smoke damage in kitchen

How Does Smoke Damage Different Materials?

A fire is often one of the most devastating things that can happen to a property. It can occur either through environmental circumstances or human error.

While most people are concerned about what the heat and burn damage can do to a structure, there is another element to consider: smoke.

Many people think that all smoke does is make things sooty and that cleaning something up is all that is required. However, this is not true across the board. Smoke can have different effects on a property, depending on what it encounters.

Recovery On Time

People need to understand that smoke is tiny heated particles emitted whatever is burning. As a result, when it encounters other items in a building, the interactions can vary.

In some cases, smoke will settle on a surface, and that’s the extent of the reaction. It can easily be cleaned off. In other instances, there’s a chemical interaction, and structural decay can occur, permanently damaging a surface or object.

Different materials have different “time limits” when it comes to recovery. Some items may only be recoverable if they are treated and processed within minutes of exposure to smoke. Others, however, may be left unattended for weeks and still be recovered when the time comes. Here are some material timetables to keep in mind.

Smoke Damage To Plastics & PVC

These materials are the most vulnerable. Many modern retail electronics are made with plastic casing. At the same time, the inner workings of a building, such as water drainage pipes, often use a PVC variant. When exposed to smoke, permanent discoloration will occur unless treated with an alkali solution within a few minutes of exposure.

Smoke Damage To Porcelain

This material is typically used on bathroom fixtures like sinks, tubs, toilets, and even kitchen appliances. Like plastics, porcelain is exceptionally vulnerable to smoke, and permanent coloration occurs if it’s not quickly cleaned. Often resurfacing is required to bring back the former color.

Smoke Damage To Fiberglass

Some building components are made of fiberglass. If they are interior elements, this may not be so much of an issue. However, permanent yellowing occurs when exposed to smoke. This usually sets in after several hours, so if these surfaces are cleaned within an hour, it’s possible to recover them.

Smoke Damage To Wood

Wooden furniture and hardwood floor are popular in buildings. Wood is also still used as a structural element, such as a load-bearing beam. Wood can be washed and recover if treated within a few hours of exposure.

Smoke Damage To Metal

Metal can hold up to smoke exposure for several hours. However, it has a specific chemical reaction with some chemicals in smoke. So unless it is treated, it will eventually rust, corrode and start to fall apart.

Smoke Damage to Carpets and Other Fabric

Carpets, rugs, and even fabric on furniture are surprisingly hardy when it comes to smoke exposure. These items can be left alone for weeks and still recover with proper washing and treatment.

Call a Professional Restoration Team For Emergency Smoke Cleanup

If you have a building that you’d like to repair and recover from a fire with smoke damage, we can help.

We have many years of experience helping home owners and business owners in this area. Contact us for a prompt, professional response.

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