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Soot Damage Restoration Services

Fires can be highly destructive to homes and businesses. Even a small fire can result in an extensive amount of soot damage. The result of incomplete combustion, soot can appear as either a fine, powdery dust or as a sticky, oily coating. Soot can spread much further than flames, staining walls, ceilings, cabinets, and other items and materials.

Soot Cleanup and Removal

Soot is also likely to enter your vents and spread throughout your property in your HVAC system. If not cleaned properly, soot will cause permanent damage due to its acidic nature. Depending on the extent of the damage, the stains may still show through several coats of paint. Soot stains on wood may require completely refinishing the item.

The Advantage of Professional Soot Cleanup Services

Although you may be able to clean soot damage on your own, it’s important that you take immediate action to prevent stains and soot damage. Cleanup techniques vary depending on the materials involved and the extent of the soot damage.

Thoroughly inspect your property for signs of soot damage. Then begin cleaning the area nearest to the fire’s origin, working outward from there. Be careful not to spread or smear the soot damage during cleanup.

As the #1 network of restoration companies in the country, Restoration Local makes finding a soot damage restoration company near you easy. They are experienced in cleaning soot damage quickly to limit the damage.

The fire damage companies in our network us commercial grade equipment and chemicals to clean soot after any type of fire. They are experienced in removing soot from walls, ceilings, carpeting, hardwood floors, and cabinets.

Restoration Local will give you peace of mind in an emergency. Find a local fire damage restoration company now. For emergency soot removal services, call 1-888-443-3110 now to speak with our local, on-call contractor.

Our on-call soot removal and fire damage cleanup companies offer 24-hour emergency service, 30-minute response time, a free, no-obligation estimate. Our compassionate and dependable soot damage companies can even bill your insurance directly.

What Is Soot?

Soot is the fine particles of carbon, tar, and other materials produced during the incomplete combustion of a fire. These particles will settle out of the air, coating surfaces throughout your home or business.

Soot can range in color from light grey to black charcoal. Depending on the materials involved in the fire, soot can be either a fine dust or a sticky oil. Soot can still settle on surfaces even if the fire didn’t produce a large amount of smoke.

Because it can travel much further than flames, soot may spread to room not impacted by the fire itself. Soot may also settle in the ductwork of your HVAC system, which can spread it even further.

Soot is highly acidic, which allows it to stain most surfaces in as little as a few hours. Porous materials like drywall, paint, wood, carpeting, and fabric are most susceptible to soot damage. Will more resistant to stains, soot can still damage non-porous materials like metal, stone, and glass.

The Difference Between Soot and Smoke

Soot and smoke are often both produced during a fire. While they are closely related, they are still different. Both can damage your property, just in different ways.

Soot is the solid particles of carbon, tar, and other byproducts from the fire. On the other hand, smoke is visible vapor and gases produced during the fire.

The easiest way to distinguish soot and smoke is to think in terms of your senses. Soot is the visual component, often appearing any color from grey to brown to black. Smoke is the gaseous component that results in smells.


Common Causes of Soot Damage

Soot is produced as a result of incomplete combustion, which happens when fires burn without enough oxygen. While oxygen is apart of the air all around us, it’s not the only part. As a result, virtually every fire results in incomplete combustion.

Cigarette Smoke

Cigarettes and other smoking materials produce a very fine, sticky soot that can coat walls and other surfaces. Prolonged smoking in a specific area can result in significant soot damage. This often appears as yellowish, brown stains. Soot stains from smoking materials are often oily or greasy, which makes them difficult to remove.

Fireplace and Chimney Fires

As long as your fireplace and chimneys are well maintained and in proper working order, they have a low risk for causing soot damage. However, the wood and kindling used in more fireplaces have the potential to create a large amount of soot. If there is a problem with your chimney, soot can easily spread throughout your home.

Grease and Oil Fires

Cooking oils and fats can produce thick, black soot even without catching fire. Regardless of whether flames form, the oil is a significant source of fuel that can produce soot. This can result in heavy soot stains in the kitchen. It can also enter HVAC vents and spread throughout your property easily.

Other Kitchen Fires

The average kitchen has plenty of appliances that can produce soot as a result of burning food. The most likely cause of soot is your stove top and oven, but toasters, toaster ovens, waffle makers, and even microwaves can start fires too. The easiest way to prevent kitchen fires is to avoid leaving food unattended while cooking.

