Fire is destructive and causes irreversible property damage, but it is not the only thing to be worried about. Damage from smoke exposure is another issue that could be just as problematic.
Things That Easily Sustain Smoke Damage
Here are some examples of things and materials commonly found in a household that is susceptible to damage when exposed to smoke:
Smoke particles easily get caught on natural and synthetic fabric fibers. So even if the fire does not burn them, fine soot particles can ruin fabrics enough to be unusable. Some think of using a vacuum cleaner to remove the soot, but that’s often not good enough. Worse, they end up pressing the soot particles harder into the cloth.
Here are examples of fabrics susceptible to smoke damage:
- Upholstery: Not only will soot stick to the fabric, but it can also penetrate the foam beneath the covers.
- Curtains: These are the most vulnerable because they are exposed.
- Blankets and Bedding: Like all fabrics, they quickly smell like smoke when exposed. Additionally, sheets on a bed cover a wider surface area and catch more soot as a result.
- Clothing: Even when folded or hung inside a closed wardrobe, the smell and fine particles can still stick to your clothes.
The difficulty with these items is that it’s so difficult to restore them. Throwing them into a washing machine with regular laundry detergent can actually make the smoky odor and fine soot particles settle into the fibers. As a result, the fabrics can become permanently yellowed or stained.
Wood is porous and contains moisture, so when the temperature rises during a fire, the moisture content will evaporate to the wood’s surface, leaving visible discoloration. Add the sooty air, and the wood will unsurprisingly look charred even when it isn’t.
Hardwood floors often have the same fate. Kiln-dried or unfinished hardwood used as indoor flooring materials is particularly vulnerable to smoke damage.
Wood floors and furniture with protective finishes are also prone to discoloration. In addition, wood varnishes, artificial stains, and paint easily get damaged if anyone tries to scrub the soot out with a generic cleaning solution.
- Appliances and Gadgets
Most appliances have metal and plastic components, and neither do well in extremely high temperatures and smoke exposure. Both materials undergo chemical reactions, so any damage is permanent. Additionally, the extreme temperature from the fire can fry the electrical components in appliances and electronic gadgets.
Porcelain is porous, meaning soot residue can leave a permanent black stain if not washed quickly with the correct cleaning solution. Hot soot residue can also burn and etch into porcelain, permanently damaging exposed tiles and china.
Other Ways Smoke Damage Affects Your Home
Besides damaging furniture, appliances, and other materials inside your home, smoke can also have the following effects on your home:
- Corrosion: Metal components all over your home, from the pipework to the doorknobs, can exhibit different stages of rapid corrosion after a fire.
- Increase in Carbon Monoxide: Wood, gas, and coal are examples of carbon fuels. They release toxic carbon monoxide if they are set on fire but prevented from burning fully, such as when drenched or the oxygen level inside the building drops.
Permanent Smoke Odor: Even if the fire happened in a different area of your home, the rest of the property could have that distinctive odor.
What Can Smoke Damage Restoration Do?
There are some things with smoke damage that are difficult to restore, and it might be more cost-effective to buy a new one. But if the important parts are still intact and untouched, there’s a good chance that restoration can still work.
Restoration 1 can provide the necessary repairs to restore smoke-damaged Kansas City properties. We have experts in restoration for homes or buildings with smoke and fire damage who address cosmetic damage like corrosion, discoloration, and odor, as well as structural damage to walls, floors, and ceilings.
Smoke damage restoration aims to bring a property back to its original look and structural integrity. This can only be a job for an experienced crew.
Contact Restoration 1 of Kansas City for a consultation or to schedule a visit to your home. You may call 816-708-0808 or fill out our contact form.