How often have you heard the comment after a fire, “It was just smoke damage”? The speaker is trying to minimize the impact of the fire and probably trying to make someone, perhaps the owner of the property, less anxious. In reality, smoke damage can be extensive and can be a significant part of fire damage restoration. If you experience a fire disaster in your home of business in Cortland, Illinois, especially if any kind of smoke residue is involved, contact ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning Services by Skip. We have the expertise and technology to meet your fire damage repair needs.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, smoke is made up of three main components:
- Particles – fine bits of material that have not been completely burned but are small enough to float in the air
- Vapor – aerosol droplets of any kind of liquid that are carried in the smoke and can be toxic if inhaled and damaging to surfaces
- Toxic gases – vapors formed when materials melt and interact with other chemical substances or change form with heat
Smoke is present in almost every fire, but as implied, the type of smoke damage and resulting ash depends on the material burning. Rubber and plastic, such as in electrical cords, wiring, and appliances can be especially acrid and damaging. Any material made from petrochemicals originates from oil and can convert to a sticky, hard-to-remove substance, not to mention the telltale odor. Any kind of grease fire leaves an oily, obnoxious residue and often the smell of burned organic matter. And then cellulose—paper and wood—gives a lighter ash when burned that can fly almost anywhere.
Smoke damage and odor removal are major parts of our fire damage restoration service. We know that smoke can flow under closed doors and inside closets and cupboards, leaving ash and odor on clothes and dishes. Odors embed themselves in carpeting, fabrics, and window treatments, requiring carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, and deodorizing. With some furniture and antiques, it’s necessary to pack out contents and store them while they are restored. The smoke residue can even permanently damage surfaces if it remains too long.
The other place smoke always penetrates is in your HVAC system. No matter the origin, smoke goes where the air goes, and that means your vents and ducting. That’s especially the case if your air conditioning or furnace fans were running at any time during the fire. If you weren’t present and a slow-burning or smoldering fire developed, it offered plenty of time for odors to flow through your air ducts. We are specialists at HVAC duct cleaning, from the vents to the furnace. Your HVAC system will be spotless and deodorized by the time we’re through.
One more point – the NFPA points out that cigarette smoking is still a major cause of fires in the US. You may have a problem with cigarette odors in a home or office even though there hasn’t been a fire. We can remove cigarette smoke and deodorize rooms and furnishings as well. For the best in fire damage repair and restoration and smoke damage remediation in Cortland, Illinois, you can rely on ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning Services by Skip.