Why Does Smoke Damage Cause Smell and How to Remove It?

When a fire occurs, most people immediately think about the physical damage it can cause. Images of ruined property and lost items come to mind. However, the long-term effects of a fire can be more invasive than just the physical destruction. One such effect is the persistent, harsh smell of smoke. This smell can cling to your home for weeks, months, or even years if not treated properly. 

To understand how best to combat this issue, it’s important to know why smoke causes such a lasting odor. Here, we will examine why smoke damage creates smell, and what you can do to remove it from your property.

The Science of Smoke Odor

Smoke is a byproduct of the combustion process. When things like wood, fabric, and plastic burn, they create and release a host of chemicals and particles into the air. These harmful substances, known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), are the reason behind the lingering smell of smoke.

  1. Chemical Elements in Smoke: When material burns, it undergoes a process of transformation. The heat causes chemical reactions that result in the creation of new compounds. During a fire, you’d mainly find compounds such as Vanillin, which provides a slight sweetness to the smell of smoke. Still, the majority of the compounds released, like Phenols, Creosote, and Pyridine, are responsible for the traditional strong, acrid smell of fire smoke.
  2. Gases Produced by VOCs: The VOCs from these burnt materials continue to release gases long after the fire is put out. These gases are what we identify as the smell of smoke. Depending on the amount and type of material burnt, these smells can be released slowly over time. This is why the smell of smoke often lingers in a particular environment.
  3. Residue and Soot: We often associate the sight of black sooty residue with a fire. This residue, simply called soot, is another VOC-rich byproduct of combustion. When left untreated, the soot continues to release the smelly gases, leading to a permanent smoke odor in your property.

Getting Rid of Smoke Damage: Professional Service Providers

Professional property restoration services are the answer to eliminating smoke damage. They employ a methodical process to clean, sanitize, and deodorize your fire-affected property.

  • Damage Assessment: The initial step that any professional team follows is to conduct a thorough assessment of the damage. They’ll identify the amount of smoke and soot present, the types of materials affected, and the overall extent of the damage caused by the fire. This helps them to formulate a plan for cleanup and sanitizing.
  • Cleaning and Remediation: This is the next step in smoke damage restoration. The specialists get rid of the soot, clean all surfaces, and disinfect the area. This process is more than just standard cleaning – it is a remediation technique that uses advanced tools and products to remove the contaminants and smell of smoke from your property.
  • Repair and Restoration: The damage caused by fire doesn’t end with the smoke and soot. Often, essential structural elements and interiors of a property are damaged or weakened due to the fire. Professional service providers will offer repair and restoration solutions for these physical damages, restoring the property to its pre-loss condition.

One notable provider is PuroClean Canada. This team has an established record in providing mitigation and restoration services. They have a knack for bringing life back into homes and commercial properties that have been damaged due to smoke and fire.

Professional Odor Removal Techniques

The smell of smoke is notoriously stubborn. Thankfully, professional restoration services have a series of techniques in their arsenal to ensure that this odor is completely removed.

  1. Deodorizing: Deodorizers and Odor Counteractants are products designed to neutralize unpleasant smells. Restoration service professionals will fog the entire place with these products, ensuring they reach all smoke-infested areas. They’ll also perform deep cleaning – washing all surfaces, laundering fabrics, and steam-cleaning carpets to rid your property of the smoke smell.
  2. Ozone Treatment: Ozone machines are another tool in the professional’s odor-removal toolbox. These machines release ozone gas, which has the ability to break down smoke molecules, thereby eliminating the smell.
  3. Quick Response: A hallmark of professional property restoration services is their quick and efficient emergency response service. They’re available round the clock to mitigate the effect of any damage swiftly. The faster you can start the recovery process, the better the chances of a full restoration.

Addressing Mold Damage

Often, the aftermath of a fire brings another issue – mold growth. Mold spores love moist, dark environments and can quickly colonize areas especially if there’s been water damage from firefighting efforts. Property owners must be cautious to remove mould from wooden surfaces and other materials around their property. 

Otherwise, the problems can multiply. Mold not only causes structural issues but is also detrimental to health. Thankfully, professional restoration services ensure complete mold and mildew remediation. It’s another reassurance that your living space is safe and breathable again.

Water Damage Concerns Post-Fire

Firefighting efforts often cause a new set of problems in the form of water damage. Water used to drench the fire can seep into different materials, leading to a possible outbreak of mold, structural weaknesses, and that unpleasant musty odor. It’s essential to remove the musty smell after water damage. Seasoned professionals are adept at water recovery. They go about draining the water, drying the area, sanitizing, and then restoring the property to its original state.

Insurance Claims and Help

Damage caused by fire and smoke can be overwhelming. Dealing with the involved insurance claim process can be a bother, adding to the overall stress. This is where many property restoration firms provide valuable assistance. They help you with drafting the correct documentation, provide an estimate of the restoration costs, and act as intermediaries between you and your insurance company. With their expertise, they can help relieve a considerable load off your shoulders.

In Wrap

Experiencing a fire is undoubtedly traumatic, and dealing with the aftermath can be daunting. It’s crucial to remember that a thorough, professional approach is key in eliminating the sturdy smoke odor effectively. With a team of restoration professionals, appropriate disaster recovery techniques, patience, and a little time, your property can be thoroughly cleaned, sanitized, deodorized, and made safe for living. Opt for professional assistance to rejuvenate your property and make it feel like home once again.