Soot damage is quite common after a fire. Soot is a black powdery or flaky substance that forms through incomplete combustion. Fine soot particles can cling to surfaces such as walls and ceilings, as well as building contents. Soot can be difficult, sometimes impossible to remove.
There are usually two types of soot: dry and oily. A quick test to determine which type of soot you’re faced with is to simply run your finger across a soot-covered surface. If it smears, the soot is oily.
Oily soot is generally cleaned with degreasing agents. Dry soot can be cleaned with dry cleaning sponges. Sometimes soot will be dry in one room, but oily in another. It all depends on the types of materials that burned.
Always begin cleanup by removing as much dry soot as possible using a HEPA vacuum cleaner and/or a lambswool duster.
Jon-Don carries several products specifically designed for the removal of soot from a variety of surfaces. In some instances, due to the severity of the soot damage or the nature of the item with the damage, it may not be possible to remove the sooty residue and the item will have to be discarded. Always check with the property owner before discarding any soot-damaged contents.
Training Opportunity: Fire and Smoke Technician is a hands-on course designed to teach restoration professionals how to clean and restore buildings that have been affected by fire damage. You’ll learn the in’s and outs of fire damage restoration from assessing the situation, planning the scope of the job, to marketing your services to adjusters and providing competitive estimates that help you land the job.