You’ll want to keep reading this article if your home has smoke damage. You’ll learn how to identify smoke damage, what causes smoke damage, what is involved in cleaning smoke damage, and why you should leave it to a professional.
1 – Identifying Smoke Damage in Your Home
- Visible Soot – Smoke damage often leaves visible soot on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. This can be dark in color and may appear as a fine powder or a thick, sticky residue.
- Discoloration – Smoke can discolor paint, wallpaper, and other surfaces, leaving behind yellow or brown stains.
- Odor – Smoke damage can also leave behind a strong, persistent odor that is difficult to remove. This can be especially noticeable in closed-off rooms or areas of your home.
- Warping or Cracking – Smoke can cause warping or cracks in wood and other materials. This can be especially noticeable in furniture, cabinetry, and flooring.
- Peeling Paint – Smoke can cause paint to peel or blister, often leaving behind a bubbled appearance.
- Rust – Smoke can cause rust on metal surfaces, such as appliances, fixtures, and hardware.
- Corroded Electrical – Smoke can cause damage to electrical components and wiring, which can lead to potential electrical hazards.
- Health Symptoms – Living in a home with smoke damage can cause respiratory issues, headaches, and other health symptoms.
It’s important to note that smoke damage can be hard to see and may not be immediately apparent. It’s recommended to have a professional inspection if you suspect smoke damage in your home.
2 – What Causes Smoke Damage in Your Home?
Items in your home can have smoke damage as a result of a fire or other smoke-producing event. Some common causes of smoke damage in homes include:
- Cooking Fires – Unattended cooking or grease fires in the kitchen can quickly spread and produce thick smoke that can damage nearby surfaces and belongings.
- Fireplace or Chimney Problems – Problems with fireplaces or chimneys, such as creosote buildup or blocked flues, can cause smoke to back up into the home and damage surfaces and belongings.
- Cigarette Smoke – Secondhand smoke from cigarettes can cause discoloration and lingering odors on walls, ceilings, and other surfaces.
- Candles – Burning candles can produce smoke that can discolor walls and ceilings, especially if they are left burning for an extended period of time.
- Electrical Fires – Electrical fires can be caused by faulty wiring or other issues and can produce
- thick smoke that can damage surfaces and belongings.
- Natural Disasters – Wildfires, volcanic eruptions, and other natural disasters can produce smoke that can travel long distances and damage homes and belongings.
- Accidents – Accidents such as car crashes or chemical spills can cause smoke damage in homes and buildings.
It’s important to note that even small fires can produce a lot of smoke and cause significant damage, so it’s important to take fire safety seriously and to act quickly to address any smoke damage in your home.
3 – You Have Smoke Damage in Your Home. What’s Next?
- Contact Your Insurance Company – Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage and begin the claims process. They will arrange for an adjuster to assess the damage.
- Ventilate the Area – Open all windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate and remove the smoke odor.
- Clean Surfaces – Clean all surfaces, including walls, ceilings, and floors, with mild detergent and water. Be sure to wear gloves and a mask to protect yourself from inhaling any toxic chemicals or particles.
- Launder All Washable Items – Launder all washable items, including clothing, bedding, and drapes, using mild detergent and water. Be sure to follow the care instructions on the label.
- Remove Damaged Items – Remove any items that are too damaged to be cleaned, such as upholstered furniture, and place them outside for pickup by your insurance company or a professional cleaning service.
- Deodorize – Use a professional deodorizing service to remove any lingering smoke odor. This may include using ozone generators, thermal foggers, or hydroxyl generators.
- Hire Professionals – Hire professionals such as restoration companies trained to handle smoke damage cleanup and repair. They have specialized equipment and techniques to remove smoke and soot and restore your home to its pre-damage condition.
- Keep a Record – Keep a record of all the steps taken during the cleaning process, the costs, and any communication with the insurance company.
- Be Cautious – Be cautious of returning to the damaged area, as it may be dangerous and should only be entered with proper protective equipment.
It’s important to note that while some smoke damage cleanup and restoration can be done by yourself, contacting professionals is recommended for a complete and safe cleanup process.
4 – Why You Should Hire a Professional to Cleanup Smoke Damage in Your Home
- Safety – Smoke damage cleanup can be dangerous, as smoke can contain harmful chemicals and particles that can harm your health. Professionals have the training, equipment, and knowledge to handle and remove these substances safely.
- Experience – Professionals have experience identifying and addressing all types of smoke damage, including hidden damage that may not be immediately obvious. They know how to properly clean and restore surfaces, materials, and belongings to their pre-damage condition.
- Equipment – Professionals have specialized equipment that can be used to remove soot, smoke, and odors. This equipment may be too costly or complex for homeowners to purchase or rent independently.
- Time-saving – Cleaning up smoke damage can be time-consuming, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process. A professional restoration company can complete the job much faster and more efficiently.
- Insurance – Many insurance policies require that homeowners use professional restoration companies for smoke damage cleanup. Using a professional can ensure that your claim is handled correctly and that the work is done to industry standards.
- Guarantee – Professional smoke damage restoration companies typically guarantee their work. This will give you peace of mind knowing that the job has been done correctly and that the company will fix any issues that may arise.
- Comprehensive Services – Professional smoke damage restoration companies typically provide a wide range of services, from initial assessment to cleanup, restoration, and rebuilding. This will save homeowners from coordinating with multiple contractors.
Western Disaster Cleanup is ready 24/7 to help you rid your home of smoke damage. Contact us today, and we’ll thoroughly clean the smoke damage in your house and restore your home to its safe and livable condition.