Smoke Damage Cleanup & Odor Removal Services in Philadelphia, PA
What is Smoke Damage Cleanup?
Smoke cleanup is the process of removing stains and odors after a fire. This includes ventilating the area, purifying the air, and deodorizing items in your home. Depending on the extent of your smoke damage in Philadelphia, it may be necessary to seal walls or replace wood items.
What are the Main Causes of Smoke Damage?
Most fires produce smoke that can leave odors throughout your home. Since smoke is lighter than air, it can spread further than flames.
Grease and Oil Fires
Most types of oils and fats used in cooking can produce a significant amount of thick smoke, even without catching on fire. Smoke from cooking oil fires can cause significant odors. Smokey smells are likely to cling to kitchen walls, ceilings, and cabinets and may spread throughout your home too.
Other Kitchen Fires
Kitchens are prone to many other types of fires, including fires in toasters, microwaves, ovens, and on the stovetop. Depending on the source and cause of the fire, they may produce smoke that can spread throughout the kitchen and even to other rooms.
Electrical or Wiring Fires
Electrical outlets and wire are normally safe and pose a very low risk of fire. However, older wiring, outdated outlets, and improper use are more likely to cause fires and smoke. Overloaded outlets and circuits pose the biggest risk of causing smoke damage.
Fireplace and Chimney Fires
Fireplaces and chimneys have a very low risk of smoke damage while they are in proper working order. However, improper use or maintenance can cause smoke odors backing up into your home.
Candles usually burn cleanly and produce very little smoke. However, heavy perfumes and other additives can create more pungent odors. Additionally, burning candles too long or allowing them to get too hot may result in out of control fires that produce heavy black smoke.
While not technically fires, smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other tobacco products are still likely to leave residue and odors throughout your home or business. Prolonged or heavy use of cigarettes and tobacco are likely to create overwhelming and persistent odors.
What is the Difference Between Smoke and Soot?
Both smoke and soot are produced during a fire. Although they can both damage your home, they are different. Smoke is the visible vapor and gases produced as a result of a fire. Smoke contains carbon monoxide and other gases released by the flames that create strong odors. Soot, on the other hand, is the solid particles produced as byproducts from a fire.
How Do You Clean Up Smoke Damage?
Our in-depth smoke damage restorations in Philadelphia begin with professional deodorization processes. If necessary, walls and ceilings are painted with a sealer to encapsulate the smoke damage. Some materials like wood and cabinets may need to be completely replaced to get rid of the smoke smell. However severe the smoke damage, you can count on our Philadelphia experts to restore more of your materials and assist with lower-cost solutions if the damage is beyond repair.
Remove Smoke Odors
Depending on the extent of the smoke involved, there are different processes for deodorizing after a fire. For a small fire, ventilating the area may be effective. Unfortunately, even with improved ventilation, many materials can absorb smoke odors.
For larger fires, deodorizing after smoke damage requires other methods. This may include treating surfaces with commercial deodorizing chemicals specifically designed to neutralize smoke smells. For persistent or overwhelming smokey smells, it may be necessary to use an ozone generator. These machines produce ozone (O3) molecules that help to remove fire and smoke odors.
While ozone generators can be effective, it still may require several cycles in each room to effectively remove smoke odors. These machines are also dangerous to operate and you must completely vacate the area while they are in use. For this reason, we advise that only trained professionals use ozone generators to remove smoke and fire odors.
Seal and Paint Walls and Ceilings to Encapsulate Smoke Odors
While most smoke smells can be removed through other methods, it may be necessary to encapsulate them in some cases. Odor blocking paints can seal walls and ceilings, helping to eliminate the smell of smoke after a fire. The walls need to be clean and free of debris before painting and you may need to apply several coats of sealer. In rare cases, you may need to replace portions of the drywall.
Replace Drywall, Carpeting, Wood, or Cabinets
In some extremely rare situations, it may be necessary to refinish or completely replace porous materials to completely eliminate smoke smells. Drywall, carpeting, wood, and cabinets may become so contaminated with smoke that the only option is to dispose of them. Hardwood floors may need to be sanded and refinished to remove odors from a fire.
