Think you can live with the smell? Here’s what you should know about smoke odor removal.
One of the most challenging, and often most surprising aspects of dealing with the aftermath of a fire is managing smoke odor removal. When we think of fires we tend to imagine the burned and charred remains of a home, but when the home isn’t a loss, and it can be repaired and restored, it’s not just the damage from the burning that’s left behind. The smoke damage alone can cause a building to be demolished.
Instead of fighting with the smoke damage and trying to get rid of it with a bunch of crazy concoctions, take a look at some information we’ve put together for you. It’s really the secret to effectively removing smoke odor.
A Little Info About Fire Smoke
The smoke from a fire is made up of particles of carbon and particles of the fuel being burned, whether that’s wood, synthetic materials like plastics and carpeting, or grease and protein from a kitchen fire. It also contains gases, ash, and soot. Each fire is different and therefore the smoke damage is different.
Learning about the different types of fire and smoke will help explain some of the different processes when it comes to smoke damage and the odor that goes with it.
The easiest way to understand the difference is by comparing low oxygen fires to high oxygen fires. When the oxygen levels are lower, the fire smolders and creates a wet, smoky residue. When there is a lot of oxygen, or a high oxygen fire, the residue is dry and dusty.
One thing to know is that no matter the type of fire, the smoke and soot is highly corrosive and will discolor and/or damage whatever surface it’s on, and the damage will continue and will get worse the longer the residue is left untreated.
Understanding the Smell Factor
When fire burns the heat is so intense it opens up the pores in wood and other porous materials, allowing them to fully absorb the smoke and the odor. This is one of the reasons smoke odor is so pervasive.
Treating the Smoke Odor
There are many ways to address smoke odor, but the professionals in the restoration business have it down to a bit of a science. Here’s what it includes:
- Soot and residue cleaning – this step in the process must come first to ensure all of the residue is cleaned up. Taking care to remove all of it will help get rid of the odor. Using special dusters, chemical sponges, wipes, and cleaning products, restoration specialists can remove the soot and smoke without further damaging your belongings or your home.
- Ozone treatment – ozone is a form of oxygen, though instead of having 2 atoms it has 3. When an ozone generator puts ozone into the air after a fire, the 3rd atom is released and is able to attach itself to nearby substances, in this case the smoke and smoke odor lingering in the air, and it oxidizes that substance and makes it neutral, eliminating the smell. Pretty cool, right?
- Dry cleaning and laundering – the fabrics in your house will absorb as much smoke odor as anything else. When you clean them, you must use professional and specialized products created to get rid of smoke odor. Laundering all of your clothing, sheets, towels, blankets, and linens is the first step. The second step is to have your restoration company professionally clean your carpeting, flooring, and furniture.
The first thing you can do to get rid of that smell of smoke in your home is to open the windows and doors and let as much fresh air in as possible. The next step is to have a professional restoration company use their high tech equipment, professional knowledge, and extensive experience to do the rest.
Don’t let smoke odor keep you from enjoying your home again after a fire. Contact Can-Restore for help with smoke odor removal by calling (770) 735-2695.