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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Different Kinds of Soot SERVPRO Cleans.

8/6/2019 (Permalink)

This Wichita home looks pretty destroyed and while many materials did need to be discarded many more were able to be saved thanks to our technicians.

SERVPRO works to restore homes and businesses which have experienced fire damage all the time and in the course of this work we have encountered a plethora of causes to those fires. Gas cans in a garage going off, cigarettes on porches, leaving a fish on the stove or even a treadmill spontaneously combusting. Ultimately it doesn’t matter what the cause of the fire is, what matters is getting your Wichita home or business back in order. Please refer to our Fire Safety page and make sure you have done what you can to keep your family and home safe.

As IICRC certified fire restoration specialists reigning in the chaos and damage from a fire is our job. Typically, we utilize the cause of your fire to initialize the most effective cleaning process possible. Since SERVPRO has chemists that develop almost all of the cleaning supplies we use they are able to make very precise recommendations when needed as long as we provide the proper information.

One of the most important elements to cleaning soot left behind after a fire is identifying the type of soot we are dealing with. There are three general types of soot residues produced in a fire:

  1. Protein Residues: These residues typically occur due to overcooked or burned meat, fish or beans. The residue color range falls somewhere between yellow and brown with the texture being greasy sticking very easily to almost any surface. This can be one of the most difficult residues to clean often requiring strong water based cleaning solutions to effectively remove.
  2. Natural Substance Residue: These residues are caused by the combustion of natural substances such as paper or wood. The residue is grey to black with a dry dusty texture. Techniques such as vacuuming followed by wet cleaning are effective at cleaning and deodorizing this type of residue.
  3. Synthetic Residue: These residues are created by the burning of oil based products such as carpet, furniture, upholstery, toys or rubber. These residues are often quite thick and heavy being very black in color and smear very easily. As long as they are not touched with bare flesh they can be removed relatively easily.

Some other elements about the fire also contribute to the level of soil it produces such as:

  1. Higher temperature fires burn the fuel more efficiently. Since soot is mostly the product of incomplete combustion higher temperature fire will produce less soot.

  2. Higher temperature fires can also bake residues onto some surfaces making them very difficult to clean.

  3. High heat opens up the pores of many materials which soot gets into and those pores close as the materials cool making deodorizing very difficult.

  4. Metallic surfaces become magnetized when heated and soot particles are attracted to those surfaces since they also have an electrical charge.

If you are experiencing any kind of soil caused by a fire refer to our Fire Damage Emergency Tips and give us a call for an inspection (316) 684 -6700

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