7 Signs You Need Professional Smoke Residue Restoration

What if it only took a moment to completely ruin your home?

Soot on the ceiling after a kitchen fire.

Small fires from candles, ovens and electrical damage can quickly turn into a major inferno. Even if you or the fire department put the flames out very quickly, there will be smoke residue that may have soaked into every inch of your home. Fortunately, professionals can remove smoke residue from both your home and the majority of your prized possessions. If you’re wondering if smoke residue restoration is right for you, here are a few major signs of smoke residue.

What is Smoke Residue Restoration?

We’ve put together a guide so you can tell if your home needs smoke residue restoration. Before we go any further though, let’s define exactly what this restoration is.

Simply put, this is a restoration service designed to remove any and all smoke residue from your home. Such residue can come from major fires but also from smaller sources (such as candles, ovens and cigarette smoke). Restoration begins by cleaning all of the visible services. Next, professionals use special equipment to remove smoke from inside walls and other areas that are hard to reach. The final step is to seal all of the surfaces. In the event that any smoke residue remains, sealing the area will keep it from seeping out and making your home smell bad. Professionals will do their best to remove residue from clothing and other personal items. However, these are harder to clean than floors and walls, and some items may simply need to be replaced.

Now that you know what smoke residue restoration is, here are a few signs that you need to call the pros into your home.

1. Dirty Walls or Ceilings

Sometimes, fire and smoke damage is hard to find. However, sometimes it’s very obvious! If you know exactly where the fire or smoke originated, check the walls and ceilings in that area. Hot air rises, and unless a breeze adjusted its course, the smoke would go straight up. Such residue is easy to see on light walls, but may be harder to see on dark walls.

2. Outer Walls and Windows

That hot air we mentioned can still go in some unexpected directions. For example, cold air moving below hot air can move the smoke to your outside windows and walls. This is actually one of the most common ways that fire and smoke damage travels. Even if the fire was contained in the dead center of a room, it is worth checking all of the exterior walls and windows for hidden smoke residue. Obviously, such residue is easier to see during the day, so we recommend waiting until morning to make your inspection.

3. Blinds and Drapes

Smoke has an annoying way of finding the cooler areas in your house. That’s one of the reasons that it often ends up behind your blinds and drapes. The area directly behind blinds and drapes is cooler than the rest of the room. This means smoke is likely to rest here, and you may not notice because the residue is invisible from the front. Areas such as this may absorb thirdhand smoke even if no one has smoked in the room for some time!

4. Drawers and Closets

So far, we have focused on exposed areas. And if you look hard enough, you can see a clear path that the smoke made to get there. One unexpected area for smoke damage is your drawers and closets. The reason smoke ends up here has everything to do with physics. The heat from a fire excites various molecules and sends them floating through the air. In cooler areas though, the molecules fall down. Seemingly-enclosed areas are usually the coolest areas in a room, making them a natural target for the smoke.

5. Manmade Materials

Just about any surface can receive annoying smoke residue. However, it’s going to be much easier to see on synthetic materials than natural materials. The short explanation is that these materials attract more smoke particles because of their particular ionization qualities. If there are synthetic materials in a room you suspect has smoke residue, these should be the first things you check out. Keep in mind that synthetic materials may become permanently stained by smoke damage after intense or prolonged exposure. Therefore, these materials may need to be completely replaced if they cannot be restored to their former glory.

6. In the Ducts

When you’re inspecting for fire and smoke damage, you are basically tracing possible paths that the smoke may have taken. This is why it’s crucial to inspect your ductwork. Even when the air is not blowing, cool ducts serve as a magnet for various smoke particles in a room. Once the air does start blowing, these ducts can take the smoke from one room and spread it all throughout your house. In a way, this is one of the main reasons that you should hire a professional to inspect for smoke residue damage. You may have no idea how many parts of your home have been damaged, even if you thought it was contained to a single room.

7. Around Nail Heads

Nail heads in the ceiling can be a real nuisance to a homeowner. After all, you spent a lot of time and effort making sure these unsightly nails are invisible to your guests. However, nail heads serve as a magnet (quite literally) for smoke residue. Even if you cannot see the nail itself, you will be able to easily tell where smoke has gathered around each nail. The residue will look like an outline around the nails. After a proper restoration, such residue will no longer be visible.

Smoke Residue Restoration: A Whole New Home

Now you know how to detect signs of smoke residue in your home. But do you know who can help you take care of it? We specialize in restoring homes and businesses damaged by fire, smoke, mold and even natural disasters. To see how we can make your damaged home as good as new, just contact us today!