What is Soot and Is It Dangerous?

soot damage

soot damage

What is Soot

Dealing with house fires can be very difficult as you don’t only have to manage fire and smoke damage but also the resulting soot that is quick to spread and can cause serious issues. In this article, we’ll talk about soot contamination and everything you need to know about cleaning soot and reducing the risk of toxic particles causing damage.

Soot can be defined as black particles or residue that sticks around after a fire. It occurs due to the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels including coal, oil, and wood. Soot contains dust, soils, metals, and harmful chemicals including acids. These particles look ugly and also leave a foul smell.

The problem with soot is that it can spread very quickly. It attaches to surfaces and results in air pollution. Moreover, soot particles also impact the property. A major problem, however, is that soot can appear even without a major fire. For example, fireplaces, stoves, and candles can result in soot if the property is not properly ventilated. Hence, it is important that you keep smoke and soot in mind when constructing your house or office.

Is Soot Dangerous?

Soot can be dangerous in a lot of ways. It impacts the environment, can be bad for your property, and also poses health risks.

    • Impacts Environment

Fossil fuels are heavily used in industries as they make about 80 percent of the world’s energy. On top of that, they are a major cause of global warming.

The burning of fossil fuels impacts the environment and increases pollution while also leaving foul odors. Some experts argue that soot itself isn’t bad for the environment and it’s the burning of fossil fuels that does the real harm. However, reports suggest that soot impacts indoor air quality. Moreover, it causes the acidification of water bodies including rivers and lakes. Additionally, it results in a haze, which causes decreased visibility. Soot is, in fact, one of the top causes of haze in the US.

    • Impact Home

Soot impacts the house by sticking to the surface and leaving stains. Hence, it is important that you act quickly to control fire soot.

Buyers are less likely to buy a soot-affected property. Moreover, they may offer a lower rate. This is why we suggest that you consider soot removal before putting your house up for sale.

    • Impacts Health

Soot can be bad for your health as it can enter the body in a variety of ways including through the eyes, skin, ingestion, and inhalation. Furthermore, it can result in an increased risk of bronchitis, asthma, cancer, and coronary heart disease. What’s more, it is one of the most common causes of breathing issues. In addition, the elderly and infants are at a higher risk.

This is why it is important that you waste no time and take steps to remove soot before it causes health issues.

How to Identify Soot?

Also known as carbon black or lampblack, soot is a fine brown or black powder that is known for being sticky and attaching to different surfaces including walls. It can be thin or thick, based on the cause. For example, soot from home fires is thick and soot from candles is thin.

Homeowners often get confused between soot and mold as they look similar. An easy way to differentiate between the two is to use a paper towel. Mold will come out when rubbed with a paper towel, whereas soot will not.

How to Get Rid of Soot

Soot cleanup is important to restore indoor air quality and reduce the risk of health hazards. Start by getting your property cleaned and taking care of all elements including carpets, wood products, and plastic foams. There are soot cleaners on the market. Furthermore, you can make your own by mixing cold water (2 cups) and liquid dishwashing detergent (1 tsp.) Use a sponge or white cloth to clean the surface with this mixture.

This option is suitable only if the damage is minor. For major cases, we suggest that you hire pros for the job. Improper suit removal can result in further damage. Hence, hire someone with professional tools, knowledge, and expertise.

We offer fire damage restoration including soot removal and can restore your property to its original condition in no time and at an affordable rate. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and request a quote.

By Holly Kelsven | September 22, 2022 | News
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