Do I Need to Hire A Professional to Handle Smoke and Soot Damage?

We have all heard about the dangers of smoke from a fire.  Smoke inhalation kills more people than the actual fire. But what about soot? We know it leaves a residue behind that is difficult to remove but is it hazardous?

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What is soot? It is a fine black powder or flaky substance comprised of impure carbons resulting from the incomplete combustion of fuels like wood, oil, gas, diesel, grease, etc. It’s exact ingredients varies and is dependent on the composition of the articles within the fire.  For example, smoke from burning wood has more than 100 chemicals in common with cigarette smoke.The acidic nature of soot discolors and/or corrodes a large variety of materials and should make us wary of it’s potential for adverse health effects. After a fire, the acid from the soot has traveled throughout your home and is causing damage from the moment it touches any surface, clothing, walls, appliances and flooring.  The longer it is allowed to remain in place the harder it is to remove.

  • Soot classified as PM 2.5 — particulate matter 2.5 mm in diameter — has been linked to significantly increased risk of death from lung cancer and other severe respiratory ailments. Fine particles of this size and smaller evade the body’s natural defense mechanisms and migrate deep into the lungs.
  • Airborne particulate is invisible.
  • Soot outdoors is regulated by the EPA. It is a particulate matter classified as a “criteria pollutant” and is an air pollutant for which the agency has established a National Ambient Air Quality Standard.


What should you do? Talk to your insurance company. Once you have reported the claim, you may decide it is more cost effective to try and restore personal belongings. You may be anxious to clean your home after a fire, but unless you take the time to get professional advice, you may be wasting your efforts or creating further damage.  It may not be enough for you to wash your personal possessions  the traditional way. It doesn’t always effectively remove stains and odors left behind from a fire if soot has set into the fabrics.  At an average cost savings of 80%  compared to replacement, textile restoration can be very cost effective and enable you to use more of your coverage in other areas. Restoration companies can provide hints to prevent further damage, help determine which items can or cannot be refurbished, and provide estimates and services for thoroughly cleaning, deodorizing and rebuilding your home.

Professional Restoration Services of Tampa Bay, Inc. can help get your life back to normal. PRS will work with your insurance company.  With the use of modern technology, trained staff and experience PRS can get the job done right the first time. PRS handles damages as a result of water, wind, fire and mold. Being a licensed building inspector and contractor they know what needs to be done and how to do it.                                      

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What PRS has to offer:

  • The Esporta Wash System The Esporta Wash System is capable of decontaminating soft contents from all categories of flooding – including sewage and can restore the damage caused by smoke and soot from a fire.  The decontamination efficacy (this means how well it removes the contaminants) has been validated by numerous third party laboratory tests performed by leading hygienists, universities, and industry consultants.  The combination of patented technology, recipes, and environmentally friendly chemistry allows operators to restore items to ‘food grade clean’. For more information about the Esporta visit: Restore – Don’t Replace
  • Hydroxyl generator can purify and deodorize the air.  It is an ultra violet disinfection process that has been in used for hospitals and the food industry for years. This chemical-free disinfection/decontamination system leaves no byproducts behind and rids indoor air and porous surfaces (such as fabric, wood and cement) of volatile contaminants.
  •  Dry ice blasting, a non abrasive cleaning process used to remove soot and mold damage.


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