Fire Goes Hand in Hand With Smoke

Many may find that smoke is a natural component of a fire. However, there is more than what meets the eye. In order to combat smoke, one should understand what it is. The saying goes, “the battle is lost already if the enemy is not known.” Therefore, we at The Fire Restoration Team will go through with you what constitutes smoke & how its behavior can impact on you & your property.

How to Handle Smoke Residue

Protein residue is a yellowish-brown pigment that sticks onto most surfaces when in contact. It mostly comes from burned meat or other overcooked food. Fortunately, simple solutions like your branded water-based cleaning chemicals like Clorox tools are all you need. Make sure not to use these cleaning solutions on surfaces damaged by water.

Natural substance residue has an opaque & gray color. As the name hints, they come from flames consuming raw materials like wood. Unlike their protein counterparts, this residue is dry & powdery. Rather than just water-based cleaning solutions, one should vacuum the area where the deposition is beforehand to facilitate cleaning it. What is nice about natural substance residue is that it has the slightest odor.

Air Pressure Changes:

Fire produces energy where pressure & heat allow smoke to enter crevices and cracks in your home or business’s walls.

Combustion Temperatures:

You may have heard that heat always escapes to more excellent areas. Those cooler areas are closets, outside walls, etc. Therefore, heat causes pores to expand. On top of that, the high temperatures generated by combustion expand air, forcing smoke into crevices of the outside surface of your home or business property. Smoke can even penetrate the metallic surfaces of your fixtures and glasses.


In the context of fire damage, magnetism is the attraction of smoke to metal surfaces such as hangers, lighting fixtures, nail heads, and plumbing pipes. Smoke particles, which carry electrical charges, are attracted to the screw heads and other fasteners used to fix drywall and other materials on the studs of your walls. In the fire restoration niche, these fasteners are sometimes called “nail pops.”


Ionization is when smoke particles are attracted to each other with opposite charges. This process is otherwise known as “smoke webs.” They appear like cobwebs. Smoke webs are found on the upper corners of rooms around drapery pleats or inside cabinets or drawers due to the unique air movement in and around the spaces.
Impingement is when a substance hits a surface with sufficient velocity; therefore, it splatters or impinges and remains on the surface.

Let’s Talk About How Smoke Moves When Fires Burn:

Cold Smoke or Free-floating Smoke

Smoke is heavier than air when free-floating and typically settles on horizontal surfaces. These surfaces are the Areas where the majority of smoke is deposited. This reaction originates from pressurized smoke that has lost its energy and velocity.

Hot Smoke or Driven Smoke

German smoke occurs when the smoke is pressurized and has energy or force to keep it going. Its residue is found on vertical surfaces.

The primary consideration in determining the degree of smoke penetration throughout the structure is the temperature generated by the fire. The severity of such contamination is directly related to combustion time, heat, and the presence of oxygen. Here are some general facts about smoke:


Hot Soot-Laden Air Rises


Heat causes some surfaces to become soft and porous


Higher Combustion Temperatures Consume Fuel More Efficiently and Produce Less Smoke


Otherwise Known as the Oven Effect, High Temperatures can Bake Residue onto Some Surfaces

Let’s Delve Into Some Facts About Smoke Odors

Air is a common source for gases to form & create odors. Whether they are unnoticeable or pungent, odors are detectable that linger. The olfactory lobe, a section of the brain, helps recognize odors. When molecules from the smell come into contact with the olfactory nerve endings behind the nose, a person detects the odor. This is otherwise known as “real odor.”

Due to the complications encompassing odor perception, contractors understand that eliminating odors is next to impossible. The Fire Restoration Team knows there is no one-step solution to reverting your damaged property’s air quality to a toxin-free state. It takes multiple levels of planning. Making your place odor accessible requires contractors like ourselves to have the proper equipment and training to attend to these unpredictable situations.

FYI: Osmics is the field of science concerned with smell.

