Soot Damage Cleanup & Removal Services in Philadelphia
Since soot affects everything from the walls to the furnishings, every unique surface type must be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Our professional cleaning processes in Philadelphia are ideal for stubborn soot accumulation that’s stained or damaged:
With years of experience providing detail-oriented soot removal in Bucks County, PA, we will do everything we can to save as much of your interior as we can. Due to the porous nature and sensitive finishes of certain materials, replacement may be the only solution if the soot staining or damage is significant. Whether we clean or replace, you can expect lower-cost services and trustworthy guidance behind every like-new restoration in Philadelphia.
Call 1-888-992-8371 for a free, on-site estimate from a certified soot removal specialist in Philadelphia today.
What is Soot Damage Cleanup?
Soot cleanup is the process of removing stains after a fire. Stains may range from thick black soot to a fine greasy or sticky film. Soot removal involves removing the stains, cleaning the film and restoring your home to the condition it was in before the fire.
What is Soot Damage Cleanup?
Soot is the fine particles of carbon, tar and other materials produced during a fire. These particles will settle out of the air, coating surfaces throughout your home or business.
Soot damage can happen all at once, as is the case with a major fire. However, it can also happen slowly over time as with smoking or using a fireplace or candles.
Cigarettes and other smoking materials produce a very fine, sticky soot that can coat walls and other surfaces. Prolonged smoking in a specific area can result in significant soot damage. This often appears as yellowish, brown stains. Soot stains from smoking materials are often oily or greasy, which makes them difficult to remove.
Fireplace and Chimney Fires
As long as your fireplace and chimneys are well maintained and in proper working order, they have a low risk for causing soot damage. However, the wood and kindling used in more fireplaces have the potential to create a large amount of soot. If there is a problem with your chimney, soot can easily spread throughout your home.
Grease and Oil Fires
Cooking oils and fats can produce thick, black soot even without catching fire. Regardless of whether flames form, the oil is a significant source of fuel that can produce soot. This can result in heavy soot stains in the kitchen. It can also enter HVAC vents and spread throughout your property easily.
Other Kitchen Fires
The average kitchen has plenty of appliances that can produce soot as a result of burning food. The most likely cause of soot is your stovetop and oven, but toasters, toaster ovens, waffle makers, and even microwaves can start fires too.
Electrical or Wiring Fires
How Does Soot Cause Damage?
Soot will leave a light grey to thick black stain on surfaces throughout your home. Because soot is highly acidic, it will stain most surfaces in as little as a few hours.
Porous materials like drywall, paint, wood, carpeting, and fabric are most susceptible to soot damage. While more resistant to stains, soot can still damage non-porous materials like metal, stone, and glass.
Depending on the materials that burned in the fire, soot can be either a fine dust or a sticky oil. Soot can still settle on surfaces even if the fire didn’t produce a large amount of smoke.
Because it can travel much further than flames, soot may spread to other rooms not impacted by the fire itself. Soot may also settle in the ductwork of your HVAC system, which can spread it even further.
What is the Difference Between Soot and Smoke?
Soot and smoke are produced during a fire and both can damage your home. Soot is the solid particles of carbon, tar, and other byproducts from the fire. On the other hand, smoke is visible vapor and gases produced during the fire.
The easiest way to distinguish soot and smoke is to think in terms of your senses. Soot is the visual component, often appearing any color from grey to brown to black. Smoke is the gaseous component that produces the odor.
How do you Clean Up Soot Damage?
Depending on the cause of the fire, removing soot stains will often take several cleaning methods. Due to the risk of permanent stains, it’s important to begin soot cleanup as soon as possible.
Clean Soot Stains
The soot removal process begins with cleaning surfaces with dry chemical sponges, before moving on to wet cleaning methods. Surfaces through your home are cleaned to prevent or limit stains and remove greasy or sticky soot. Soot is also likely to settle in the ductwork for your HVAC system. If not properly cleaned, it may continue to blow soot throughout your property long after the fire. Soot stained fabrics and carpeting may be able to be cleaned, but they may need to be replaced in some circumstances.
Wood is extremely porous and prone to absorbing soot. Even repeated cleanings may leave wooden surfaces permanently stained. Removing soot stains from hardwood floors and wooden cabinets and furniture may require refinishing. It may not be possible to refinish items made from pressed wood, like many modern cabinets and furniture. The only option is to replace these items entirely.
How Much Does It Cost to Clean Up Soot Damage?
The average cost of soot removal and cleanup ranges from $1,800 to $6,000. The cost of cleanup varies depending on the cause of the fire, the material involved, and the size of the area.
Additionally, fire damage restoration may include other costs like replacing charred materials. We provide a detailed estimate of all costs before beginning soot cleanup and your soot removal technician can answer any questions.
Soot damage cleanup and fire restoration are usually covered by homeowners’ insurance. Our soot removal crews work with all insurance companies and can even bill them directly.
Why Hire a Soot Cleanup and Removal Company?
Since soot can stain in less than an hour, it’s important to start cleanup immediately. Our soot removal technicians are trained and certified in cleanup methods that limit damage and restore your home quickly after a fire. Call 1-888-992-8371 for a free, on-site estimate on soot damage cleanup. Our crew can begin work as soon as you approve the estimate.
Always Free Estimates
Let our experienced professionals assess your soot damage and provide a free, no-obligation estimate on restoring your home to its pre-fire condition.
24-Hour Emergency Service
30-Minute Response Time
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Our professionals are licensed and insured to ensure you are protected throughout the restoration process.
Professional Equipment and Techniques
We Work With Your Insurance Company
Our crews are local, trained professionals with years of experience in soot cleanup and fire damage restoration.
Frequently Asked Questions About Soot Cleanup
It’s not uncommon to have questions about the soot removal process. Here are some of the most common questions but if you still have concerns, call us now to talk with a fire damage restoration technician in your area.
Soot damage often appears as thick black stains after a very smoky fire. Highly acidic, it can stain flooring, walls, ceilings, and furniture and damage paintings, photographs, antiques, and even electronics. These stains can be powdery or greasy and can leave permanent stains on most surfaces within a few hours of exposure.
There is a small health risk to soot exposure, especially in those with chronic respiratory conditions. The soot can trigger mild to severe symptoms depending on your condition and sensitivity. If you experience a severe after a fire, vacate the area and seek medical assistance if they persist. If dangerous chemicals or other accelerates were included in the fire, even healthy individuals may experience increased risks.
Soot occurs with all fires but is most commonly associated with small kitchen and grease fires. While you may have soot damage after a major structural fire, it’s easy to overlook in favor of the flame damage and charring.
Soot cleanup is covered by most standard homeowners’ insurance. Our soot cleanup contractors will work with you to file your insurance claim and does accept all insurance companies. If your claim is denied by your carrier or you choose not to file a claim, you will arrange payment terms with the contractor directly.
Yes, you can remove soot stains with a dry chemical sponge or a solution of trisodium phosphate cleaner. However, you need to begin cleanup as soon as possible to prevent permanent soot stains. Use baking soda or vinegar to remove odors after a fire.
The time required to remove soot stains will depend on the extent of the damage. Soot from small fires may take only 1 or 2 days to remove, while more pervasive stains could take a week or more to clean. The restoration contractor that is removing your soot stains will provide a timeline for cleanup based on your circumstances. It usually takes longer to clean up soot damage by yourself.
Soot particles are extremely fine and your furnace or air conditioner can spread them throughout your home. For this reason, you should turn off your HVAC system as soon as possible after a fire. Avoid turning it back on until your home is cleaned or you are given the all-clear by your soot damage cleanup contractor.