Soot, the black residue left behind after a fire, results from the burning of various materials including wood, plaster, natural fibers, synthetics, foams, and plastics. Soot sticks to any surface that’s cooler than the fire, usually walls, ceilings, and other hard surfaces. Removing soot from walls is a cleanup job that requires expert attention. Before ServiceMaster of the Tri-Cities begins soot and fire damage cleanup, there are several safety and cleaning tips to remember.
How to Remove Soot: Safety First
Professional cleaning teams know how to clean soot off walls properly without spreading it around and damaging the wall further. Follow these safety protocols before they arrive:
- Never touch anything during your first inspection of the room to avoid transferring the soot to other surfaces
- Always wear gloves, a face mask, and clothing that covers your skin (eg. long sleeves and pants) when working in a room with soot damage
- Keep the room ventilated to minimize breathing soot particles and dissipate smoke odors
- Remove as much debris from the room as possible to allow for easier cleanup.
Soot Removal Cleaning Tips
When determining how to remove soot from walls, ceilings, and other surfaces it’s important to avoid further damage caused by improper cleaning methods. Typically, the first instinct is to attempt to wash the soot from walls with sponges and soap. Always test a small inconspicuous spot first, or simply leave the cleanup to the professionals. Soot residue left by a high-oxygen fire is best cleaned with a dry cleaning sponge or dry chemical sponge. If wet methods of cleaning are attempted on this type of soot, the result will be smearing and damage. However, a low-oxygen fire leaves soot residue that may respond effectively to wet sponge cleaning methods. When vacuuming soot residue from walls and ceilings, always hold the nozzle about one-half inch away from the area you’re cleaning to avoid contact with the surface, which can smear to the touch.
Determining how to remove smoke and soot from surfaces can seem overwhelming. Leave the smoke and soot cleanup to the professionals. ServiceMaster of the Tri-Cities is committed to cleaning smoke damage and removing soot residue and staining from walls, ceilings, and other surfaces safely and effectively. Give us a call today at 989-423-1311 and let us handle the cleanup so you can enjoy genuine peace of mind.