Even the smallest fire can wreak havoc through smoke damage on your business. And not just from the fire itself. Smoke can have lasting repercussions that span far beyond any damage you can see on the surface. Smoke damage repair is also a time-sensitive process, as smoke and soot contain high levels of acidity that can harm almost any material. Following a fire in your commercial property, it is imperative that you know the effects of smoke and take immediate action once the flames are extinguished.
Smoke Damage Timeline
Minutes after a fire breaks out in your commercial building, soot begins to destroy your property. That’s why it’s crucial to call in restoration experts as soon as the fire is out. The longer you wait, the more loss your business could have.
In minutes: Soot and smoke will leave a yellow stain on your walls and items made with plastic, marble and other porous materials.
In hours: The acidic content in soot can cause metal objects, grout, and other materials to become tarnished and stained.
In days: Your walls may be permanently yellow. Metals can corrode or rust. Wooden furniture destroyed. Flooring, upholstery, cubicles, and other fabric-based items will need replacing.
In weeks: When soot damage has a chance to permeate through your materials, it can cause permanent corrosion and release toxic fumes into the air. Office supplies, furniture and electronic equipment may need replacing.
How to reduce smoke odours
There are a few steps you can take before restoration arrive on the scene to reduce damage and costs to your business. Once it’s safe to enter your building, you can attempt to reduce the smell of smoke odours in your business by doing the following:
- Open all doors and windows to air out the building, if the temperature is above 60 degrees.
- Replace the air filters on your furnace if it uses forced air.
- Tape some muslin cloth over returns, and supply registers to capture loose soot in the air.
While you attempt to reduce smoke odours in your building, do not:
Touch anything in the building with your bare hands. Oils from your skin can permeate through materials like upholstery, walls and woodwork. As this can lead to extensive damage.
Attempt to wash yellowed or damaged walls. The wrong cleaning technique could compound soot residue. So, it’s best to leave the clean-up to the professionals.
Dealing with a disaster can be stressful, but you’re not in it alone. With over 65 years in the cleaning and restoration industry, you can count on ServiceMaster Restore to be at your side every step of the way. Our commercial fire and smoke damage removal services include expert processes for electronics restoration, document and data recovery, smoke and odour removal, and more.
To completely restore your company back to its pre-loss conditions, think ServiceMaster Restore. We’ll guide you through every step of our process to ensure you can get back to business as usual right away. Click here to learn more about our services by finding your nearest ServiceMaster Restore business today. Or in an emergency, call 0845 762 6828.
Credit: Tom Page, Digital Content Writer – ServiceMaster