Soot Damage Cleaning

Soot damage is typically the first and most obvious sign of fire damage to walls, ceilings, carpeting and building contents. The black powdery or flaky substance is created through incomplete combustion and can stain and damage surfaces, posing health hazards when inhaled. Fortunately, prompt and proper cleaning can minimize soot and smoke damage and restore items to their pre-fire condition.

The first step is to vacuum the affected areas to remove loose soot and ash particles. This should be done gently to avoid pushing the particles deeper into floorboards, carpeting and other surface areas. It is also helpful to open windows to promote air circulation and remove any lingering odors.

Next, a dry sponge should be used to scrub the surfaces to remove any remaining soot and smoke particles. You can find sponges specifically made for this purpose, or use a large regular sponge impregnated with a cleaner. Once the sponge is saturated, change it out for a clean one.

Once the soot is removed, a solution of commercial soot or smoke remover, rubbing alcohol, white vinegar or paint thinner in warm water should be applied to a rag and used to wipe down all surfaces in the affected area. This should be repeated as needed until there are no visible signs of smoke or soot on the surfaces. The last step is to rinse the surface with clean water. As always, it is a good idea to wear rubber gloves when handling any cleaning solutions, and a dust mask when vacuuming or scrubbing.  soot damage cleaning