The Danger of Different Types of Smoke Damage

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The damage a fire causes to a property remains even long after it is put out. Smoke and soot have acidic compositions that could result to long-lasting harm to your home, belongings and family. Smoke can corrode metal and damage marble and glass, as well as discolor porous materials such as clothing, drywall, floors and fabric. Additionally, odors from smoke damage smell unpleasant and are dangerous to human health.

The experts at ServiceMaster discuss the different types of smoke damage and how they can be harmful.

Health Hazards of Smoke Damage

Smoke can contain tiny, microscopic particles which, when inhaled, can cause lung damage. Those most vulnerable to the effects of smoke damage include children, teenagers and the elderly. The following symptoms may be experienced by those who inhale smoke:

Smoke has an acidic composition which causes discoloration and damage on surfaces. The same acidic content can result to severe skin irritation in humans. 

Three Different Types of Smoke

Each type of smoke presents a different hassle, but all three result in long-term property damage if immediate and proper solutions aren’t applied.

Wet Smoke

  • This type of smoke is produced by low-heat, smoldering fires.

  • Material left unburned by the low-heat fire emerges into the air as thick, black, sooty smoke, containing a very harsh odor and sticking readily to surfaces.

  • Wet smoke settling on surfaces leaves a very smeary remainder which is difficult to remove, causing invisible damage and smells.

Dry Smoke

  • This type of smoke results from hot, fast-burning fires from a natural-material source such as cotton fabric, paper or wood.

  • While dry smoke is acidic by nature, it leaves a powdery residue which is easier to remove compared to that of wet or oily smoke.

  • However, dry smoke's powdery remainder can easily get into cracks and be absorbed by porous materials, causing hidden smoke damage, stains, smells, etching (acidic damage) and discoloration.

  • Dry smoke can cause abrasive damage to glass, marble and soft surfaces which are semi-porous by nature.

Oily Smoke

  • This type of smoke, also called "petroleum residue", stems from fuel-sourced fires which produce dangerous and toxic fumes.

  • Fuel-sourced fumes typically cause confusion, dizziness, nausea, nose and throat irritation, vomiting and more.

  • Oily smoke is typically produced by printing companies, auto repair garages and other establishments which deal with flammable fuels daily.

  • You may be at risk of oily smoke damage if your building operates a furnace. Puffback from furnaces that don't ignite correctly blows smoke and soot into the surrounding area, resulting in a very dense residue which is usually sticky, stinky and difficult to clean.

  • Protein smoke is a type of oily smoke which often originates from cooking protein-rich foods. It can easily cover large areas and penetrate porous items such as clothing, carpets and tiles. Protein smoke will also coat non-porous surfaces with a sticky, foul-smelling residue.

  • Cooking is the leading cause of home structure fires, which makes protein smoke a common occurrence in homes especially during the holidays when a lot of cooking activity is involved.

  • Since protein smoke is hard to see, removing it would require professional smoke removal services.

How to Deal With Smoke Damage

All three types of smoke are harmful, which makes proper and professional removal important. Untreated smoke damage causes lasting damage and health concerns, so contact a restoration and cleanup company right away. 

Fire Damage Legal Liability

Contact Us for Smoke Damage Removal in Fort Myers, Florida

ServiceMaster by Wright is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (239) 431-9947 to respond to smoke damage removal emergencies in Fort Myers, Florida and the surrounding areas.

Don't know what to do next? We do. Contact us today.

To discover more about fire, soot and smoke damage solutions, connect with us online or visit our main office at 6451 Arc Way, Fort Myers, FL 33966. You may also check our website to find the location nearest to you.