If you have been unlucky enough to experience a home fire, then you may think that most of the damage will be clearly visible. Burnt out walls and floors and exposed structural elements are highly evident signs that a fire has torn through a house, but the damage rarely stops there. Smoke is extremely damaging in and of itself, and its effects can spread throughout a house far beyond the rooms actually destroyed by a fire. Not only does smoke produce damage that can be both seen and smelt, its lingering effects can even negatively impact your health.
Recognizing Smoke Damage
Unlike other types of damage, smoke damage can sometimes be hard to immediately spot. The first indication that an area has been damaged by smoke is usually a persistent smell, although it may not be easy to locate its exact source. Objects made from fabric are particularly susceptible to picking up damage from smoke and clothing, table cloths, bedding, curtains, and so on should be your first culprit when looking for smoke damage.
Unfortunately, the potential damage from smoke does not stop with your possessions. Walls and ceilings can absorb and be damaged by smoke as well, and this may manifest as obvious discolorations. The smoke from a fire includes both solid particulate elements as well as very small liquid droplets, both of which can be deposited on surfaces around a room. Drywall can be especially vulnerable, and it is even possible for smoke to penetrate through drywall to the framing behind it. When assessing damage to walls, ceilings, and floors, it is usually best to wait a few days to determine if any discoloration has appeared.
Potential Health Hazards
Lingering smoke damage presents a serious health hazard to you and your family. The soot deposited on items or within the structure of your home by smoke can easily be disturbed later, increasing the likelihood that you or someone else in your house will inhale it. Particulate matter from smoke comes from a huge range of sources and these particles can be very dangerous or even lead to an increased chance of cancer.
What Can Be Done?
Smoke damage repair and remediation is a job best left to trained professionals. If your house has experienced a serious fire or if you expect that there is smoke damage from some other source, your best course of action is to call for a detailed evaluation. Smoke remediation experts will be able to evaluate both your home and the contents within it for potential smoke damage and, in many cases, offer you solutions to properly restore your home and possessions. They can also advise you if any possessions or parts of your home have been damaged beyond repair so that you can take the proper steps to replace them.