Housefires are never a good thing. Even the smallest fires can cause serious damage to your home and possessions. But did you know that even after the flames have been extinguished and the fire trucks go back to the station, you may still be at risk for serious health effects?
Smoke is a hidden danger that most people don’t think of after a house fire, but it sticks around long after the flames are gone. Smoke gets embedded in various materials around your home, exposing you and your family to harmful chemicals.
After a house fire—no matter how small—it’s a good idea to contact a home restoration professional to scrub your house of smoke. It’s the only way to eliminate the dangers of smoke damage.
What Is Smoke Damage?
Have you ever heard the expression “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire?” Well, it works the other way around too.
Smoke is the byproduct of organic materials being consumed by fire. As the fire consumes materials, particles are released into the air as smoke. These particles float through the air until they find a surface to land on. To put it simply, smoke gets everywhere.
To make matters worse, smoke damage isn’t always visible. You might notice a few discolored spots on your drywall or furniture, but that’s just where the smoke damage is the worst. It’s almost certain that there are plenty more smoke-damaged areas of your home that you don’t even know about.
These microscopic particles are made up of harmful chemicals and can live on surfaces for months. The longer you go without a home restoration, the longer you’re exposed to dangerous chemicals. Long-term exposure to dangerous chemicals (or even short-term exposure, for that matter) isn’t good for your health. The only way to get rid of them is with a professional smoke and home restoration service.
Places Where Smoke Likes to Hide
Airborne smoke particles can weasel their way into just about every part of your home. Even a small fire can spread smoke throughout your entire house.
Much like water, smoke will “soak” into certain materials and substances around your house. Porous materials are more susceptible to smoke damage:
- Curtains and upholstery – Anything made of cloth is highly susceptible to smoke damage. Your curtains and furniture upholstery are prime targets for smoke because they’re out in the open, and the fabric has plenty of holes for the smoke particles to infiltrate.
- Bedding and clothing – Even with a closed closet door or dresser drawer, smoke can find its way to your clothes and bedding. Just like with your curtains and upholstery, the smoke can saturate into the fabric, becoming nearly impossible to remove.
- Wooden furniture – Wood is another porous material that can be found all over your home. Even if you strip the upholstery off your furniture, the wooden frame might still have smoke damage. Be careful cleaning smoke damage from wood. Certain cleaners might hurt the finish.
- Hardwood floors – It’s easy to overlook your floors, but they’re also made of wood and susceptible to smoke damage. You might need to refinish your floors or, if the damage is extensive, replace your flooring altogether.
Once the smoke finds a good place to hide, it continues to emit potentially hazardous chemicals that could affect your family’s health. It’s important to remove all traces of smoke from your home—which is easier said than done. That’s why you should always call a home restoration expert to get rid of smoke damage.
Substances You Might Be Inhaling
Smoke is a complex substance that’s made up of various chemicals. The chemical composition of smoke depends on the material that’s on fire but could include any of the following:
- Carbon monoxide
- Sulfur dioxide
- And more
Even smoke from burning wood contains over 100 different chemicals that can be found in cigarette smoke. The longer you leave smoke damage in your home, the longer you’re exposed to these harmful chemicals.
Health Risks Associated with Smoke Damage
Of course, being exposed to so many dangerous chemicals is harmful to your health. They can find their way into your lungs and bloodstream, causing a myriad of health problems:
- Coughing and shortness of breath
- Skin or eye irritation
- Chronic bronchitis
- Heart or lung disease
If you already have a breathing condition like asthma or lung disease, smoke damage could worsen your symptoms. The longer you’re exposed to smoke damage, the worse the health effects become. That’s why it’s so important to call a home restoration team immediately after you experience a house fire.
Protect Yourself from Smoke Damage with Professional Home Restoration
After you’ve put out the fire, paid to rebuild your home, and get new belongings, you might think it’s a good idea to save some money and attempt to get rid of that smokey smell yourself. There are tons of DIY smoke removal solutions online. How hard could it be, right?
Unfortunately, DIY smoke removal solutions don’t work. They might remove some of the more obvious smoke damage, but they won’t find and get rid of smoke in the most hard-to-reach areas. Any smoke left behind after a home restoration could potentially harm your family.
The key to handling any type of damage to your property—whether it be water, mold, fire, or smoke—is to contact a home restoration professional. They’re the only ones with the knowledge, equipment, and expertise to completely remove smoke damage from the materials throughout your house and return your home to its former, healthy condition.
If you’ve experienced a fire, there’s a good chance your home has smoke damage. Central Florida Restoration Solutions has been helping Florida homeowners protect themselves from the dangers of water, mold, fire, and smoke for over 25 years. We offer home restoration services to return your home to its former glory and keep you and your family safe from harmful substances.
The longer smoke damage goes unresolved, the worse it is for your family. For all your smoke damage and home restoration needs, trust the experts at CFRS. Contact us for the support you need right away.