You may wonder if a fire outside your home can cause smoke damage inside your home. Well, the answer is yes. And it absolutely can have ruining effects.
A surprisingly large amount of damage can happen to your home from smoke alone. However, your house doesn’t necessarily have to be engulfed in flames to feel the effects of billowing smoke that creeps into your home.
In fact, smoke damage caused by an outdoor fire can spread into rooms that didn’t come in contact with the fire. Buildings that have been in the vicinity of a major wildfire, unfortunately, the smoke will directly affect the contents of your home.
Where there is smoke, there will most likely be soot, which is an unpleasant byproduct that comes along with fires. In addition, a powder-like or greasy substance formed from carbon can damage your home, become airborne, and negatively affect your health.
Smoke and soot can destroy your belongings and the structure of your house. Fortunately, there are some things you can do about it and professionals you can call.
So, what is smoke damage, and how does it affect your home?
The contaminants will depend on the source of the fire. Particles that hitch a ride in smoke vary from smoke that comes from different fires, such as oil, gas, wood, etc.
Contents in your home that are at risk for metal damage include structural elements and pipes. And damaged pipes can lead to water damage, and now you are looking at the possibility of dealing with smoke and water damage cleanup.
One of the most noticeable effects that will show its ugly face on the metals within your home is discoloration. Discoloration and tarnishing are the most common and can happen quickly. Also, any porous surfaces will be hot spots for smoke damage. This includes carpets, curtains, and upholstery.
Smoke can also damage your floors and walls, even if they are not porous. The residue left behind can cause paint and wallpaper to peel off the walls. At the same time, even synthetic carpets and floors can soak in the smoke particles and be damaged and absorb unwelcome odors.
Here are some common items in your home that may be harmed by smoke, causing it to be considered “ruined.”
- Furniture – smoke can definitely harm your furniture. This can happen to furniture made from a wide variety of materials. Keep in mind that it is not just the upholstery of your furniture that is at risk, but the structural materials may also be affected.
- Appliances – smoke can have a corrosive effect on the inside and outside of your kitchen appliances, wreaking havoc and causing irreparable damage.
- Carpets – this brings us back to one of the most porous surfaces in your home. Carpet fabric is a welcome home where particles found in smoke will set up camp. It can damage the fibers and also cause unwanted-lingering odors.
- Clothing – have you ever enjoyed making smores with your friends and a lovely campfire and hated the effects the smoke has on your clothes afterward? When it comes to smoke and clothing, even safely tucked away in your closet, they will absorb airborne particles from smoke and possibly be damaged or stuck with the lingering odors of smoke.
- Porcelain – not even your nick-nacks are safe from the evasion of smoke. However, all-porcelain, including bathroom fixtures, may become discolored from the attack of smoke.
- Plastic – plastic is another highly porous material that can be absorbent and become damaged.
- Upholstery and curtains – these items in your home are most commonly NOT easily restored in the face of smoke damage. The material that these items are made of is prone to permanent damage caused by smoke but don’t lose all faith because you should approach all items in your home as if they were salvageable.
Now let’s take a look at how you can clean smoke damage in your home (as long as it is not entirely ruined). Depending on the material of the items and surface areas, it can take minutes or even days to clean smoke damage. Of course, some materials are more resistant to others, but it is a safe bet that sooner rather than later will be your best-cleaning shot.
Here is a timeline that will help you better understand when you should start cleaning the smoke-damaged item in your home:
Minutes – this will be the time you’ll want to focus on cleaning any areas in your home with porous surfaces.
Hours – this is the time frame when the metal starts to erode. Wiping down metal surfaces with cooking oil can help prevent corrosion and discoloration.
Days – you will start seeing permanent effects from smoke damage within your home if you allow it to linger for days before you begin the cleaning process.
Saving the best for last – cleaning and restoration should begin as soon as possible. Minutes, hours, and days should not be wasted on lollygagging about what steps to take to start the process of eliminating smoke damage from your home. Sooner is always going to be better than later.
However, some DON’Ts should be in the back of your mind when it comes to smoke cleanup. For example, don’t touch anything covered in soot with your bare hands, and don’t try to hose down your wallpapered walls with water (as this will lead to the possibility of water damage).
You also should only attempt to clean your home with the proper equipment, which is one of the biggest reasons you should leave your home cleanup project to professionals from the beginning.
The best advice we can give to salvage your home from ruin after significant damage has been done due to smoke is to leave it to the professionals. Bull Matrix Restoration has a staff of people who are trained in the art of removing smoke damage.
So, if you are in need of professional cleaning services, Bull Matrix Restoration is available in many counties in the great state of Utah. Contact us today and get the help you need to free your home and its contents from smoke damage.