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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Recovering Items From Soot

4/21/2020 (Permalink)

Cleaning up soot residue must be done as quickly as possible

Handling fire loss at your Barrington Hills, IL, property can be challenging. One of the sneakiest obstacles you'll encounter after a fire is soot damage. Here's how to find it and what to do about it.

Where Can Soot Hide?

Soot occurs when organic materials such as metal, plastic, paper, and furniture partially burn. It can hide in a wide variety of places, including the following:

  • Inside the wires and access buttons of electronics and personal devices
  • On clothing and in fabrics, including upholstery and drapery
  • On flat surfaces, such as desktops, countertops, walls, and even the ceiling

Soot is so fine that it can cling to cloth for days, even after it's run through a washing machine. Soot proteins can cling so tight to walls and similar surfaces that you might have to go over the area three or more times before dislodging the soot. In general, soot particles can circulate in the air for months after a fire loss. For these reasons, it's usually safer and more efficient to enlist the help of a professional fire damage mitigation company.

What Valuables Can You Repair or Clean?
A trained fire restoration company may be able to recover a variety of items after soot or smoke damage:

  • Copy machines
  • Postage meters
  • Carpet areas
  • Floor tiles
  • Furniture
  • Windows
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Vacuum cleaners

Technicians can walk you through the restoration process from start to finish using sensors, tools, and techniques to ensure your safety.

What Valuables Should You Replace?
While some staples of your office can be repaired, others most likely cannot. If soot lingers on the following everyday items, be prepared to replace them:

  • Disposable cleaning wipes for hard surfaces, microfiber cloths
  • HEPA filters
  • Bare metal surfaces
  • Deodorizers
  • Safety gloves, glasses, and masks
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Frayed chargers for laptops and devices

Know what to expect after a partial fire loss. Soot can be toxic and tricky to clean. Ultimately, your goals should be to mitigate business interruption, ensure the safety of your employees and recover your valuables as soon as possible.

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