While heat and flames cause the most visible and immediate damage after a fire, smoke damage can devastate a structure and linger for years.
The chaos following a fire is nearly as scary as the fire itself. Minimizing the negative impacts of it should be your first concern, such as removing burnt and melted elements from your home or building. Unfortunately, the damage doesn’t stop there.
If your home or office has suffered from a fire accidentally or because of arson, it’s critical that you assess the damage left by flames and smoke. Businesses near wildfires and other large burns can be damaged by the smoke alone, even when flames never touch their structure.
What is Smoke Damage?
If you’ve ever been in an enclosed space with an open fireplace, consistent flame, smoking occupants, or an accidental or arson fire, you’ve experienced the two most obvious consequences of smoke: scent and discoloration. However, smoke damage can be even more deceptive and harmful.
- Scent: Smoke lingers in the air and can leave a long-term smell in rooms, especially in materials that are textiles or porous. The scent of smoke is observable in areas affected by fire even years later. Proper removal, restoration, and cleaning can largely remove or mitigate the smell of smoke.
- Discoloration: Discoloration can be subtle yet unappealing. Smoke stains surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, especially if it’s consistently pointed at a particular area. For a mild example, you may notice a darker spot on a ceiling above the place you always light candles. Now imagine the discoloration damage that can occur with a massive fire. A fire in the kitchen can disperse smoke throughout the home, causing discoloration in paint, carpet, drapes, the upstairs, as well as adjacent rooms.
- Corrosion: Smoke particles are tiny and can easily blow around. These minute particles can settle into cracks and crevices around your home, going unnoticed and untreated. Not only do these remnants of smoke leave lingering scents, but they can also behave like an acid. Textiles and metal are particularly vulnerable, and the smoke can cause a breakdown of the material over time.
Fighting Damage Caused By Smoke
To answer the question, “How long does smoke damage last?”, we need to address how quickly you’re able to combat the smoke. Many substances can’t withstand heavy smoke, especially when in close proximity to the fire. Some porous textiles won’t be able to recover; however, you can save surfaces like painted walls if you treat them quickly, but you’ll need to sand and repaint them if they’re exposed for too long.
It’s recommended that you contact a restoration expert immediately because the effect of tiny smoke particles is difficult to quantify. Quick action can limit the damage and prevent future harm.
RestoreMasters Can Save Your Home
The experts at RestoreMasters can identify the signs of smoke damage and provide rapid intervention to save your belongings and property from fire and smoke. Act fast so that we can help now. We serve Salt Lake and Utah counties.