Fire damage can continue to affect you and your home long after the flames have been put out. Smoke and soot residue left over after a fire may seem like something you can clean yourself, but before you try to tackle any DIY fire damage restoration, you should be aware of all the dangers of smoke and soot left behind after a fire.
Leftover smoke and soot are more than just dirty and smelly – they are very dangerous. Exposure to smoke and soot can cause some major adverse health reactions, especially if that exposure is prolonged throughout a DIY restoration process. In fact, soot is so dangerous that exposure to it leads to the first-ever occupation of health legislation. In the 18th century, the British Parliament installed the Chimney Sweepers Act in response to all the adverse reactions that are associated with smoke and soot, including cancer. So, what is it about smoke and soot that makes it so dangerous?
Not all materials burn the same in a fire. Materials that do not burn clean result in waste products, whether solids, liquids, or gases, that contain chemicals and toxins. Exposure to these contaminants is very harmful to your health. Items like plastic, fabric, carpet, wood, wool, and the drywall and insulation in the walls hold a lot of different chemicals that are released when combustion occurs during a fire. Smoke and soot are the leftover by-products of those materials, which make them hazardous. The most common toxins found in smoke and soot following a fire include:
Carbon materials that can produce carbon monoxide, ammonia, and nitrogen oxide
Asbestos that can cause mesothelioma
Hydrogen chloride, bromomethane, and halocarbons
Hydrogen sulfide, and sulfur dioxide that forms from sulfur
Smoke from wood that contains hundreds of chemicals that are also found in cigarette smoke
Formaldehyde, ketones, carboxylic acids, and more than partial oxidation of hydrocarbons produce
Following a fire, you can be exposed to smoke and soot through direct contact and inhalation. Airborne soot particles are microscopic, so you may think the air is safe to breathe when really it is contaminated. Wiping down smoke and soot residue disrupts the particle, causing them to be inhaled also. Even exposure to your skin by trying to clean them up on your own can cause health symptoms. Some common side effects of smoke and soot exposure are:
Shortness of breath
Irritation to eyes, nose, and throat
Rashes on skin
In infants, the elder, and those with who are chronically ill, these side effects are even more serious. In fact, infants who have been exposed to smoke and soot chemicals and residue could have lifelong consequences and risk complications with their developing respiratory symptoms.
Fire Damage In St. Paul
Adequate personal protective equipment and proper cleaning methods are required to safely clean up soot and smoke from fire damage. To ensure that you, and your family, are not exposed to the harm caused by smoke and soot residues, fire damage cleanup and restoration should not be attempted on your own. Instead, if your home in St. Paul suffers from fire damage, you should call ICC right away. With the proper equipment, training, and techniques, our team will safely and thoroughly remove smoke and soot, and restore your home after fire damage.
Do you have an emergency right now?
Call our FREE recorded help line, 866.744.0973, for tips on what to do in an emergency. Or click below for online tips!
Melisa did such a great job and was so professional and nice. It really helped with the issues I was dealing with. Thanks Again!
- Janell, Waconia
Thank you for everything. You have been more than accommodating to me throughout this nightmare. I couldn’t be more pleased with the final outcome.
- Laura, Woodville, WI
I just can’t thank you enough for making our “water damage ordeal” go away so quickly. Your ability to organize subcontractors and the ICC crews is truly amazing, Mom and I are delighted to be back and settled into our little casa. Your genuine warmth and caring are truly gifts that you bring to your work. You are so appreciated!
- Jane, Stillwater
Thank you for sending Jake to my home. He was the most respectful young man I have ever met. He left my home very clean and he was very knowledgeable.
- Carolyn, White Bear Lake
The project manager did a great job communicating. He was so nice and did a great job checking in with us. Working with ICC was the best part of the flood. The crews really went out of their way to make sure we were well taken care of. The job could not have gone better.
- Nick & Abbie, Chanhassen
I don’t think your company performed work at Derek’s home as there was minimal damage, he called me today and thanked me profusely for referring ICC to him. He was very impressed with the rep that came to his house and the honesty and helpful advice he gave him about clean up and that it may not be in his best interest to file a claim. He is the type of customer that appreciates good service and will remember it and refer others. Thanks again for ICC’s help.
- Kimberley (Insurance Agent)
Thank you for such AMAZING service!
- Barbara (Insurance Agent), Rochester
ICC turned a really bad experience into a good one. We are very happy with all of the work that was done. They did a great job explaining the claims process.
- Linda, Oakdale
The crews were very professional and communicated well. They were great also about cleaning up after themselves. We would use ICC again. The crews were always on top of the process, which allowed the repairs to go smoothly.
