Northwest ServiceMaster by Andert

Northwest ServiceMaster by Andert

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Everything You Need to Know About Soot Damage

In the aftermath of a fire, you’re probably focusing on what seems to be the immediate damage. Flames can quickly tear through a building and destroy furniture, walls, and floors, leaving charred remnants in its wake. Water damage can also be extensive after a fire as crews did all they could to extinguish the flames.


Even if it might not seem as devastating, soot damage can be of particular concern for home and business owners located in the White Bear Lake, MN area. Soot is a mixture of fine particles that contain large amounts of carbon but can also carry dangerous metals and chemicals.


The small size of soot means it can be easily inhaled by humans and pets. Prolonged exposure to soot can lead to respiratory issues, heart problems, and even cancer, since soot can contain many different toxic elements.


There are a few different types of soot damage that all home and business owners should remember when it comes time to repair and restore property after a fire:


  • Dry Soot: Dry soot is usually found after a very hot fire that quickly burns items. There’s almost no smell and it settles on floors and furniture with a dusty appearance. Dry soot is relatively easy to clean up, often with the use of a high-powered vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter to eliminate pollutants and particulates from the air.
  • Wet Soot: Wet soot is a mixture of dry soot and steam that results in a soggy mixture. Wet soot can be tricky to clean up because it easily sticks to various surfaces. Our team at Northwest ServiceMaster has several different cleaning and restoration strategies for eliminating wet soot after a fire.
  • Oily Soot: Oily soot is caused when fire burns through substances like plastic or rubber. It smears easily and will be resistant to water if the soot contains oil. Oily soot can stick to just about any surface and requires the help of a professional fire damage restoration crew to remove.
  • Protein Soot: Protein soot usually occurs when a fire burns in a kitchen. This type of soot requires the help of an experienced cleaning crew because it can be extremely difficult to remove and will leave a noxious odor behind if it isn’t removed correctly.


Even if you feel like soot damage in your building is easy to clean, don’t try to do the work yourself. Soot particles can quickly spread and taint the air you breathe. Poorly-cleaned soot damage strains your HVAC system as it works to capture remaining particles.


Instead, let the professional team at Northwest ServiceMaster stand by your side after a fire. Our cleaning crews have the skills, experience, tools, and solutions to quickly and efficiently cleanup a wide variety of soot and repair the effects of soot damage in the White Bear Lake, MN area. Give us a call today at (651) 644-3531 to learn more.