A fire of any size in your home can cause significant damage because of the far-reaching effects of the smoke. Some of the smoke damage is obvious, while in other cases, some of your belongings may appear to be unaffected by smoke or fire damage. Here’s what you need to know about items in your home that are affected by smoke and how professional smoke damage restoration in Bethany Beach, DE, can help.

How Smoke Damages Items

Smoke is created as a byproduct of incomplete combustion. It travels until all the energy is used, and it moves to cooler temperatures, which is why it moves upwards and outwards. While smoke is technically the vapor and gases that are given off during the combustion process, soot is the fine particles that mix in with the vapors. The soot also rises with the smoke and then settles on the surfaces all around. Smoke and soot are dangerous because its generally acidic, which means it can quickly cause oxidation, discoloration, pitting, etching, and corrosion of numerous surfaces. Quick response after a fire is essential because of the speed at which smoke and soot can damage your belongings.

Porous Materials

Porous materials such as curtains, upholstery, and carpet require immediate attention (within minutes) in order to salvage the items. Any porous or synthetic materials can stain within minutes and be impossible to return to their original state. In some cases, curtains or upholstery can be salvaged if they’re cleaned using a professional vacuum with special attachments and filters. Clothes and bedding are either cleaned using special tools or chemicals or thrown away. Dangerous chemicals can remain in these items, so in many cases, they’re thrown away for safety purposes. Plastic materials will often begin to discolor in minutes if they’re not wiped down with a cleaning solution right away.

Surfaces, Furniture, Walls, and Flooring

Other materials need to be addressed within hours or days to prevent permanent staining or damage to the materials. These items include painted walls, wooden furniture, and flooring. Metal surfaces will also begin to corrode or rust if they’re not cleaned up within a day or two. In some cases, drywall and exposed wood can be salvaged using special cleaning solutions that remove the soot from porous surfaces. But if the soot sits too long on wood or other hard porous surfaces, it can sometimes be impossible to remove.

Non-Porous Materials

While it’s ideal to have smoke damage restoration services started immediately after a fire, there are some cases in which items can be saved even if it’s been weeks since the damage occurred. Non-porous surfaces can sometimes be saved, but the longer soot is imbedded in hard porous surfaces and anything with fibers, the more likely it is that you’ll need to replace those items. The acid in the soot can actually cause the material to deteriorate, and the smell itself can be impossible to remove.

Importance of Professional Smoke Remediation

A major reason why you should get immediate professional smoke restoration in Bethany Beach, DE, is to increase the number of items that can be saved. But it’s also important to realize that exposure to smoke and soot without the proper gear can be hazardous to your health. You could be exposed to dangerous chemicals in soot that was released during combustion. Exposure can occur through inhalation, ingestion, or through the skin and eyes. To avoid dangerous health problems, be sure to contact United Restoration, Inc., if you need smoke damage restoration services.