Why Is Outsourcing The Way To Go

Our ability to sniff out odors (known as the olfactory sense) perplexes scientists. Many times, state-of-the-art equipment is utilized to understand them from a scientific standpoint. Funny enough, our noses can identify them instantly and can do so for concentrations as small as a 10th of a milligram.

When studying our sense of smell, we realized that for people to detect a material, that material’s odor should have volatility, solubility in water & fatty substances, and adaptability to occupants’ sense of smell.

Did you know that Smoke Fumes Filled with Odor are a Result of Incomplete Combustion?

If combustion were complete, the gas from the smoke fumes would be harmless. The outcome has incomplete combustion is also known as soot and smoke residue. Particles from incomplete combustion or PICs come from NRJ. These substances originate from burned material. That can include natural and synthetic substances. Convection currents of air carry this particular result throughout a structure. Still, eventually, as the atmosphere loses energy, the particles from PICs begin to deposit and build up hello in and around the design of your home or office.

You probably think that you have not stumbled across any carbonaceous substances. Any level of smoke is considered carbonaceous. Thousands of chemicals are released with tar and resins. This is just a natural part of the combustion cycle. Many people are familiar with the dangers of smoking and how the tarry substance that gets into your lungs can end up causing chronicle illnesses.

Regardless if you are a smoker, exposure to the smoke of levels usually experienced in a house fire or any smoke can be just as harmful. The residue from these fumes penetrates not just the air but also the surfaces, the surroundings, and your body.

If you let that build up, you can see yourself in a hazardous environment. Many particles from smoke fumes are small. They can be within the range of .1 to 24 microns in size. This smoke builds up from the heat of the fire, causing the residue to stick to glass and stainless-steel surfaces.

Please be aware that smoke residue cannot be detected by order. However, it does absorb its charges because of its high carbon content.

Now that we talked about everything odor-related let’s try and discuss more how we can control it. First, remember that some surfaces will become deeply embedded with smells from the smoke from fires.

So How Do You Control Order?

Before orders expand, make sure to eliminate possible sources of it. You can use some absorbent or oxidizing agent to counter this pungent smell by allowing the deodorizing agent to penetrate the head. If the odor does contaminate any surface, then make sure to clean it with an appropriate agent thoroughly. Lastly, seal off any further releases of the order using sealers because their permeance factor or perm is a measurement that quantifies how strong and older can be in penetrating and staying environment or surface. Sealers are subjective errors. Therefore, keep an inappropriate cleaning agent in case the sealer fails.

Natural substance residue has an opaque & gray color. As the name hints, they come from flames consuming raw materials like wood. Unlike their protein counterparts, this residue is dry & powdery. Rather than just water-based cleaning solutions, one should vacuum the area where the deposition is beforehand to facilitate cleaning it. What is nice about natural substance residue is that it has the slightest odor.

Synthetic Residue:

As a result of oil-based burned material, many upholsteries are made up of synthetic material that is subject to boil in a particular manner. Unfortunately, when there is a fire, synthetic material leaves a filmy residue that is black & smeary.

If the residue is left undisturbed on a surface, the residue can be vacuumed away. When the smear is touched, it is harder for restorers like The Fire Restoration Team to remove it from a surface.

Lastly, synthetic materials leave ornate soot-covered webs with three nicknames in our industry: “smoke tags, smoke webs, or smoke streamers.” When it doubts, do not touch the synthetic residue. Please leave it to us.

Influences on Smoke Behavior & Penetration

Did you know that the way the smoke is distributed determines the concentration spots of its deposited residue?

Yes, that is true. Factors determining the smoke’s distribution include combustion time, geometry, & temperature.

Combustion is the chemical reaction when a substance reacts with an oxidant like oxygen to give off heat. Due to combustion, high temperatures augment the air pressure inside an enclosure.

Consequently, these environmental factors allow smoke to be in enclosed cavities & exposed surfaces. Fire residues tend to have awful odors, which makes it more the reason to remove their presence effectively and precisely.

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