Soot damage cleanup on wood can be particularly challenging. Being a naturally porous material, soot and odors tend to permeate the surface and usually require aggressive cleaning and deodorization methods.
There are typically two types of wood that professional restorers are tasked with cleaning. Each type of wood requires specific products and procedures when it comes to soot removal.
Wood that is covered in a sealer or varnish. Most types of wood furniture (desks, dressers, tables, cabinets, railings, etc.) are finished wood pieces. Soot damage cleanup on this type of surface involves a cleaning agent that is gently worked into the grain of the wood where it suspends the soil for easy removal.
Has no sealer or varnish, and it is far more susceptible to damage from smoke odors and staining from soot. Unfinished wood generally includes structural wood and the insiders of drawers and cabinets. Unfinished wood may also be prone to water stains, so care must be taken during cleaning and restoration efforts.
Most often sealing the surface of the wood (whether it is finished or unfinished) will be necessary to lock away odors. If the property owner does not want an unfinished wood surface to be sealed (such as the walls of a log cabin or wood beams exposed for architectural aesthetics), cleaning and deodorization can be particularly challenging. Complete soot and odor removal should not be guaranteed.
Finished wood is covered with a layer of varnish or protective coating. When involved in a fire or smoke damage situation, damage around the handles is a common pre-existing condition which should be documented.
Do to the different roughness and materials of the unfinished wood along with the different pressures and temperatures of fires, you may need to try any or all of these suggestions. It is often desirable to seal the wood after cleaning.
For large areas you might want to forego the above recommendation in steps 1 through 6 and use a media blaster for quicker results.
If wood has been burned, it will probably need replacement.
For more information or assistance in selecting products for your restoration job, please contact a Jon-Don Restoration Specialist at 800-556-6366.
Degrease-All offers a special blend of tough cleaning agents formulated to remove silt and soot from walls, fixtures, sealed wood, painted surfaces, yet gentle enough to be used as a traffic lane cleaner. It also removes heavy smoke odors.
These heavy-duty vulcanized natural rubber sponges excel at all types of cleaning applications, especially surfaces damaged by soot, smoke or fires. Wait until you see how much soot and dirt this sponge can power through on your restoration site!
Unsmoke Woodcraft Restoration Cleaner cleans and deodorizes smoke-damaged wood surfaces while simultaneously placing the essential moisture and oils removed by heat and smoke. This gentle gel-based cleaner can also be used on metal, plastic, and fiberglass.
This 100% lambswool duster catches and holds dust better than any other duster on the market. It is economical and can be washed when heavily soiled.
A natural, gentle, vegetable-oil-based cleaner, Murphys contains no harsh detergents or strong alkalis. It's kind to surfaces and hands, and works like a dream on wood floors!
For rapid, targeted odor control, turn to Fresh Wave IAQ Air and Surface Spray. It instantly bonds to and eliminates odor molecules in the air and those that have penetrated and/or are resting on fabrics and surfaces.
Fire damage restoration pros love B-I-N because it seals in the acrid smell of fire, as well as sealing in water, soot, and grease stains that plague such jobs.
9-D-9 is a general-purpose smoke odor counteractant specially formulated to manage fire, smoke, and other strong odors. Blended with the finest-quality ingredients, 9-D-9 helps to detoxify and knock down malodors quickly and efficiently.
To restore the oil in wood after heat/smoke damage—or if age or lack of humidity upset the moisture balance—get Luster Lemon. Apply with a damp cloth, leave on momentarily, then wipe with a dry cloth. Luster Lemon is ideal for restoring wood with moderate smoke damage.