Often, as in the case of many moderate fires, although structural damage may be minimal, smoke and soot damage occurs throughout the home. This damage must be addressed immediately in order to minimize the long-term damage to the home and contents.
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What To Know
Soot consists of hundreds of chemical compounds and when combined with moisture, adheres to surfaces throughout the home. This can be particularly problematic when protein or vegetable oils are involved, as in a kitchen fire.
When inspecting a fire it is imperative to open drawers, closets and inspect in places you wouldn’t expect the smoke to travel. During a fire as the air temperature rises, the air volume increases. For every 10-degree Fahrenheit increase in air temperature, the air volume doubles. This expanded air needs somewhere to go and will follow the path of least resistance. Not only will it escape out doors and windows, but it will find its way into all kinds of cracks and openings throughout the structure and contents. The heat will also cause surfaces in the home to expand and allow soot to contaminate its pores. When the surface is cooled, pores close and the soot is trapped. This can make some surfaces impossible to clean. After initial cleaning is complete, the structural damages can be addressed and then finishing touches completed to bring the dwelling back to its original condition.
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