Fire and Smoke Can Cover Everything

During a fire, smoke can permeate walls and other surfaces and drift through household air ducts where it becomes trapped.  If not professionally remediated, the smoke odor can reoccur.

Soot is oily and easily stains carpets, draperies, and other household textiles.  For this reason, you must remove it before you attempt to clean or deodorize items.  Even after cleaning smoke odor may remain in clothing, furniture, carpets, and draperies unless they are properly deodorized before smoke restoration cleaning is completed. 


Believe it or not- there are different types of fires that produce different types of soot. For example, high oxygen fires produce dry soot and low oxygen fires produce greasy, oily soot. Clothes can be restored by professional dry cleaners and carpets can be cleaned and deodorized. However, structures and personal belongings require a different approach. Specialty smoke restoration techniques and equipment are used to remove soot from these items. Drywall and wood are porous materials which can trap soot and odor inside. Improper cleaning of these materials can ingrain the contaminants further into the structure. 

 Related: Puff Back: What is it and How to Prevent It

Even after a fire has been put out, residual smoke and soot can continue to burn materials through a chemical process call etching or pitting. Improper cleaning can leave lingering residue behind that continues to damage your home and belongings. Professional fire restoration experts use specialized equipment such as dry chemical sponges, ozone machines, and air scrubbers. Dry chemical sponges are used for porous materials such as walls, ceilings, and cabinets where wet cleaning is impossible. Whereas, wet or damp cleaning is appropriate for cleaning tile, glass, and metal. 

Chemical sponge smoke ceilingTech cleaning soot door

What to Do After a Fire

  • Corrosive by-products can cause irreversible etching in as little as 72 hours. Call for professional help.
  • If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.
  • Clean Formica, chrome, porcelain, and aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing or etching.
  • Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
  • Tape damp cheesecloth over returns and supply registers to capture loose soot in the air.
  • Discard any open food packages.
  • If the electricity is off, clean out the refrigerator and leave doors open.
  • Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified restoration cleaner.

What NOT to Do

  • Do not touch anything with your bare hands. Oil from your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing additional damage.
  • Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning could compound soot residue.
  • Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Do not use electrical appliances until having them checked.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.

Related: Top Fire Safety Tips

ServiceMaster Dynamic Cleaning is here to help you take care of these jobs properly.  We provide fast, professional service when there is a fire damage emergency. Often the most valuable items are the personal possessions within the home that cannot be replaced.  But if pack-out services are needed, our company utilizes a state-of-the-art computerized system with barcodes to itemize, inventory, and track your contents. We can clean and deodorize on-site or move the contents to our in-house storage.  Our facility is equipped with a Cleaning Room with Ultra-Sonic Technology, Deodorization Room, Ozone Room, Drying Room, Area Rug Cleaning Zone, and Climate-Controlled Storage Vaults.  We can restore your valuable personal belongings and ensure odor-free results.  Whether electronics, a wedding dress, or a unique, one-of-a-kind item; we're here for you!

Service Highlights:
Our expert technicians employ the most advanced technology to give you the best disaster restoration, cleaning, and reconstruction services possible.

24 Hour Immediate Service Response

Fire Damage Restoration

Fire Damage Cleaning

Structural Cleaning

Complete Contents/Personal Property Cleaning

Ozone Treatment

Duct Cleaning

Soot Removal and Cleaning

Smoke Removal

Odor Removal

Content Inventory and Pack-Out

Board Up Services

Contact us or call now to speak with a fire damage expert - 1.800.865-5157