Fire And Smoke Damage – Vancouver, WA Soot & Smoke Dangers

fire and smoke damage vancouver wa

fire and smoke damage vancouver waFire and smoke damage can be pretty devastating for Vancouver, WA home and business owners, even on a smaller level. No matter the size of the fire, there can still be some lasting effects, especially when not handled properly. It may seem that if the fire was put out, everything should be fine now, right? On the contrary, the most dangerous part of a post-fire is the remaining smoke and soot.

Fire And Smoke Damage – Vancouver, WA

Smoke and soot are probably the most dangerous and hazardous outcomes of fire disasters to both individuals and the property, even long after the fire has been put out. Soot can spread throughout the property, even in places that the fire didn’t touch. Moreover, this soot will corrode just about anything it touches so it needs to be immediately dealt with to prevent further health and structural problems.

What Is Soot?

Soot is a byproduct of the incomplete burning of organic materials, such as wood, fuel oil, plastics, and other household objects. It is a fine powder that could contain all sorts of carcinogens depending on what it stems from such as arsenic, cadmium, and chromium. Fires leave behind this dark powder all over anywhere that is near the fire, as well as the smell of smoke. 

Generally, soot is associated with large fires that spread ash and soot all around. However, soot can come from even smaller fires like those that burn on candle wicks. Excessive candle use can actually lead to a soot buildup, as well as an improperly ventilated fireplace. 

What Is Smoke?

Smoke is released by any type of fire and is a mixture of particles and chemicals produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-containing materials, much like soot. All smoke contains carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and soot. It can also contain all sorts of carcinogens and chemicals, depending on what is burning, how much oxygen is available, and the temperature of the burn.

Dangers Of Soot And Smoke Exposure 

Now that we understand what soot and smoke are and where it comes from, what is the danger of being exposed to them? It may seem like a small thing that can’t cause too much damage, just more of an annoyance and unappealing. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Soot and smoke particles actually pose a large threat to anyone that is exposed to them, particularly because they are so small. The particles of soot are so tiny that it easily enters our lungs and can cause all sorts of damage without us even knowing it. 

Skin Damage

Our skin can be incredibly sensitive to changes in the air, as soot and smoke are generally associated with very dry air. Fire tends to suck all the moisture out of the air, leaving dry air that causes extremely dry, itchy, and irritated skin. Redness, rashes, cracks, or peeling skin are also common side effects of exposure.

Irritation

Exposure to smoke and soot can cause irritations such as headaches, nausea, fatigue, and itchy/burning eyes, nose, and throat. 

Respiratory Issues

The microscopic particles of soot can cause a lot of serious health effects, as they can penetrate deep into the lungs. Soot can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or via the skin and eyes. Affected individuals might experience shortness of breath, asthma, coughing, phlegm, wheezing, chest pain, and even lung disease. Moreover, infants, the elderly, and those with prior lung problems are affected the most, as this can attack their immune systems.

Fire and smoke damage is not a situation to be taken lightly. Once a fire is put out, soot and smoke need to be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid the problem getting worse. However, trying to tackle it on your own can be a long and taxing process. Fire damage restoration specialists at Restoration 1 of Vancouver, WA can be sure to solve the problem for you quickly and appropriately. You do not need to risk your health to clean up after the fire and smoke damage, let the professionals help you.