7 Signs Your Home Has Smoke Damage

Smoke damage is dangerous for your health, but how can you detect it to prevent those health issues from ever surfacing? This is a valid concern if you recently had a fire in your home. 

In some cases, smoke damage is apparent, like if you can smell it in your home. But some other signs are subtle, and if you aren’t aware of them, they could slip right under your nose, ultimately causing the health issues you want to avoid.

So, what are the signs of smoke damage? And what should you do if you discover these signs in your home? That’s what today’s blog is all about. There are seven signs to look for. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about smoke damage. 

  1. Dirty walls or ceilings

Smoke leaves residual tracks you can spot if you know where to look for them. Do you know where the fire started? Its location of origin and where it traveled are the first spots to look for smoke damage. 

Because hot air rises, the smoke from the fire will go straight up to your ceiling. Is your ceiling light or dark? If it’s light, the damage will be easy to spot. But you’ll need to look closely to see if it’s dark. You might need to get on a ladder and wipe your ceiling with a cloth or sponge to see if smoke residue comes off the ceiling.

  1. Outer walls and windows

While hot air usually travels up to the ceiling, a breeze from an open window, ceiling, or floor fan can change the smoke’s direction. So, after you’ve checked the walls and ceilings in the immediate vicinity, you should check all your outer walls and windows. 

Every room in your house, even the rooms you wouldn’t suspect, could have smoke residue. Start by checking all the walls and ceilings. If you suspect smoke residue but aren’t sure if that’s what it is, try wiping the area with a damp cloth or sponge. Some of the residue should come off onto your sponge. 

  1. Blinds and drapes

For some reason, smoke is attracted to cooler areas in a home. We know; it’s the opposite of what you’d think. Fires are hot, so wouldn’t smoke stay where it’s hot? 

Because smoke is attracted to cooler areas, blinds and drapes are one of the areas where it would travel. So, when you check your house, don’t forget to look behind your blinds and drapes. This is a prime hiding spot for smoke damage. 

  1. Drawers and closets

Smoke damage doesn’t discriminate. It will travel up to the walls, ceilings, and wherever the breeze takes it. Some smoke damage can also seep into your drawers and closets. 


Well, at first, heat will cause the smoke damage to rise. But once the smoke has traveled away from the heat, it will naturally fall. The inside of a drawer or closet is one of the coolest places smoke can go.

  1. Synthetic materials

Both natural and synthetic materials can collect smoke damage, but it’s easier to see it on manmade materials. Synthetic materials contain ionization qualities that attract smoke particles, making them an ideal resting place. 

The dangerous part of smoke damage on manmade materials is that the damage can quickly become permanent. Indeed, smoke damage won’t come off after time. So, the sooner you get to it, the better. 

  1. In your ducts

It might be the last place you think to check – or want to check, for that matter – but your ducts can hide smoke damage you wouldn’t otherwise notice. It doesn’t matter whether the air or heat was on when the fire started. 

Smoke damage can still make its way into your ducts, whether in your ceiling or on your floor. That means that when you turn your air or heat on, you could have smoke residue resting in your ducts. When you turn on the air, that smoke residue will travel and blow into every room where the ducts go.

If you suspect you have smoke in your ducts, you should contact a professional, as this can be very difficult to get out on your own and can cause serious health issues if everyone in your home is breathing in smoke damage. 

  1. Around nail heads 

Do you have paintings or family photos hanging on your walls? Are nails in the wall holding them up? We recommend taking them down and checking around the nail heads for smoke damage. 


Because nails and smoke damage act as magnets for each other, if there’s a nail on a wall near where a fire started, there’s a good chance of smoke damage residue on your nail heads. 

It might be hard to spot the nail, but the residue should be easy to detect. We recommend rubbing the area with a damp cloth or sponge if your wall is dark. If residue comes off, you’ve got smoke damage in that area.

Western Disaster Clean Up

Was there a fire in your home? We’re sorry to hear that! Smoke damage is no fun to deal with, and it needs to be taken care of quickly to prevent further damage or illness from striking your home.

And while you can and should inspect your home for smoke damage, you should also have professionals come to your home to catch anything harder to detect. A skilled expert will notice signs that an untrained eye won’t. 

Well, you’re in the right place. Western Disaster Clean Up has the skills and expertise you need to restore your home from fire and smoke damage fully. We will thoroughly inspect your home before purifying and sanitizing it from the smoke damage so you can return to your everyday life. 

Call us at 385.375.2963 or contact us through our website to get started with your smoke damage restoration. We look forward to working with you! 

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