Fire and smoke damage can be disastrous to your home or office. Fire travels through the building in mere minutes and penetrates flooring, walls and ceilings. Smoke is a combination of particles and chemicals caused by incomplete burning of carbon-containing constituents. If your home or office has been through a fire you need to know how smoke damage can affect your business.
Smoke not only leaves a lingering odor, it can be very dangerous if inhaled. Smoke contains various hazardous chemicals including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter (soot). It can also contain acid gases, nitrogen oxides, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide, metals and dioxins. While inhaling these types of chemicals can be hazardous to anyone, it is particularly concerning to individuals with cardiovascular or respiratory conditions (asthma, emphysema, or other lung problems) as well as fetuses, infants, children, and the elderly. Smoke damage can depend on the type of fire that invaded your business. Fire from natural substances such as wood or its products will produce gray or black residue. This is easy to remove with a dry sponge or vacuum cleaner. However, smoke from synthetic materials produces oily residue which is toxic if inhaled and far more difficult to eliminate
If the fire was not too severe, you may be able to do some of the cleanup yourself. Safety is of utmost importance; first, consult the proper authorities before entering the building to make sure it’s safe. Next; ventilate the building; open windows and use industrial fans pointed towards windows and doors. Do not use the HVAC system as this will spread smoke damage even further. Starting at the top of the building and working down, remove unsalvageable materials. Cabinets, woodwork, appliances and non-porous furniture can be wiped down. Soot can be wiped clean with a dry chemical sponge. Use a vinegar and water mixture solution spray to scrub away stains.
While some electrical equipment may seem untouched, smoke can creep into crevices and short out electronics causing them to overheat. Have an expert examine your computers, business machines and other office equipment before using them.
Fire and smoke damage is a complicated thing. While it may appear safe and easy to handle, smoke can infiltrate other parts of the building as it seeps into air ducts causing damage to areas not in the path of the fire. A professional is trained to locate all areas affected by the fire and then remove the soot, smoke damage and noxious odors. If firefighters were called in to put out the fire, you will need someone who can repair any water damage. Soil-Away Cleaning and Restoration is the right choice for property disaster repairs. They are a well-respected company with over 25 years of service. Soil-Away team will not only detect all the damage, they will repair it back to normal. Service is available 24/7. Call them at (603) 641-6555.
Written by E. Aceves