House FireAfter a fire, you may be anxious to get right down to business and start cleaning up the damage, but do you know exactly what you’re dealing with?

Unless you have a clear understanding of the damage caused by a fire, you may be wasting your time or making the situation worse by causing additional damage.

For this reason, it’s likely in your best interest to hire a fire restoration company to handle the cleanup and repairs following a fire in your home or business.  A team of highly-trained fire restoration professionals will be able to accurately assess the amount of smoke and soot damage, determine what items can or cannot be salvaged and provide cleaning services to restore your home or office to its pre-loss condition.

Assessing the Smoke & Soot Damage Caused by a Fire

After a fire, it’s important to determine the type of smoke and soot damage you’re dealing with prior to deciding on the best fire restoration technique.

  • Dry Smoke is caused by fast-paced, high temperature fires and leaves a powder-like dust residue on nearly everything that wasn’t touched by the fire.
  • Wet Smoke is a low-heat type, smoldering smoke that carries a pungent odor and leaves a sticky residue that’s highly prone to smearing.
  • Protein based Smoke is virtually invisible, carries a distinct pungent odor and will stain paint and varnish.
  • Fuel Oil Soot is oily, hazardous soot produced by home or commercial furnaces as they “puff” back smoke.

Cleaning Up Smoke & Soot Damage

As soon as you’ve determined what type of smoke damage you’re dealing with, you will have to:

  • Decide what the best and most effective cleaning method that will address all of the smoke and soot damage. Using the wrong cleaning methods can easily result in additional damage. For example, improper cleaning of dry smoke damage will transform the powdery residue into liquid tar that will likely result in permanent damage. Do you know how to properly cleanup all the different types of smoke damage?
  • Evaluate the full extent of the fire, soot and smoke damage to make sure all areas of the home are properly cleansed, deodorized and repaired as needed. Hot smoke will engulf a home by migrating to cooler areas and using the plumbing to spread throughout the entire house.  Will you be able to find all of the damage hidden from plain sight? Do you know how to keep damage from spreading to unaffected areas?
  • Determine what items can be restored to their original condition versus what is beyond repair. Can the smoke residue be removed from that material? Is it safe to use water?

ServiceMaster Absolute: Your Friend in the Fire Restoration Process

As you can tell, fire restoration is a meticulous process that can easily result in additional damage if it’s not done right.

If your San Diego home or business has been damaged by fire or smoke, call ServiceMaster Absolute.  Our 24-hour emergency response team will work quickly to restore your property and do our best save all of your cherished belongings before they succumb to smoke and soot damage.

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