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Smoke Damage and Emergency Corrosion Mitigation
07/26/2014

When most people think of fire and the damage it causes, they think of burned buildings and charred beams. Much of the damaged caused by fires is not from flames but smoke. Couple that with the high humidity environment caused by the water used to douse the fire and there is a real recipe for secondary damage.  Often, after a “minor” fire is put out, an individual or business later finds that they have thousands of dollars of damaged and malfunctioning equipment, machinery, and electronics. After a fire, you must react quickly to save not only furnishings, but appliances, electronics, countertops, doors, machinery, and windows.

Smoke is just smelly, right?

Smoke is highly damaging, toxic, and acidic. Smoke, the accompanying soot, and moisture contain many different chemicals, depending what was burning. Hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid are just two of the dozens of acidic, toxic chemicals found in smoke and soot. Because the smoke is acidic, it is highly corrosive. Window frames, door knobs, appliances, electrical components, plastics, wood, and glass are all highly susceptible to smoke corrosion. Smoke and soot will cause:

  • appliance and electronic malfunctions
  • weakening of wood floors and beams
  • pitting on door knobs and metal trim
  • corrosion on window frames
  • pitting on window frames
  • etching of glass
  • damage to soft furnishings, linens, and clothes
  • - corrosion of pipes and plumbing fixture
  • - lingering respiratory problems

As you can see, smoke can cause extensive damage. Protecting the items listed above can save thousands of dollars.

What can you do?

First, call a professional emergency corrosion mitigation service like Superior Cleaning and Restoration. Traditional cleaning methods will not remove all of the smoke and soot. Without professional cleaning, a smoky odor will linger and continue corroding the structure and furnishings. Electronic components are particularly susceptible to smoke damage. Only professionals can effectively clean appliances, electronics, and sophisticated machinery.

Depending on the severity of the fire, you may or may not be able to enter your home or building after the fire.

If the fire was not severe and the fire department allows you access to your property, there are also steps you can take on your own before the corrosion mitigation team arrives.

  • - Open window and doors to air out the building and release as much smoke as possible
  • - Dispose of all food items in cabinets, refrigerators, and freezers- the food is smoke contaminated
  • - Smoke and soot are toxic, do not attempt to clean, pack, or make repairs without proper protection equipment. Immediately leave the building if you begin to feel unwell.

Any fire is traumatic and damaging. Contacting a professional right away can save your possessions, restore your home faster, or get your business working again. For these and all your restoration needs, contact Superior Cleaning & Restoration today!


Superior Cleaning & Coit Cleaning and Restoration in Woodinville, WA holds a Construction Contractor, General license (SUPERI 973KR).

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