How Much Does It Cost to Clean Up Smoke Damage?
Smoke damage restoration usually costs between $200 and $1,400 depending on the circumstances. The types of materials involved, the size of the area and the cause of the fire will determine the overall cost of smoke removal.
There could be additional costs fire damage restoration costs as well. Your smoke restoration technician will provide a detailed estimate for cleanup and removal services after assessing the damage.
In most cases, smoke damage and fires are covered by standard homeowners insurance. If you are filing a claim, we work with all insurance companies.
Why Hire a Smoke Removal and Cleanup Company?
Smoke and soot travel further than flames, so cleanup can be a challenge. Our fire cleanup technicians have the training to identify and remove smoke and soot damage from your home or business.
After an assessment, they can begin removing smoke from your property immediately. Call 1-888-992-8371 to speak with a smoke and fire damage clean up contractor for a free, no-obligation estimate.
Always Free Estimates
Let our experienced professionals Let our experienced professionals assess your fire and smoke damage and provide a free, no-obligation estimate on restoring your home or business to its original condition.
24-Hour Emergency Service
Smoke and fire damage can happen at any time, so we offer 24-hour emergency services for all types of fire damage clean up and smoke removal.
30-Minute Response Time
Smoke and soot are acidic and can begin to do permanent damage within hours. We offer a 30-minute rapid response to limit the damage and reduce the cost of repairs.
Licensed and Insured
Our professionals are licensed and insured to ensure you are protected throughout the restoration process.
Professional Equipment and Techniques
Our restoration crews use professional-grade equipment and advanced techniques to restore your home or business.
Our crews are local, trained professionals with years of experience in fire damage restoration and smoke cleanup.
Accepts All Insurances
Navigating what is covered by insurance can be difficult. We can work with your insurance company to get as much covered as possible.
Frequently Asked Questions About Smoke Removal
These are some of the most commonly asked questions about the smoke cleanup process. If you still have questions, call us now to speak with a certified fire damage restoration specialist.
Smoke damage is typically caused by small kitchen fires or incidents with unexpected or uncontrollable fires in fireplaces. While these small fires may not leave significant structural damage, they do pose a risk to the contents of your home or office because of the acidic smoke and soot produced during the fire. Smoke can leave thick stains and odors throughout your home, even in other rooms than where the fire took place.
Unless there were dangerous chemicals or other accelerants involved in the fire, smoke only poses a minor risk to humans and pets. However, individuals with allergies or chronic respiratory illnesses may experience increased sensitivity and mild to severe discomfort with smoke exposure. If you are prone to health issues related to smoke exposure, we suggest you vacate the area to limit your risk.
In most cases, smoke damage is associated with smaller fires that have little or no flame damage or charring to the structure of your home. If this sounds like your fire, your property is most likely safe. However, if you have charring or flame damage, you should wait to enter your property until after it is cleared by a fire marshal, fire investigation team, or other professional.
In most cases, the cost of smoke damage cleanup is covered by standard insurance policies. Review your insurance policy or contact your agent for complete details. We accept all types of insurance and our smoke restoration technicians can even help you navigate the claims process or bill your insurance directly.
You can normally clean most smoke damage yourself using either a solution of trisodium phosphate cleaner or a dry chemical sponge. However, smoke is acidic and can leave permanent stains in as little as a few hours. For this reason, you need to complete the cleanup process as soon as possible. To remove smoke odors, use vinegar on hard surfaces and baking soda on porous materials and fabric.
It is difficult to predict how long it will take to clean up smoke damage without seeing the extent of the damage in person. For minor damage, it may take only one or two days, while more significant damage can take a week or more. Factors to consider are the amount of area damaged, the materials that are stained, how deep the smoke penetrated into the surface, and how long the smoke sat on the surface. Your restoration contractor will outline how long the cleanup will take before starting work. Cleaning smoke damage by yourself will usually take longer, which can result in more permanent stains or damage.
Smoke can easily spread throughout your home in your air ducts. For this reason, you should turn off your HVAC system as soon as possible after a fire. This limits the spread of smoke and will help keep the cost of smoke damage restoration lower. Your restoration contractor will advise you when it is safe to turn your system back on.