5 Effects of Smoke Damage on Your House (and Health)

effects of smoke damage

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After a fire, smoke damage may not be the first concern that comes to mind.You’re likely to be overwhelmed and preoccupied following a larger one, for example, and you might be tempted to think the damage is gone once the flames have been extinguished in a smaller one. In either case, acting quickly to remove smoke can allow you to salvage items that would otherwise be damaged. The longer you wait, the more expensive restoration and replacements become.

It’s not just your belongings at stake, either. Failing to remove smoke can cause serious health problems, especially if you have pre-existing respiratory conditions. For these reasons, your priority after a fire should be to contact a fire restoration company. This guide will explain why you need these professionals to help assess the extent of the damage, make time-sensitive repairs, and clean stubborn residue from clothing, furniture, walls, and upholstery.

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3 Types of Smoke Damage

As fires burn, they release gases and tiny solid particles as byproducts of the combustion process. These smoke particles embed themselves into cracks and porous materials, where they will remain unless removed. Anything the fire consumes makes its way into the vapors, and in a house fire, this often includes acidic, corrosive, and toxic chemicals released from synthetic materials. The accumulation of these harmful substances causes smoke damage, which may take the form of an unpleasant smell, unsightly stains, or deteriorating structures and furnishings.

The most common culprit for severe smoke damage is a house fire. It’s important to realize that even if fires are small or contained quickly, smoke and soot can easily travel through the HVAC system or be carried through the home on air currents. There are several other sources guilty of damaging your home, too, including:

1. Cigarette Smoke

Although smoking may not seem as dangerous as a house fire, frequent smoking actually causes some of the most insidious property damage. The danger is heightened when someone in the household frequently smokes in the same room, as doing so can permanently stain the wall and ceiling.

2. Wildfires

If a wildfire gets close enough to your home to force an evacuation, you may need to worry about smoke damage. Wildfires produce massive quantities of soot, and these smoke particles can quickly envelop your property even if the flames don’t get inside.

smoke damage from wildfire

After returning from an evacuation, it’s smart to seek professional restoration services, especially if the smell of smoke lingers or if there are visible soot stains. Deep cleaning can remove the odor and the soot before they become permanent.

3. Nearby Structural Fires

As is clear from the example of wildfires, a fire does not have to take place inside to cause problems. Any fire that takes place near the site of your home or business could pose a threat, so never ignore the smell of smoke, and call a fire restoration company if you’re in doubt.
Every fire should be investigated, no matter how quickly you threw water on it. A trusted restoration team will help make sure your home is safe to reenter and that there aren’t any harmful side effects lurking behind the scenes.
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5 Negative Effects of Smoke Damage

Smoke damage affects every home differently, and depends on a range of factors like the type of fire and the type of construction. A home constructed almost entirely from wood is extremely susceptible to permanent damage from smoke and soot, for example. That’s because its walls are made of porous material that absorbs harmful chemicals, meaning it’s important to prevent future issues such as:

1. Health Problems

Constantly inhaling toxins is bad for your health and can lead to allergic reactions, respiratory issues, skin irritation, and other medical concerns. You can’t be sure your home is safe until these substances have been purged from your rooms and belongings.

2. Ruined Furnishings

Wood and upholstery are among the quickest materials to succumb to smoke damage, and metal appliances are also at risk if corrosive chemicals are sitting on their surface for an uninvited amount of time.
furniture damaged from smoke

3. Unpleasant Odor

One of the most telling signs of smoke damage is the persistent smell of smoke, which can lower property value, irritate medical conditions such as migraines or asthma, and put off house guests. Whether from cigarettes or a fire, this aroma can be extremely hard to remove without help.

4. Structural Problems

Aside from being unsightly and unkind to the nose, smoke can also induce structural failure, especially when dealing with wooden structures, which practically absorb toxins into themselves. This factor can put an otherwise-salvageable home at risk of deterioration if the offending substances aren’t cleaned.

5. Electrical Problems

Finally, smoke’s ability to move through tiny spaces and cracks means that it can enter electrical enclosures and even damage critical circuitry. After a fire in a single room of the home, consider having an electrician inspect nearby wiring just in case.
The fact is, most people do not know how to clean up after a fire, so attempts to DIY the restoration process almost always go wrong. They use the wrong products for their items and furnishings, which often drives the chemicals deeper into the material. Working with professionals means an expert can help identify the best type of products for everything from clothing to ceilings, maximizing what can be salvaged.
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Why You Need Fire and Smoke Restoration Professionals

Professional restoration services can help fast, repairing time-sensitive issues before you’d even have identified them on your own. Just as different types of furniture demand different cleansers, some problems must be addressed far more quickly than others. For example, you may only have a day or two to save the wallpaper and some types of flooring, while other fixtures may be able to wait longer. Experienced restoration professionals will help assess your home to identify the best plan of action, then bring in the right equipment for the job.

After a fire, the last thing you should do is try to clean your property on your own. Instead, trust professionals to help save your belongings from further harm. Dry House Restoration offers 24/7 emergency assistance, and we’ll act quickly to minimize further impact on your home. Contact our team today to learn more about how our cleaning methods help prevent permanent damage.

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