Whether it’s a result of a minor kitchen mishap or a more significant incident, the aftermath of smoke damage can be sinister, affecting the structural integrity of your property and, in some cases, posing health risks.
Smoke damage can permeate beyond what the eyes can see, seeping into walls, furniture, and personal belongings. In 2022, fire departments in the United States responded to around 1.5 million fires, with damages totaling $18 billion.
The staggering number of fires and the cost of smoke damage restoration means that early detection and intervention are necessary for home and business owners. Recognizing the signs of smoke damage and acting fast can make a difference in mitigating its harmful effects.
4 Signs You Need Professional Help for Smoke Damage
Contrary to popular belief, smoke damage is the harm caused by the smoke produced by a fire, not the flames themselves. It can affect your property, belongings, and even health, presenting challenges in cleaning and restoration that often require professional help.
But when should you get professional assistance for smoke damage removal? Here are four signs that you need to hire a smoke damage restoration service:
1. Discoloration and staining
One of the most visible signs of smoke damage is discoloration and staining on your walls, ceilings, floors, and furniture. You may notice yellow or brown spots on painted surfaces, particularly near heat sources or vents. These stains are a result of the acidic and oily components of smoke, which can penetrate and damage the paint.
Additionally, look for dark streaks or patches on surfaces like wood, metal, or plastic. These are commonly from soot particles that adhere to the material and create a sticky residue. Black soot marks on carpets, upholstery, curtains, and bedding signal the need for cleaning due to carbon and ash particles settling on the fabric.
2. Corrosion and deterioration
Smoke contains acidic compounds that can lead to corrosion and deterioration of various materials. Check for rusting, pitting, or peeling of metal appliances and fixtures. The chemical reaction between smoke and metal can weaken and damage it over time. Plastic items, including toys and containers, may also show signs of cracking, melting, or warping.
Take note: Your electronics aren’t safe either. Smoke-induced damage can cause short-circuiting, malfunctioning, or failure of electronic devices like computers, TVs, or phones. You should refrain from using them the moment signs of damage appear.
3. Odor and residue
Persistent smoky, burnt, or sour smells may linger even after airing out your property, as smoke can release lingering volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air and on surfaces. A greasy, black, or gray film covering surfaces and powdery, white, or gray ash are the types of residues that signal that you need a professional to clean smoke-damaged walls.
If you don’t find any residue but can still smell unpleasant odors, it’s indicative that smoke damaged something within your home. After all, the smoke that can seep into hidden or hard-to-reach areas, such as behind walls, under floors, or inside ducts and pipes,
4. Persistent coughing and wheezing
Smoke damage can wreak havoc on your health. Persistent coughing and wheezing indicate possible lung and airway irritation from smoke damage.
Exposure to toxic materials in smoke, such as carbon monoxide, ammonia, formaldehyde, and asbestos, can lead to health issues. These can interfere with oxygen delivery and can lead to damage to your tissues and organ failure. Seek medical attention for symptoms like headaches, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and eye irritation to avoid any complications.
How Professional Smoke Damage Restoration Can Help
Efficient smoke damage removal requires more than just surface-level cleaning, especially when considering environmental factors such as climate and particulate pollution. Getting expert help from a restoration company in Utah can be invaluable.
Professional restoration companies employ advanced techniques and equipment to assess the types of fire damage and address the different aspects of smoke damage. They use dedicated cleaning agents to effectively remove smoke residues, even from hard-to-reach places.
When choosing a smoke damage restoration company, you must consider their experience, certifications, and reputation. Local references and reviews from other Utahns with similar challenges can provide valuable insights.
You can also research if the company adheres to industry standards and has the necessary licenses. If possible, you could ask if they can do a free inspection or estimate and compare their quotations to find the best value.
Reclaim Your Space
In the aftermath of a fire, recognizing the signs of smoke damage and acting fast are the keys to restoring your property and peace of mind. The effects can slowly grow worse over time and risk your health.
Seeking professional assistance from experts like All Dry can make a significant difference. We offer comprehensive smoke damage restoration services tailored to the unique conditions of Bear River, UT, and nearby cities.
Our expertise goes beyond surface cleaning. Our process is thorough to address visible and hidden damage fully. Contact us today to get started on your property’s restoration.