Soot is a smoke residue that can be on any surface in your home. It can come from sources such as your furnace system, a fireplace, candles you burn, and other combustible sources that don’t burn clean.
Some soot is dangerous, such as from a fire or furnace puff-back. Skin contact with these types should be avoided, as they may contain hydrocarbons that are classified as human carcinogens. Outdoor residues are even regulated by the EPA, classified as a criteria pollutant.
These deposits are usually handled by restoration professionals like Accent American Inc, as it is often a by-product of a disaster event, although it may be minor, such as extra smoke from a fireplace.
But many types of smoke residue, such as found in your kitchen or from candles, whihc is a light residue, can be handled with regular restorative cleaning. Just be smart when deciding to clean it from surfaces. Wearing appropriate personal protective equipment is a must when restoration pros do it, so keep that in mind and wear protective gloves, eye protection, and anything you need to keep the ssmoke residues off of your skin and out of your lungs.
What Are the Steps to Cleaning Soot
The first step is simply dry wiping. It may come off the surface easily, especially if the surface is non-permeable. You will still need to wet clean that surface for final residue.
Most likely, the soot needs to be cleaned with hot water and detergent, since it is often greasy. Applying some detergent solution and allowing approximately 10 minutes of dwell time should loosen the soot and you can wipe it away. There are also special cleaning products for soot-type greasy soils. The same cleaning principles would apply.
But if the soot is on a vertical surface, your approach needs to be more careful. Clean from the bottom and move up, just a few inches at a time. If you start at the top and work down, any wet residue that runs down the wall may create permanent stains. So manage the moisture and soot removal from the bottom going up, and you won’t have this issue.
If, after cleaning, soot stains remain, it may be time to think of repainting.
Of course, soot cleaning is really something that restoration pros can handle. Do the right thing. Call your favorite Tampa area fire restoration company, Accent American Inc. After all, it pays to call a pro!