Candle Fires

Due to the size of most candles, they usually burn cleanly. This limits the production of soot. However, larger candles or candles with perfumes or other additives are more likely to create higher amounts of soot. Another cause of soot damage from candles is burning them too long.

Electrical or Wiring Fires

Most electrical systems are completely safe and unlikely to start a fire. The biggest risk of soot damage due to an electrical fire is by overloading outlets or circuits. It’s also important to follow all electrical codes and best practices when making upgrades. Making improper or unsafe electrical changes are more likely to result in fires and soot damage.

How to Clean Soot Damage

The process for cleaning soot stains depends largely on the amount of fire and soot damage. You may need to clean multiple rooms because soot will travel further than flames. Removing smoke damage may take a significant amount of time and hard work. It’s also important to begin cleanup quickly to limit soot damage.

#1 Clean Soot Stains

For small fires with limited soot damage, you may be able to clean hard surfaces with vinegar. In addition to the room with the fire, you should wash the walls, floors, and ceilings of nearby rooms.

Don’t forget to clean personal items and furniture as well. Plastic and synthetic materials are prone to stains and heat damage. In most cases, these items will need to be discarded and replaced.

Soot is also likely to settle in the ductwork for your HVAC system. If not properly cleaned, it may continue to blow soot throughout your property long after the fire. Soot stained fabrics and carpeting may be able to be cleaned, but they may need to be replaced in some circumstances.

#2 Seal and Paint Walls and Ceilings Against Soot Stains

Even after a thorough cleaning, walls and ceiling may still have severe soot damage stains. In this case, you will need to seal and paint walls and ceilings to cover soot stains.

Make sure the surface is clean before painting to prevent soot stains from showing through. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to apply several coats of sealer and paint. In rare cases, you may need to replace portions of drywall.

#3 Refinish or Replace Soot Stained Wooden Items

Wood is extremely porous and prone to absorbing soot. Even repeated cleanings may leave wooden surfaces permanently stained. Removing soot stains from hardwood floors and wooden cabinets and furniture may require refinishing.

Carefully sand wooden items and then refinish them to match undamaged areas. It may not be possible to refinish items made from pressed wood, like many modern cabinets and furniture. The only option is to replace these items entirely.

What Is Soot Restoration?

Due to the acidic nature of soot, it can cause significant damage to property and structures if not properly cleaned in a timely manner. Residue from fires can settle on surfaces throughout your property and will begin to permanently stain within hours. Water from firefighting efforts can also cause significant damage to both the structure of your home and your personal possessions.

Soot restoration services offered by the fire damage restoration companies in the Restoration Local network begin with an initial assessment and free estimate. If there is exterior damage, they will tarp and board-up your property to secure it against the elements and intruders. If necessary, they will extract water and dry out areas damaged by firefighting efforts.

Next, they use consumer grade cleaners to wash surfaces to remove soot and prevent stains. They then seal and paint walls and ceilings to block stains and block odors. Damaged hardwood surfaces are cleaned and may need to be refinished. In some cases, it may be necessary to discard and replace some items damaged by soot.

Major Insurance Companies Our Network Works With

Since soot can travel further than flames, it’s difficult to predict the cost of soot damage and fire damage restoration without seeing the damage first hand. From spreading to other rooms to settling in HVAC systems and ductwork, the cost of soot damage removal will vary. Common factors that impact the restoration cost of soot damage include:

  • Extent of damage caused by fire and flames
  • Amount of damage caused by smoke and soot
  • Size of the area affected
  • Types of materials involved
  • Difficulty of extracting the water, if there is water damage
  • Amount of reconstruction necessary

Most standard insurance policies cover soot damage restoration caused by a “sudden and accidental” fire as long is was not a result of negligence.

Learn about the Cost of Fire Damage Restoration

Call Now For Soot Damage Restoration Services

As the largest network of restoration companies, Restoration Local will connect you with a fire damage and soot removal company near you. They will assess the damage and provide an estimate on soot restoration services.

Find a fire damage company in your area now. For emergency response, call 1-888-443-3110 to speak with the on-call soot damage removal company nearest you. All of the on-call fire damage companies in the Restoration Local network offer 24-hour emergency services, 30-minute response, and a free estimate.

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