Is Soot Dangerous? How Can You Remove It?

November 15, 2023

Whenever there is a fire, soot is to follow. The dark black powdery substance that you see all over your walls and flooring? That’s soot. It’s ultimately made out of tiny hydrocarbon particles that are combined with other materials such as wood, oil, or coal. Since soot develops as a result of mixing different chemicals and properties with fire, the outcome is often a layer of blackness followed by a charred smell. But is soot actually dangerous? To ensure your health doesn’t get damaged, call in professional technicians for a thorough cleanup.

Places Soot Gathers After a Fire

The thing about soot is that removing it can be extremely difficult. Once it sets, it can deeply embed itself into things due to its fine texture. For wooden surfaces especially, soot can be quite damaging. Take a look below to see all the other areas you are likely to find soot after a fire.

  1. Stovetop
    If you use oil when cooking, you will probably find traces of soot on the stovetop due to the heat.
  2. Fireplace
    One of the most common places for soot to gather is a fireplace. Even if you don’t use it on a daily basis, the moment wood is burned, it can leave behind a prominent layer of soot.
  3. Walls
    Soot is very quick to latch onto oil-based products. This includes wall paints with an oil base coat.
  4. Power Outlets & Switches
    Make sure to always check on your power outlets and electric switches, as soot can also spread over areas that contain electricity.
  5. Furnaces
    Because of the chemical compounds and air present in a furnace, soot is likely to also gather on its insides.

Dangers of Soot Exposure

While it might not seem as dangerous, soot can actually increase your chances of getting cancer. This is because of its carcinogen properties, which make your immune system weak if inhaled too much. People who have pre-existing health conditions are far more at risk of developing a respiratory condition.

Regular soot removal and cleaning are essential in such cases because of how tiny soot particles are. If not by inhalation, they can sink into your skin and get into your eyes, causing the following health problems:

  • Constant Sore Throat
  • Tension Headaches, and Migraine
  • Itchy or Irritated Eyes
  • Asthma Attack
  • Having Difficulty Breathing.
  • Nosebleeds
  • Dry Cough

How to Remove Soot?

When carbon particles aren’t completely burned through, they can react with the oxygen in the air and give birth to soot. However, unlike ashes, soot isn’t as easy to clean up. It’s dark in color and extremely fine, which makes soot very hard to get off of if it finds a place to settle in. No matter how much you wipe with a washcloth, the only way to clean soot completely is by letting experts handle the job. Our technicians are well-versed in the nature of soot. We use high-quality products to air out your house and deep clean each surface, ensuring that no trace or particle remains of soot is found.

Long Story Short

In short, soot particles can be very damaging to your health. No matter how careful you are, it is better to let a professional handle the removal job. With the help of their specialized equipment and experience, technicians can easily get rid of layers of soot without a problem. For more information on soot removal and fire damage cleanups, contact Flood Tech 3 at (703) 270-6428.