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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Early Mitigation Steps for Fire Damage

3/3/2021 (Permalink)

Fire leaves different kinds of soot on surfaces depending on what burned in your Suffolk County residential or commercial property. Even a small blaze produces acidic smoke and soot that needs to be cleaned up. During your initial fire damage inspection, SERVPRO of Medford will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Depending on how much smoke damage there is, there are various methods we can use to clean up the surrounding walls and ceiling.

Soot composition can vary quite a bit depending on the underlying causes. All types of soot cause at least some darkening, and in severe cases, any type of soot can look completely black.

Dry Soot 
Dry soot is caused by very hot fires burning natural ingredients swiftly. It has a dry, dusty texture and almost no smell. Dry soot is often easier to manage than mold or storm damage. In many cases, removing it is as simple as using a vacuum with a HEPA filter on all surfaces. 

Wet Soot 
If a fire smolders for a while on low heat and burns high moisture items, wet soot may be created. This is essentially dry soot that has mingled with steam to create a sort of soggy, sooty mess. Cleaning up wet soot requires a combination of fire damage and water damage strategies. 

Oily Soot 
When plastics, rubbers, and other products containing oil are burned, soot can turn into a sticky, greasy substance. If you try to wipe it up, it will just smear instead of going away.  Also, because it contains oil, it will be resistant to water-based cleaning products. Unlike dry soot, oily soot will cling to any surface, even vertical areas. 

Protein Soot 
Protein-based soot is a particular type of greasy soot that tends to occur as the buildup in kitchens or the product of a kitchen fire. It involves overcooked proteins that turn to soot, and it has a very pungent odor. This type of soot is quite hard to get rid of, and the odor may linger if it is not cleaned up properly. 

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