Fire damage is one of the most destructive kinds of home damage and one of the most difficult to repair. However, smoke also harms damaged homes. A mixture of smoke and soot causes smoke damage. It can destroy valuable possessions and degrade the air quality in the house.
What constitutes smoke damage?
Smoke damage refers to any physical or structural harm caused by smoke rather than fire damage. Smoke does not destroy a room, objects, or property like fire but can have disastrous consequences. Some effects include sooting and a persistent odor, but it can also take other forms.
Many people must be aware of how greasy smoke and soot can be. It can make touching highly unpleasant when it lands on valuable items. It is especially damaging to fabrics and furniture. If left for too long without having the damaged items cleaned by a professional like PuroClean. Soot and smoke particles can impact porous materials like wood or clothing and even erode materials like metal.
Not to mention it is challenging to clean. It can also affect the most confined spaces, such as wiring, pipes, or small wall gaps.
Tips for Assessing Smoke Damage
There are critical steps to protect your business from smoke and fire damage, which include assessment and treatment. Knowing this will help you how to prevent future damage.
When assessing smoke damage, it is critical to smell and look for indicators to distinguish between regular use and wear. Industrial cooking equipment and brick ovens frequently burn wood, meat, flesh, and grease, emitting odors and leaving distinct residues. Cooking apparatus smoke can produce a natural protein-like smell that turns into a powdery or greasy residue that is frequently gray, black, yellow, or brown.
Look for odors and residues that are large, thick, and uncontained. Completing a chemical sponge test is the most common testing method for smoke damage. This test can be performed on the affected areas’ surfaces by simply wiping a chemical sponge over a stain. If there is no residue on the sponge, it is clear that there is no smoke damage. If residue is present, it is critical to proceed to the next step of treating the damaged area.
You can use various combined methods to treat smoke damage. HEPA vacuums are commonly used to remove any residue or soot. Open the affected space and use fans to ventilate it to help eliminate the smoke odor. Those working on the restoration will need gloves, goggles, and boots. For safety reasons, HEPA-filtered respirators may also be required; however, this should always be the most crucial consideration.
It is also critical to comply with all OSHA requirements, and manual cleaning of the area is frequently required. Because industrial appliances and brick ovens are common in kitchens, removing this residue with the proper cleaning utensil and sponge is critical. The best cleaning method is to use a regular sponge and a harsh detergent capable of cutting through grease. To be safe, conduct a test first and wear protective equipment.
It is also critical to clean chrome, porcelain, and Formica fixtures to prevent permanent staining from the acidic soot. Removing all soot as soon as possible is vital, as this will allow for initial control of the smell; smoke odor may be the most challenging obstacle. Aside from using chemicals to mask the odor, there are a few commonly used methods, such as thermal deodorization and ozone treatment.
Thermal deodorization eliminates odors by using high temperatures and atomized liquid that condenses in the air and on surfaces. Ozone generators are used in ozone treatments to generate large amounts of ozone. This potent oxidizer attacks all organic materials and can be highly harmful to humans; therefore, it should be performed in a controlled environment.
Fire damage restoration service companies are well-equipped, trained, and experienced in dealing with smoke damage. Consider the credentials of a local restoration company when making your choice. Check if they are certified, licensed, bonded, and insured. Once the smoke damage has been identified and treated, finding ways to prevent future damage is critical.
Fire and smoke risk can be reduced but cannot be eliminated. Cleaning, storing, and discarding grease rags reduces spontaneous combustion. Educating cooks on fire safety, prevention, and emergency plans will also improve fire detection. Employees should know about significant fire hazards, hazardous material handling and storage, and ignition sources. Fire and smoke prevention requires understanding and using these appliances safely.