The Behavior of Smoke

A fire loss can result in complex damages because of the unique behavior of smoke.  A trained professional should survey the loss to determine the extent to which fire, smoke, heat, and moisture impacted building materials and contents.

Experienced fire restoration professionals know that smoke can penetrate within cavities of the structure causing hidden damage and odor.  Their knowledge of building systems helps them investigate how far smoke damage may have spread. Here are some things you may not know about smoke:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, using holes around pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

The Different Types of Smoke

                There are two different types of smoke- wet and dry.  As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire.  Before restoration begins, a Servpro of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County professional will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred.  The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting.  Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke-Plastics and Rubbers- Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean

Dry Smoke-Paper and Wood- Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue- Produced by evaporation of materials rather than from a fire- Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor.

Fuel Oil Soot- Otherwise known as  Furnace Puff Backs- While “puff backs” can create havoc for homeowners, Servpro of Putnam County can, in most cases, restore the contents and structure quickly.

Other Types- Tear gas, fingerprint powder and Fire Extinguisher residue- Special loss situations require special care.


Trust Servpro of Newtown and Southern Litchfield County to handle even the toughest losses. Call us at 203-743-5362 for more information and to see what we can do for you!


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