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Smoke Damage Cleanup and Soot Removal

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In the aftermath of fire damage in your property, the unmistakable smell of smoke and appearance of soot are highly likely. Both things can contribute to continued issues within the home or business, leading to corrosion and deterioration of components in the property. Ensuring that an effective smoke damage cleanup and soot removal operation is started on the property is vital to ensure the full recovery of the property.

At BELFOR, we are industry leaders in helping to return your property to its former state after fire damage. Entrusting a team of BELFOR smoke and soot removal professionals means you’ll be utilizing years of experience and industry-leading methods, all helping return your property to its former state.

BELFOR technician cleans soot and smoke damage

Dealing With Smoke Damage

If left untreated, smoke damage can turn walls yellow within a matter of days, even if they weren’t originally affected by the fire. If your property has been affected by a large fire, it’s important that you hire a professional restoration company, such as BELFOR, and do not attempt repairs yourself. If the smoke damage is not fully repaired, it will cause ongoing problems for your home or business.

When carrying out smoke damage restoration in your property, BELFOR will start by removing everything affected by the fire from the property. At this stage, it will be necessary to evaluate what can be restored and what must be removed. Restoration will then depend on the type of material and its value.

Any items that are deemed "priceless," for example, those of significant emotional value such as a family heirloom that can’t be replaced, will have to go through a thorough and careful restoration process. Items that can be replaced will likely be thrown out.

How To Get Rid Of The Smoke Smell

The smoke smell removal process depends entirely on the material. Smoke damage can permeate the surface of porous materials and goes much deeper than any surface damage you may see. For example:

  • Walls and Ceilings – Fire can blister the paint on walls and cause discoloration. Walls and ceilings need to be scraped and sanded back sufficiently until all affected material has been removed, before being repainted.
  • Unfinished Wood – There is a lower success rate for unfinished wood. One option would be to apply a sealant onto the wood, in some cases this will trap the odor.
  • Finished Wood – As finished wood already has a protective layer that will have been affected by the smoke, this will often be stripped, sanded and refinished.
  • Furniture – As furniture is often made of fabric, it’s likely to soak in a lot of the smoke and cause a strong smell. This will require professional cleaning or, if it’s not of great value, replacement.
  • Carpets – The same applies to carpets. The fibers of the carpet will hold the smell, meaning that cleaning throughout the property is necessary. If this doesn’t work, a replacement will be required.

Unfortunately, once a fire has occurred inside a property, removing the smell of smoke can be a difficult process. It’s important to seek professional help from a team of fire remediation professionals such as BELFOR.

BELFOR Soot Cleanup and Soot Remover

The removal of soot involves numerous different dry and wet cleaning techniques. BELFOR will determine what technique is most effective and safely remove the soot from walls, vents, carpets, upholstery and more. 

At BELFOR, we’ve developed our own technique of soot removal which can be carried out more quickly and effectively. Soot Removal Film (SRF) provides an environmentally friendly and highly effective solution to soot removal in just a few simple steps.  SRF (Soot Removal Film) is especially effective for historical buildings with stone exteriors.


soot removal film

Soot Removal Film provides an environmentally friendly, high-performance cleaning method on nearly all building materials. The procedure requires none or very minimal containment as it does not release contaminants into the air, as other procedures can. Wall or surface drying is not necessary after treating with Soot Removal Film, but the application of succeeding coats or even paint without standby time is possible after removal of the dried SRF.

The process uses only a small amount of water for cleaning of the spraying device, thus minimizing water waste, and it allows for trouble-free disposal of the dried product. Even when extra care is needed for disposal if contaminated with dangerous substances, it is safer with less mess or potential for cross-contamination than traditional wet cleaning methods.

How to Clean Soot with SRF

  • The SRF is sprayed onto walls or other surfaces.
  • Once dried, the spray will form an adhesive film on the surface.
  • The SRF will be gently peeled away, bringing with it soot, dust, and other contaminants.
  • The used SRF can be safely disposed of and the surface will be removed of soot and contaminants.


If you’ve been affected by smoke and soot damage, you can contact BELFOR by calling our 24-hour hotline on 800-856-3333. Our professional teams have years of experience dealing with disaster recovery and will work to return your property to normal as quickly as possible. Whether forming part of a wildfire preparedness plan or having it on hand for any other type of fire damage, having BELFOR available to help your recovery plays a key role.

Read more information and real-life fire damage restoration examples performed by BELFOR.

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