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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Cleaning Smoke Residues After a Chimney Fire in Your Chicago Home

11/14/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Cleaning Smoke Residues After a Chimney Fire in Your Chicago Home SERVPRO has specific cleaning methods for the different types of smoke damage found in your home.

Wet Smoke vs. Dry Smoke and Necessary Cleaning Methods

If you have a fireplace in your Chicago residence, you need to take care of your chimney on a regular basis. A build-up of creosote along the lining walls of the chimney can facilitate the beginnings of a fire in your chimney. Such a build-up is created by unburned materials in the smoke accumulating on the walls of the chimney and making a sticky substance which can catch fire quickly.

Annual inspections and cleanings are therefore a must for your chimney in your Chicago home. If you have still experienced a chimney fire and fire damage to your home, you should give our professionals at SERVPRO a call as soon as the fire is out. We can help you to clean up the mess the fire left behind, including making any necessary repairs.

Each fire progresses through steps, putting out both dry and wet smoke. Some fires make a large enough proportion of one kind of smoke to characterize the whole exposure as predominately dry or wet smoke. We use different cleaning methods to remove the different residues. Usually, wet smoke is more challenging to remove. A chimney fire can quickly spread throughout your home fast, so we could be dealing with various surfaces that have been affected.

A few factors determine whether smoke residues are dry or wet, including the rate of combustion, the kind of material that is burning, and how much oxygen is present during the fire. In many fires, the more oxygen which is available, the faster the combustion process is. Fast-burning fires with plenty of oxygen produce a dry smoke, and slow-moving fires without much oxygen make wet smoke.

More materials are restorable in conditions with dry smoke. It carries few aerosols and deposits small, dry particles. It does not stain surfaces as deeply as wet smoke, and it has a less pungent odor. SERVPRO techs use less aggressive cleaning procedures in these cases, but dry smoke usually occurs from hotter fires, which do more damage.

Our restoration efforts are more involved with wet smoke residues. Usually, they contain a high proportion of aerosols like solvents, varnishes, and other liquid components. Since the fire is moving slowly, it has its time to work its way into crevices and enclosed areas which generally would not be contaminated by a fire that is fast-burning. Hot, oily residues discolor plastic materials within minutes.

Many times, contents exposed to a smoldering fire and wet smoke cannot be restored. Even stripping and refinishing may not prove enough. Aerosols in wet smoke can soften, penetrate, and stain finished surfaces and burning plastics and rubbers making large, black particles which smudge or smear.

No matter the type of smoke or damage done by the fire, SERVPRO of Marquette Park / West Lawn / Ford City does our very best to restore everything that is salvageable, and we make repairs when needed to get your home back to its original state. Just give us a call at (773) 337-3993 if you reside in the areas of Gage Park, Marquette Park, or Scottsdale and have suffered a fire.

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