necessary for effective fire and smoke damage removal. This includes removing visual signs as well as any unpleasant odors.
Remember, there are plenty of ways to clean up damage yourself, but you’re usually only removing the visual signs. Only experts can offer total removal. No matter what Google might tell you, vinegar and hot water is not a cure-all.
How Do You Remove Smoke Stains?
While it might be highly tempting just to grab a sponge and get to work on your damage, you will not see most of the damage. You might think you’ve done a sterling job, and to the untrained eye, you have! But true smoke damage goes beyond what is seen on walls and furniture.
You may find the black marks have gone, but the odor remains, or your wiring may be profoundly damaged without your knowledge. Neither of these instances is ideal. Repair specialists trained to remove fume damage use expert techniques to get to the root of the damage—no more smell, no more unsightly discoloration, and, most importantly: property-owner peace of mind.
Contact the Experts
If you suspect your home or business has smoke damage following a fire, contact All Dry USA today! We’re experts in home restoration with over a decade of experience behind us. We operate 24/7, 365 days a year, so you know we’ll be there when you need us!