Smoke Damage

How to Tell If It’s Smoke Damage

There are times it can be really challenging to determine whether damage you are looking at is actually smoke damage or something else. Of course, if you’ve recently had a fire, this may be easier to determine, but that isn’t always the case.

Check out these tips to help identify smoke damage and to take action when you find it.

Black Soot Stains

One of the most noticeable ways to pinpoint areas that are damaged by smoke is to look for the telltale signs of black soot. Some people think that is just the effects of the fire, but it’s truly damage from smoke. That being said, fire was probably involved in creating that smoke.

Soot streaks are the most obvious signs of smoke damage in a building. But the challenge is that they are not always just black streaks and marks. While that is the most common, some soot stains are identified by yellowing instead of black and gray.

The yellowish soot streaks are typically caused by something besides flames. It might be the remnants of cigarette smoke or something similar.

Residue Left Behind

Another common way to spot smoke damage is from remaining residue. This could be protein residue, but it could be something like fuel or oil residue as well. Both of these residues ultimately consist of the materials left behind after a fire, from the evaporation and heat of the flames.

Protein residue is most commonly found after cooking-related fire incidents occur. In these cases, you may not see any soot, but the presence of protein residue can indicate the possible presence of less-visible smoke damage.

Wet Smoke or Dry Smoke

Some other residues that get left behind are caused by wet smoke or dry smoke. Again, these may not leave behind black soot streaks, but they still leave their marks.

Dry smoke comes from powdery residue and typically happens when a fire burns at very high temperatures or burns very fast. Wet smoke, on the other hand, comes from low heat and slow fires. This often is residue from plastics, rubber, and other similar materials that melt and leave waste behind.


Finally, you can rely on odors to be a telltale sign of smoke damages. If you smell smoke in the air, then there is damage from the smoke. When you walk into a home that people used to smoke in, that damage remains behind for a very long time.

While you might not be able to immediately spot the damage, the odor is a clear indicator that damage still remains. There are solutions to this, but it can definitely be a challenge to get rid of those odors and the associated damages.

Restoring Smoke-Related Damages

If you know you have smoke damage or suspect it from one of these signs, you shouldn’t ignore it. The best thing to do is call in a smoke damage restoration expert and get the issue handled.

Restoration companies often have specialized tools and training to be able to really tackle the damages, and the odors, and restore your space. Contact Trujillos Cleaning if you’re in the Colorado Springs area and need help with smoke damage!


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