Soot Damage in Wayne, Pike, and Sullivan Counties

Soot Damage in Wayne, Pike and Sullivan County

Well summer is past, and fall is quickly coming to an end.  We feel the air becoming brisk, and the days shortening, a sure sign that winter is right around the corner. There is a question we should all be asking ourselves, is my heating system ready for winter?

Many times we wish that we could just stick our head in the sand and pretend that winter is not coming this year.  However reality proves otherwise.  We often do the same when it comes to preparing our heating systems for the demands of winter.  However, neglecting regular maintenance of your heating systems poses the potential for a far more serious problem, soot damage.

What is soot damage?

Soot is a small particle that forms through incomplete combustion of combustible particles.  There could be several sources for soot in a home.  In this article we are going to focus on “puff backs”. Click on this link for more information on  Types of soot.

Puff backs are caused by a malfunction within a furnace.  A furnace puff back is literally an explosion of un-burned oil in the combustion chamber of an oil-fired boiler, furnace, or water heater.  When this unburnt fuel ignites and subsequently explodes it sends soot through out the home.  Soot varies in the extent of damage.

Soot is first noticeable in the corners of rooms on exterior walls.  The reason for this is that soot is thermally charged.  It’s very different than us, it likes the cooler areas.  As the amount of soot increases it becomes visible on the nails or screw heads in the drywall.  Soot is also ionized and attracted to these metal surfaces.

Soot also forms what appears to be spider webs.  We have had many a home maker comment on how many spider webs they missed cleaning.  These are not actual spider webs.  Soot forms into chains.  These chains often appear where there is a thermal exchange.

What if you notice some or all of these signs?

What to do?

  • First contact a company to service your furnace or hot water heater.
  • Refrain from touching the walls.  The oils from your hand combined with the soot can not be cleaned.
  • Don’t clean the walls with conventional cleaners.  It will only smear.  Soot is ionized and needs special cleaning agents to clean.
  • Clean necessary areas like countertops and dishes with liquid dishwashing detergent.
  • Remove all clothing from metal hangers and store in boxes.  The soot will be attracted to this metal the same as on drywall nails and screws.  Do not put the damaged clothing in bags.
  • Clean chrome, and marble surfaces with liquid dishwashing detergent.  Coat expensive brass and chrome items in petroleum jelly.  This will protect the items from the acid found in soot.
  • Clean and protect expensive silverware with liquid dishwashing soap.
  • Clean plastic items with liquid dishwashing soap.  Soot will appear on these contents first.

Who to call?

If you are in Wayne, Pike, or Sullivan Counties contact ProJan.  We have 35 years of experience in dealing with soot damage.  We know how to preserve and protect your precious contents.  We offer knowledgeable advice and guidance in all aspects of the soot loss.  Soot damage in many cases is covered by homeowners insurance.  We are experienced in handling insurance claims.  We can expertly guide you through the process.  We work with most insurance companies and adjusters in the area.

Most importantly remember that you the homeowner have the right to choose what company is going to clean your precious contents!  Don’t let the insurance company pressure you into using one of their “preferred vendors”.  Choose a company that you know and trust.  Choose ProJan!

So if you are wondering, do I have  soot damage?  What do I do with this soot damage?  How will I ever clean this soot up?  Contact ProJan today.


Posted in Fire Damage, Projan Restoration, Restoration.