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Even after a fire has been extinguished, damage to your home and belongings continues. That's why it's so important to call in a professional who knows the right way to deal with soot, smoke and odor removal to prevent further damage.

Immediately call your insurance company and the professionals at ServiceMaster Restoration by OneCall

The residue left behind after a fire is a biohazard and can cause health problems if it is not taken care of correctly and thoroughly. We'll quickly assess the damage to find out the costs for fire restoration and examine if there's any additional damage from water or other factors. Once the amount of damage is determined, we'll come up with an estimate for the cleaning and restoration.

How smoke can damage your home?
  • In just a few minutes smoke can discolor the walls and within a few hours, finishes on kitchen appliances can turn yellow
  • Smoke causes etching in glass after just a short time and smoke will tarnish metal quickly
  • Ash and smoke can continue to cause damage and corrosion to materials if they are left behind
To remove soot, smoke and odor damage, we:
  • Clean the ash residue that builds up on surfaces before it spreads
  • Neutralize the odors to keep them from returning
  • Remove the troubling reminders of soot, odor and stains from at-risk items such as brass, aluminum, chrome, marble, tile, porcelain, as well as fabrics, upholstery and carpets
  • Deodorize the carpets and curtains before they are cleaned
  • Use special chemicals that break up the molecules in the smoke to get rid of the odors before dry cleaning your clothing

Smoke: The solid, liquid and gaseous products of combustion released into the air.
Soot: Fine, black particles composed primarily of carbon, produced by the incomplete combustion of fuel.
Puffbacks: Accumulations of soot that are sometimes released suddenly by furnace malfunctions.

What YOU can do after a fire to reduce odors and soot

  • If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor
  • Change the air filter on the furnace if it uses forced hot air
  • Tape damp cheesecloth over returns and supply registers to capture loose soot in the air
  • Do not touch anything with bare hands. Oils from hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing additional damage
  • Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue

Warning: Do not attempt to clean up your home after a fire or you may cause more damage.

A puffback is a misfiring in the furnace that, at its worst, can send soot throughout your home, covering drapes, bedding, furniture, cabinets, walls and everything in between. It can happen all at once or gradually over time. This soot is a substance that is difficult to clean and often has a strong oily odor. This dirty residue needs to be cleaned as soon as possible by professionals.

You can help prevent puffbacks
Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent a puffback, annual inspection and maintenance of your oil burner or furnace can greatly reduce your risk. So be sure to have your oil burner and furnace system cleaned regularly.


Damages to your business from water, fire, smoke or mold can mean lost revenue and potentially, lost customers. When disaster strikes, we speed to your side to start the commercial restoration process to minimize business interruptions and maximize results. As a leader in disaster restoration, we bring more than 60 years of experience and expertise to every challenge.

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