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.

How to Make Sure Your Home’s Is Safe from Fires

One of the most important things that a family can do is to sit down together and discuss their future and their plans. One such plan that every family should have straightened out at some point is one relating to fire safety. This is a list of rules that a family should follow whenever they encounter a fire in the home. The plan details all of the steps that need to be followed in case of a fire, along with following preventative methods and ensuring a fire never has to happen in the first place. The ultimate goal is that the family should be safe in emergencies.

The benefits of having a proper fire safety plan:

Fires may seem like a distant, faraway threat, but they are actually very common. This rate is especially high for families who don’t have their home’s checked against a fire prevention list. These lists detail simple preventative measures you and your family can undertake to reduce the risk of a fire. Along with that, you can work on and practice a fire safety plan so your family knows exactly what to do in case of a fire. You should involve every member of the family, and they should all be aware of their specific roles in the fire safety plan.

Tips on reducing the risk of fire in your home:

You can reduce the risk of fire in your home by following simple steps. One of the most important ones, as talked about above, is to create and work on a fire safety plan. This was you will know what to do in a fire, and you can keep yourself and your family safe in case there is ever a fire. Also, you and your family can get together and practice the fire plan to make sure that it runs smoothly and there are no kinks in your plan.  One important part of this is evacuation, so make sure you know exactly how to exit every room in case of fires.

Check your smoke alarms and fire extinguisher:

Make sure that you have all the smoke detectors and alarms in the home tested. If the smoke alarms are working properly, test them with your plan. If they aren’t then have them fixed immediately. Remember to replace the batteries of the smoke alarms every now and then, and that if your smoke detector is more than 10 years old, have it replaced as it can malfunction. Also test your fire extinguisher and make sure it is working, and that there is no need for replacement, such as reduced pressure. Place it somewhere it can easily be found.

Other simple tips:

There also other small scale things you can do to prevent fires. One such thing is to reduce any chances of overloading a power outlet. If you overburden it, it may fuse, which is a common cause of household fires. Also, when using the fireplace, make sure the chimney functions properly before you light a fire, and never leave a candle unattended. Furthermore, remember to always place generators outside and to be careful around space heaters.

The Benefits of Getting a Content Pack Outs After Fire Damages

Content Pack Outs are a very helpful thing that a lot of reconstruction companies tend to do. What this means is that in case a situation like a fire happens and they are called in, the company will remove any and all materials in the home that have any chances of being undamaged. What this does is prevent any further problems and protecting you from added costs to take care of once you start building your home up again.

Why use pack outs:

When the restoration company will take the furniture out, they will make sure that it is taken care of by having it cleaned out and dried up. This way, once your home is claimed safe and you want to move back in, you can simply use it again. If they don’t do this, the underlying smoke residue and soot from the fire can still damage the furniture even after the fire is put out. There may even be water damages which can cause severe harm and loss of items.

Using an inventory:

Your restoration team will also make an inventory of all of the items in your home, the ones that have been damaged, and the ones that can be repaired. If you would like them to make repairs, you can also request them to make an inventory of required repairs. They then have it packed and cleaned, preventing further damages and returning them to you as soon as possible, to make sure you are happy with the result. If your home is still unsafe, the items will remain with the company until the home gets the A-Okay.

Boarding up of the items:

If you worry about the security of your items, you can ask the company to secure it from trespassers and thieves by having it boarded up. The home can also be boarded up to prevent any kind of robbery if you want to have it kept like that for security purposes.

Cleaning out your clothes:

One thing that you will need, especially if the home is unsafe and you can’t enter in, is your clothes. If you have your items packed out, you can actually get some help on this. You can request your restoration company to provide you with clothes on an emergency basis, so they will take care of restoring your clothes and removing the smoke and soot off them as a priority. Of course the time it takes for them to do this depends on the degree of damages.

Calling up a restoration company will make your awful experience with the fire and its damages a little bit better. If you feel overwhelmed at all of the work that needs to be done and need help, a restoration team is exactly what you need. Not only will they help you out by providing their services, but they’ll also make it a priority to make the experience as easy as possible for you.

Fire Restoration and How It Works

Often times, after a fire, once the emergency has been dealt with, the homeowner may be worried about what they should do next. Although the fire itself has been dealt with, new problems may start to present themselves. This is the time when the homeowner should contact a restoration services company who can now begin to work on assessment of damage and repair processes.

Assessment of damages from the fire:

Once your restoration team arrive to the home, they will start off by making an inventory of all the fire-related damages. They will have a thorough inspection of your home, documenting all the problems and how they plan on fixing it. This can also help you out when you file your insurance claim, as they need an inventory of damages.

Assessment of potential water damages:

The next thing the restoration company will work on will be potential water damages to your home. Water is often used to put out fires, and as a result, can be left standing. In such cases, the water can cause severe problems in the future, such as mold development and growth. This is why after assessment of damages, the team will work quickly to remove the water and prevent any further problems from emerging.

Assessment of damages to the structure of your home:

The team then starts work on the foundation and structural stability of your home. Often, this time is also used to inspect the items in the home and to discard any damages items. As anyone with precious possessions can tell you, this is often difficult for the families as they have to lose a lot of their personal and dear belongings. Although restoration companies can help out with the repair of slightly damaged furniture, those items that are badly damages cannot be restored and have to be eventually discarded.

Professional cleaning of smoke odors, soot and developing mold:

Cleaning the soot from the house after a fire can be very difficult, but it is also vital to prevent any mold development in the future. This is why the restoration company will focus on the cleaning out of your home next. This cleaning is done using professional tools such as dehumidifiers to ensure that no water is left standing and no soot is left unattended. Smoke odors can also be dealt with effectively to remove the horrible smell after a fire using effective tools.

Repairs to the structure of your home:

Now that the home has been cleaned out, the next thing to do is to clean up the structure of the home, and to make sure that it is sound. An unstable structure can cause you a lot of problems in the future so this should be dealt with quickly. Finally, the team will return any items they have restored.

Fire damages can be difficult to work with, but with knowledge and a professional restoration team on your side, your home will soon go back to the way it was once before.