Soot is a black powdery, or flaky substance consisting largely of amorphous carbon, produced by the incomplete burning of organic matter. It can accumulate in corners, causing discoloration to walls, cupboards and ceiling. If you notice soot in your home, it is important to figure out the cause, and immediately remove it.
Why Soot Damage Occurs
The most devastating result of soot would be from a fire. Due to paper, clothing and other synthetic and organic matter that burns during a fire, it can turn into soot. You will notice the soot on all surfaces throughout your home. It can transfer throughout the house, even in rooms that weren’t directly affected by the fire. Here are a few examples that can result to soot:
-Cooking with high temperatures.
-Oil lamps or excessive candle burning
-Smoking indoors (cigarettes, cigars, or other plant matter)
-Wood burning fireplace with poor ventilation
-Old or defective furnace
-Exhaust emissions from vehicles
The Variations of Soot
There are a few different kinds of soot that you may be dealing with.
Oily Soot- this caused from the burning of rubber, plastic and other products that contaian oil. The soot becomes sticky. Oily soot clings to all surfaces and is resistant to water-based cleaning products.
Wet Soot- This happens when a fire smolders for a duration of time and it burns high moisture items. Basically, dry soot comes in contact with moisture, and it becomes a soggy mess. The cleanup would require the same strategies as fire and water damage.
Dry Soot- This would be the easiest soot to clean up. The fire burns quickly and the soot has more of a dusty texture. Cleaning requires mostly dusting and vacuuming with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter.
Protein Soot- This is a result when you burn meats, eggs or other products that contain protein. Since this doesn’t leave a visible soot or smokey residue, you may assume you can just wipe it down and call it good. However, protein soot leave behind a very strong odor and will permeate your walls, cabinets, furniture and upholstery.
Dry soot is the easiest to cleanup yourself. This basically involves dusting and vacuuming. If some of the soot smears, you can attempt the wet cleaning method with soap and water. The Wet Clean up method is the way to go when dealing with wet, oily or protein soot. This process can be time consuming, and only works when dealing with waterproof surfaces.
When to Call the Professionals
If you have experienced a fire, big or small, the cleanup can be quite tedious and overwhelming. If not cleaned up correctly, a small size of soot left behind can be dangerous to humans and to pets, just by breathing it in and the soot enters the lungs. Respiratory illness, cancer and heart disease are linked to repeated exposure to soot. To ensure the cleanup is done correctly, it is highly recommended to request assistance from a professional restoration team.
At Crew Construction and Restoration, we handle all aspects of restoring your home or business. Fire damage, water or storm damage, mold removal, and of course, professional soot cleanup. Our restoration team has the specialized equipment to remove soot from your home, and will ensure there are no tiny soot particles left behind. For all of your restoration needs, Crew Construction and Restoration will provide you with a free, no obligation estimate. Call the professionals today!
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