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 on to 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 to not 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 natural materials like wood. Unlike their protein counterparts, this residue is dry & powdery. Rather than using just water-based cleaning solutions, one should vacuum the area where the residue is beforehand in order to facilitate cleaning it. What is nice about natural substance residue is that it has the least amount of 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 cooler 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 expands air, forcing smoke into crevices of the outside surface is of your home or business property. Smoke can even penetrate into 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 use too your 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 of 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 Burns:

Cold Smoke or Free-floating Smoke

When free-floating, smoke is heavier than air and normally 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 major 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 on to some surfaces.

Let’s Delve Into Some Facts

Air is a common source for gases to form & create odors. Whether they are small and undetectable, or noticeable and pungent, odors are detectable. In the olfactory lobe, this section of the brain helps in recognizing odors. When molecules from the odor come into contact with the olfactory nerve endings behind the nose, then a person detects the odor. This is otherwise known as “real odor.”

Due to the complications encompassing odor perception, contractors understand that eliminating odors completely is next to impossible. The Fire Restoration Team knows that 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 free 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 the 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 own noses have the capability of identifying 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 that are Filled with Odor are a Result of Incomplete Combustion?

If combustion was 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. This particular result is carried by convection currents of air throughout a structure, but eventually, as the air loses energy, the particles from PICs begin to deposit and build up hello in and around the structure of your home or office.

You probably think that you have not stumbled across any carbonaceous substances. Any sort of 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 normally experienced in a house fire or any sort of 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 their orders 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 odors from the smoke from fires.

So How Do You Control Order?

Before orders expand, make sure to eliminate possible sources of it. What you can do, is use some sort of absorbent or oxidizing agent to counter at against this pungent smell by allowing the deodorizing agent to penetrate the source. If the odor does contaminate any surface is, then make sure to thoroughly clean it with an appropriate agent. Lastly, seal off any further releases of the order by using sealers because of 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, still, keep an inappropriate cleaning agent in case if the sealer fails.

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

Synthetic Residue:

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

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

Lastly, synthetic materials tend to leave ornate soot-covered webs that have three nicknames in our industry: “smoke tags, smoke webs, or smoke streamers.” When it doubts, do not touch the synthetic residue. 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. Forces that determine 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 of 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 specifically remove their presence in an effective manner.