Fire vs. Smoke Damage
Fire vs. Smoke Damage
You've just been through a fire. You're standing in the rubble that was once your Cottage Grove, MN home, and you're thinking "Is it smoke damage or fire damage?" It's natural to be confused. After all, both fire and smoke damage can ruin your property and make it unsafe to live in. But don't worry—we'll clear this up for you! In this article, we'll tell you what the difference is between smoke and fire damage so that when disaster strikes, you know exactly what needs cleaning up (and what doesn't).
Smoke and Fire Damage Sources
The difference between fire damage and smoke damage is that smoke damage results from the products of combustion. Fire damage is caused by the actual flames, while smoke can be produced without a flame present. The only requirement for smoke to be created is that there are hot embers or radiant heat sources (like open flames) available. This means that even if there's no fire if the right conditions exist in your home or building then you could still experience smoke damage.
Smoke vs. Soot
There is a difference between soot and smoke, even though they are sometimes used interchangeably or together. Both smoke and soot are products of combustion or the burning of fuel. The difference lies in how each forms:
- Soot is a solid particle that comes from the incomplete combustion of gas or coal. It's usually black (or sometimes white) and looks like ash. It can be removed from your home using a vacuum cleaner or by wiping surfaces with wet cloths.
- Smoke consists of tiny particles suspended in air; it contains both gases and solids, including carbon dioxide, water vapor, soot, ash, metals and organic compounds such as phenols produced by incomplete carbonization at high temperatures. Because it contains all these different things—both solids (ash) and gases (water vapor)—smoke requires professional cleaning because no device can remove everything at once—you'll need more than just one tool!
Getting Rid of Smoke or Fire Damage
If you have smoke or fire damage, it's important to contact a professional restoration company. The experts can help you remove any soot and debris from your home, as well as any smoke damage that may be present.
If the fire is still burning, it's important not to go into the area. A professional will be able to use specialized tools to extinguish a fire before beginning work on cleanup and restoration in your home or business.
Fire, smoke, and soot damage are not the same thing. While they can all be caused by a fire or smoke event, they each have their own unique causes and effects. Knowing the difference between them will help you better understand how to prevent it from happening in your home or business.
If your home or business is impacted by fire, smoke, and/or soot, give SERVPRO of Woodbury, Cottage Grove a call today!