Soot Removal after Fire Damage – What you need to know

Fire is inclusive in the kind of damage it causes to both life and property. The impact is as much physical and psychological as it is a financial. Based on the cause and the response to containing a fire, the damage from a fire can be extensive and affect your entire property or it can be limited and relatively less damaging. In addition to the obvious damage and smoke, one of the trouble areas with a fire is soot.

Soot is a Big Problem

In a fire if materials such as wood, plasters, foam, plastics and fibers catch fire, then the resultant soot can be a massive and potentially dangerous condition to deal with. One of the properties of soot it that it attaches itself to all surfaces which includes your walls and ceilings. In addition to looking ungainly, because soot can be both dry and oily, the kind of damage can be nuanced which means the cleaning needs to be customized.

If the damage is very small and very limited, you can opt for a DIY approach. However, if the damage is far and wide, then you definitely should consider seeking professional help from a fire damage restoration company.

Keep yourself Protected Always

Safety is and rightfully should be your number one criteria when dealing with damage after a fire. This includes soot damage as well. Even after the fire has been put out, there are several safety issues to bear in mind when dealing with the aftermath. If you go in unawares, you could end up perpetuating the damage to both the property and to yourself.

  • Number one rule of safety – always wear protective gear such as gloves, boots, and a face mask to cover up as much exposed skin as possible.
  • Rule number two – never touch soot directly. If you do, chances are you will transfer it to another area.
  • Rule number three – ensure the room is properly ventilated to avoid breathing in soot particles and also to ensure that the air is circulated.

Only after this should you try and attempt to salvage any items or materials damaged in the fire.

Dealing with Soot Damage

Any kind of fire damage comes with an unspoken caveat – seek professional help always. The reason as mentioned earlier is that fire damage is very inclusive. And as such, the kind of restoration work involved needs to be carefully planned and carried out. If the damage is huge and you are looking at damage to structure and material, professional help is the best way forward. If the fire was a high oxygen blaze, then the cleaning can be carried out using a dry sponge. In the opposite scenario, soot cleaning will include water. In both cases, smearing is a big issue.


If left to untrained hands, the cleanup can lead to greater damage. Professional fire restoration technicians know which type of soot they are dealing with and are able to employ the correct cleaning approach and agents to ensure complete clean-up.