Are you aware of the dangers of smoke damage in your home?
Home fires and the resulting soot and smoke damage can seriously harm your property. Without treatment the smoke, soot and odor tend to stick around for quite a long time and because of the acidity of the soot will damage items more the longer they remain in contact. Glassware, dishes and metals are especially susceptible to this etching damage. An area often overlooked is the HVAC system which is generally coated with soot during a home fire. This means that every time the HVAC system operates additional soot is deposited throughout the building. After suffering smoke damage it is best to bring in professional remediators trained in soot removal and odor remediation.
Let’s discover the dangers of smoke damage in homes.
Smoke comprises of several gases and particles that result from the incomplete combustion of materials containing carbon. The most common gases found in some are mentioned below.
- Carbon Dioxide
- Carbon Monoxide
Some other chemicals found in smoke are as follows.
- Nitrogen oxides
- Sulfur dioxide
- Acid gases
- polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
Effects of Smoke on Humans
Eyes, nose, and throat are the areas of a human body, which are most vulnerable to soot. This soot exposure can also result in severe nausea. Prolonged exposure to smoke and soot can have serious effects on your lung function, resulting in heavy breathing, headaches, and in some cases a heart condition called angina. It is in your best interest to evacuate any areas that are contaminated. An easy way to quickly check for soot is to gently wipe a white cloth on the surfaces in each room. Soot will become visible on the cloth allowing you to identify affected areas.
Effects of Smoke on Property
Immediately after a fire visible discoloration and odor are the most obvious affects to the property. As mentioned earlier, it’s very important to treat crystals, fiberglass and metals to prevent etching as quickly as possible. This can generally be done by a trained remediator in a couple hours even before the insurance company has sent an adjuster. It’s an important first step in mitigating the damage from the loss. As far as odor is concerned the remediation company should be able to counteract some of the odor initially if needed. Once the full cleaning process is complete, sometimes it’s necessary to seal surfaces and re-paint to eliminate the odor completely.