IICRC Certified Firm
Wednesday 6 September 2017

Dealing With Smoke Damage After a Home Fire

Posted by at 3:00 PM

The aftermath of a fire will be devastating no matter how big or small the fire is. Many people assume that a total loss only occurs if a home burns down completely, but that is not true. Smoke damage can be quite destructive as well.

Smoke has the capability of getting into places of your home that are inaccessible, which leave the smell of smoke behind if it is not cleaned properly. Here is what you need to know about how smoke can damage a home.

Smoke Damage to the Home's Structure

The fire may be extinguished and the home's structure left intact, but the smoke will be what causes the most damage in the end. You'll find that the smoke will have permeated into the structure of the home and left a smell behind that won't easily go away. That is why you need professional help to restore your home to how it once was.

Wood Framing

The wood used for an outdoor deck is typically sealed, so smoke damage may be as easy as cleaning the surface of the wood to remove soot. However, the wood used for your home's framing is not sealed. Once smoke gets behind the walls, it will absorb into the wood.

The solution to getting rid of the smell is to use specialty chemicals that are designed to eliminate the odor. This is where a company that specializes in smoke damage restoration can help. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can seal these wood surfaces – that will only mask the problem and not remove it entirely.

Drywall and Carpeting

You'll need to replace any smoke-covered drywall and carpeting in your home. This material is too porous and will be costly to clean, which makes it cheaper to just rip the material out and replace it. The cleaning process for carpeting will not guarantee that the smell is removed either, which is another reason why carpet needs to be replaced.

Hardwood Flooring

You'll have a chance of saving hardwood floors if they have been sealed and the fire happened above the flooring. Smoke damage will be much harder to clean when the fire happened below your hardwood flooring. Smoke may have absorbed into the wood from underneath where it was not sealed, causing the smell to remain even after finishing the visible surface on top.

Smoke Damage to Personal Property

Most items in your home will be easy to replace if damaged by smoke. However, some items are better off being replaced while others can be saved with cleaning. In most situations, personal property is placed in a room where it is exposed to ozone gas to remove the smell.


It is likely that plastic items will be discolored if exposed to smoke. Expect your insurance company to consider these items a loss, even if the item doesn't have a smoke smell to it. The good news is that plastic items should be easy to replace with something brand-new if necessary.


Restoring furniture made out of wood will be easy if it has a sealed surface. Most wood furniture will be sealed around all sides, giving you a high chance of saving the item.


Many of your clothes will be saved because fabric is an easy material to remove the smoke odor from. The biggest problem will be parts of clothing that were exposed to soot. Clothing in drawers will be safe, but a closet may have a layer of soot on the exposed parts of clothes.


Be cautious with your electronics after they are exposed to smoke damage. The device may work fine at first, but the smoke can be corrosive to the electrical components in the device. The interior of the device must be cleaned to avoid any future damage caused by corrosion.

ANR Restoration Inc. can help assist with restoring your home and personal property from smoke damage.