A little soot goes a long way
Thankfully, we have amazing technology like smoke and fire alarms, both which have saved many lives and do a great job alerting us to threats. Home and places of business should all be equipped with fire alarms, extinguishers, and escape equipment.
The volunteer firemen in our communities are the first to respond, but also the last line of defense. These amazing people, many of which are our neighbors, respond at any time of day or night to quickly extinguish flames.
These indispensable resources and people have been so skilled and proficient, that the incidents of total fire loss have declined compared to the number of structure fires.
That said, small fires are still a large problem.
As the fire is burning, it produces soot in the smoke and vapor cloud that it created. Soot is the residue of the burnt material that was converted to heat or vapor.
That sooty residue makes the qualities of the materials burned stand out more.
Naturally occurring materials that come from God’s creation tend to burn more completely. They produce a grey ash that is “cleaner”. The natural soot is also more powdery and generally easier to remove.
Materials that are not naturally occurring such as plastic, rubber, and artificial fibers generally include varying amounts of petroleum bases. Those types of materials burn slower and often burn less completely than natural materials.
The soot that is left behind is much messier, often being oily, greasy, and smears when touched. This soot is much more difficult to remove.
More care and effort are needed to remove and properly clean this type of soot, which is why special products, tools, and supplies are required.
If you were to have the unfortunate event of a fire, try to refrain from cleaning it. Using improper methods and tools can actually “set” the soot and staining in surfaces.
Call your friendly neighborhood SERVPRO professional for a quick, FREE and thorough fire damage consultation. We can assist with determining what can be cleaned, what methods to use and what results to expect.