- Church Representative, Edina
Erick did an excellent job explaining the process. We thought that everyone was very professional. They explained everything very well and followed through with everything. Communication could not have been better. I am very happy with my services.
- Gary, Osceola, WI
Our project manager was great to work with; he explained things well and answered all of our questions. Our coordinator also did a good job. Working with ICC was easy. Communication was wonderful and the crews were very professional. We would use ICC again in a heartbeat.
- Angie & Fran, Hudson, WI
The lead technician was great and explained things over the phone very well. I was very impressed. The crews were better than expected and very professional. ICC was extremely responsive; I was out of state and was so impressed with how they kept me informed.
- Jim & Cheryl, Victoria
I was very happy with all the crews at ICC. I had great experience and would not hesitate to work with ICC again should the need arise. Everyone there really knows what they are doing.
- Jerry, Cottage Grove
Dealing with the fire was a very upsetting time. ICC was able to get out to my home quickly and really helped reassure me that everything would be fine. ICC worked very well with my insurance company. I could not have been happier with the whole process. I know I asked a ton of questions and Mark was great about answering them all.
- Karen, St. Croix Falls, WI
The crews were always on time for their appointments. Our job went very well. I am so thankful for everyone at ICC and the excellent work they did.
- Michelle, Shoreview
Everyone I dealt with was just great. My project could not have gone better. Everyone at ICC is professional and is excellent at communicating. I would use ICC again and will be recommending them.
- Connie, Edina
The technicians did a fantastic job. Everyone really cared about me and my concerns. They were extremely knowledgeable, compassionate, and knew how to make me feel comfortable. ICC was amazing to work with.
- Kevin, Maple Grove
ICC was terrific to work with and I will be recommending them. I had an excellent experience.
- Patricia, Hudson, WI
The technicians were extremely detailed. I immediately felt like I was in great hands. They were also very calming, always on time and communicated well.
- Sally, Excelsior
The technicians were very good at explaining what was going to take place. They answered all of my questions in great detail. Everyone was very sympathetic to my situation and genuinely cared.
- Anita, St. Anthony
Our project manager payed great attention to detail and had excellent customer service. He was very compassionate and really cared about what we were going through. ICC was wonderful to work with. The crews were very professional and thorough.
- Brian & Jill, Woodbury
I was very pleased with the whole process. Everything went so much smoother than I expected. ICC really helped make it easy.
- Jackie, Woodbury
The crews were very professional and communicated very well. They responded very quickly to our phone calls and always made sure we knew what was going on.
- Robert, Maplewood
Thank you for the wonderful inspection findings and THANK YOU for your professionalism. So much appreciated.
- Carol, Burnsville
My project manager did a great job and was really nice to work with. My coordinator did a great job keeping me informed about the process as well. ICC was wonderful to work with; they were all very professional and treated my home well. The quality of the work done was impressive and I would definitely use them again.
- Paul, Maplewood
I was impressed by the short time it took for the clean up crew to make arrangements to meet me even though we were outside of the metro area.
- Karen, Osceola, WI
As the coordinator of facilities and grounds for the State’s fourth largest school district I am involved is a lot of activities and unfortunately some are emergencies in nature. This includes fire, floods, sewer backups and natural disasters. Thankfully this does not happen often but when it does I rely on a restoration company’s specialists who have the knowledge and equipment to quickly clean and restore the affected area of the building or grounds…
In Minnesota, ICC provides restoration and remediation services to Minneapolis MN, St Paul MN, Andover MN, Anoka MN, Stillwater MN, Eden Prairie MN, Apple Valley MN, Lakeville MN, St Cloud MN, Brooklyn Park MN, Bloomington MN, Burnsville MN, Eagan MN, Minnetonka MN, Woodbury MN, Oakdale MN, White Bear Lake MN, Inver Grove Heights MN, Coon Rapids MN, Plymouth MN, Chanhassen MN, North Branch MN, Cambridge MN, Blaine MN, Lino Lakes MN, Ham Lake MN, Ramsey MN, Golden Valley MN, Shakopee MN, Prior Lake MN, Farmington MN, Rosemount MN, Chaska MN, Mound MN, Watertown MN, Norwood MN, MN Young America MN, Belle Plaine MN, New Prague MN, East Bethel MN, Oak Grove MN, St Francis MN, Zimmerman MN and surrounding communities. In Wisconsin, we serve New Richmond WI, River Falls WI, Osceola WI, Roberts WI and surrounding communities.