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Smoke Damage

We can all recognize the terrible burning smell of dangerous smoke lingering in the air after a raging fire. Most people fear the dangers and damage that fires bring, but many forget to consider the power of smoke itself. Smoke can do a massive amount of damage to your property, leaving you with an uphill battle to restore your home and personal belongings to their former glory. This can all seem daunting to tackle on your own. Insurance companies fight and give you the minimum amount of help possible. Unusually they hand you a piece of paper and say, “tell me what you lost.” Then ultimately they fight to pay the least amount of money possible. That means the burden is on You! Unless you hire Expert Claim Solutions.

When smoke damage ruins your home, you need the professionals at Expert Claim Solutions to help you with your insurance claim. We will properly evaluate the extent of damage, prepare a professional inventory of all damaged dwelling and personal property, and fight for you to receive the highest insurance payout possible. 

At Expert Claim Solutions, we handle both commercial and residential smoke damage claims.

What Causes Smoke Damage?

When a fire occurs, there are two main types of damage. Primary damage is any damage sustained due to direct contact with flames. Secondary damage refers to any damage caused by smoke, gases, or corrosive substances released by the fire. Sometimes it can be difficult to separate the two levels of damage. Smoke damage can even be more dangerous and destructive in some cases. 

Types of Smoke Damage

Smoke damage comes in four main categories, including dry smoke, protein residue damage, fuel or oil residue, and wet smoke damage. Each of these originates from different sources and is changed by factors such as the temperature of the fire, the materials fueling the fire, and even the location of the fire. As a result, each type of smoke damage also needs to be treated differently in the insurance claims process and restoration efforts. 

Dry Smoke Damage

If you have a fast-burning fire at extremely high temperatures that is fueled by dry material, then you probably will get dry smoke damage. Dry material which commonly leads to dry smoke are things like paper or wood. Luckily, dry smoke is one of the easier smoke damages to handle since it is not as sticky or dense. However, it can pose issues with lingering smells, even though the smell itself is not as strong, since the particles can easily fall into porous surfaces within your home. 

Wet Smoke Damage

In contrast, wet smoke damage comes from smoldering fires at lower heats. These fires are typically fueled by less-dry materials such as plastics, rubbers, and other flammable wet materials. As these fires burn, they produce a thicker and stickier smoke. They also tend to have a more intense smell, even when the fire itself appears smaller. The smoke tends to be very dark and can be more dangerous to breathe in because of the residue from burning plastics. It is also more difficult to clean up because of its darker, sticky nature. When cleaning off wet smoke, it tends to smear rather than wash off easily. Because of this, wet smoke requires an experienced smoke and fire damage restoration expert to return your home to normal. 

Smoke Damage from Protein Residue

Protein residue is the gooey stuff left over after organic material evaporates during a fire, usually at a lower heat. Some fires caused by cooking-related incidents will leave protein residue afterwards. While this type of damage appears to be minimal, its lasting effects can ruin the beauty of your home. This smoke damage hides behind the scenes more than the other types, causing tainted or discolored paint and varnishing on other surfaces in your home. It does not leave obvious soot, so it may go undetected for longer periods of time. Another key factor of protein residue damage is its smell, which is not pleasant. It can permanently damage surfaces in your house and the longer it goes untreated, the worse it will become.

Oil or Fuel Residue

This is a rarer type of residential smoke damage, but it’s not uncommon in a commercial location. It is caused by oil, fuel, or petroleum-based products igniting during a fire. This residue is a sticky, stinky mess! It is very difficult to clean since it is extremely dense. The odor is very strong and unpleasant and quickly seeps into all nearby surfaces, specifically fabrics, textiles, and walls. Without proper cleaning, then it grows even harder to remove the smell. Plus, this smoke damage is also very harmful to breathe in, since it is fueled by petroleum-based products, gasoline, diesel, and or industrial oils.

Health Risks of Smoke Damage

After a fire, it is important to get a health checkup as soon as possible – especially if you are in a smoky area for an extensive amount of time. There are many health concerns and hazards associated with both fire and smoke damage. Smoke especially is something to be careful around, since breathing in smoke fumes carries with it some significant hazards. 

Breathing in smoke can lead to breathing problems, especially among populations which might be more vulnerable due to preexisting conditions like asthma, COPD, or even the common cold. Additionally, pregnant women, children, and the elderly are more susceptible to the danger of smoke inhalation. Harmful smoke can even lurk and build up in the lungs, leading to lung cancer.

Furthermore, there could be deadly microscopic particles in the air you’re breathing, causing a range of issues, including runny nose and aggravated chronic heart and lung disease. These tiny particles are not even visible to the eye, but they have the power to cause hospitalization, lifelong health problems, and even death. Expert Claim Solutions is here to help you safely assess your smoke damage property insurance claims without risking further health concerns to you and your family. 

Contact Expert Claim Solutions Today

Smoke damage should not be taken lightly. It can be overwhelming for homeowners to process the extent and reality of smoke damage after a fire. Expert Claim Solutions skillfully investigates your smoke damage property claims so you can concentrate on staying safe and healthy. We promise to fight to ensure your property is brought back to its Pre-Loss Condition. Our services are available across the tri-state area. With over 26 years of experience and numerous certifications, we are here to fight for you. Want to learn more? Call or email us today at or 609-800-5540. 

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