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Why Is Soot So Dangerous?

The word “soot” sounds so simple and harmless. To some, it conjures up images of campfires and candles, and perhaps a charming dance number from Mary Poppins.  In fact, soot is anything but simple and is certainly not harmless.

Soot includes the fine black particles, chiefly composed of carbon, produced by incomplete combustion of coal, oil, wood, or other fuels. Soot can consist of acids, chemicals, metals, soils, and dust. The common trait of soot particles is that they are extremely tiny – 2.5 micrometers or smaller in diameter. This is smaller than dust and mold, and is about 1/30 the diameter of a human hair.
This combination – extremely small size and toxic composition – is what makes soot so dangerous.   It can travel deep into the lung, where the compounds it consists of can do some serious damage.

Soot particle size

Risks – Health & Environment from Soot

Compounds from soot – sulfur dioxides and nitrogen oxides – combine with moisture to form acid rain, which worsens water quality, damages soil and crops, and changes nutrient balances in various ecosystems.  Breathing the tiny particles can cause coronary heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, and many other respiratory illnesses.  Research has also shown that many premature deaths are directly related to soot in the environment. Particle exposure leads to around 20,000 premature deaths in America each year. Many of these deaths were caused by soot-related diseases. Data also show that soot annually causes almost 300,000 asthma attacks and 2 million lost workdays due to respiratory problems.

soot respiroratory

Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)

The air in your home after a fire will extremely unhealthy as mentioned above. You will want to immediately use commercial HEPA air scrubbers on each floor to help filter the particulate matter out of the air. You will want to have machines that produce a minimum of 800 CFM (cubic feet per minute) of filtered air flow. You should be doing approximately 8-10 air exchanges per hour. Hydroxyl generators should also be used to help to deodorize and sanitize the air, additional air movers will be needed to spread the hydroxyls around to each room. It is a good idea to start in the “source room” (the area where the fire occurred and then move to obey areas of the home that have been affected. Proper PPE should be worn will performing the cleanup. (See below.)

Failure to cleanup up soot & odor correctly.

One of the most hazardous conditions is when either someone doesn’t feel there was enough soot to cleanup or did not cleanup all of it correctly. The reason is the occupants of the home go on living in their home as they did before the incident and are living, sleeping, eating in it and not realizing that their house is contaminated. They have a false sense that everything is good.

 

Who should I call?

Call a certified smoke & odor cleanup company.  There are a couple of main accreditation’s that restoration companies can have.  The primary association is IICRC, which offers accreditation’s for a variety of different trades, such as Fire and Smoke Restoration  Technician (FSRT), Odor Control technician (OCT), Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT), Applied Structural Drying Technician (ASD), and a host of others.  Companies and individuals can also become certified through RIA.

It’s important to use a company certified to perform the work you need done.  Not only do they know how best to cleanup the smoke damage and remove the odor, but you’re less likely to deal with any issues/concerns from your adjuster during the claims process.  They’ll typically have a list of reputable, certified contractors in the area that deal with smoke damage losses, so they’re familiar with their level of service and professionalism.

If your home or business is in North NJ, we’re a company that can provide the expert help you need to clean up and restore your home from your smoke & odor loss.

We are here to help, call PDQ today at 973-316-6014 to speak with one of our smoke cleanup and odor removal restoration experts.

Marc Scarlatella
Marc Scarlatella
21:14 18 Jun 19
Had a flood in my upstairs bathroom and basement and PDQ responded and came to the house within an hour. All the guys worked diligently to get all the water out and dry everything. I highly recommend PDQ for all your home restoration needs.
Catherine Brooks
Catherine Brooks
17:27 17 Jun 19
Thank You PDQ for answering your after hours phone! We got home late from a party and found our basement flooded. We called PDQ and they came out within the hour. They were able to save our wet carpet and dried everything with very little demo. They had all sorts of equipment to dry different items. We were very impressed.
Rachel Stein
Rachel Stein
20:49 30 May 19
May 2019 We had moisture damage in our walls caused by window Air Conditioners in old windows. The primary concern was the black fuzzy growth on the porch ceiling that appeared to likely be mold. Concern; especially, because two family members were less than two weeks from having major surgeries with lengthy in-home recoveries. Tim and Elizabeth came out immediately to evaluate.Tim doubted it was mold, but we needed definite confirmation. He helped with a recommendation of a third party tester. Thankfully, Tim's visual assessment was correct. Before the results, we had the reassurance from PDQ that if needed, they were there and ready to work to make our home ready in time for the convalescing patients. Their willingness to provide prompt and speedy professional attention to our problem, as well as their honesty and concern and human decency make it apparent; they are who I want working in my home if needed. Happily, I recommend PDQ! Thank you, Tim and Elizabeth!
Eli Conway
Eli Conway
22:21 30 Apr 19
PDQ did an excellent job at restoring my kids jack n Jill bathroom to pre-construction condition, removed n dried all areas of my garage ceiling and kids bathroom...just a world class outfit n very professional. Thank you
Nancy Compton
Nancy Compton
17:40 01 Apr 19
We live in Morristown, NJ and came back from vacation to a flooded basement. Our furniture was actually floating! We found PDQ online and decided to use them based on their reviews. They answered their phone right away even though it was Saturday night. John came out within an hour and began pumping out our basement. John and his crew worked all weekend and made the process very easy. He even helped us put in the insurance claim and did all of the documentation. We are very happy with choosing PDQ Restoration.
James Parsons
James Parsons
17:50 28 Feb 19
Great business. Known the owner a long time. Tim knows how to treat clients and their property.
United Fire and Water Damage Restoration
United Fire and Water Damage Restoration
12:27 19 Feb 19
Tim and Elizabeth are true professionals. They have shown me that they are proficient at restoration work, and that they care about their clientele. Hopefully you will never need their services, but should you encounter water or smoke damage, there is none better to call.
Rina Desai
Rina Desai
23:02 23 Dec 18
PDQ was very prompt to come out after we had water damage so the clean up/drying process happened quick as possible. Very knowledgeable and completed the process with minimal disruption as possible. Would highly recommend the company.
Frank Delmont
Frank Delmont
14:54 27 Oct 18
We quoted a few different companies for mold remediation in our basement. It was amazing to see the wide price differences and different levels of service offered. We decided on PDQ because they were the most professional, knew there stuff and came in right in the middle for the pricing. I would highly recommend them to my neighbors. They were very detailed and professional.
Matt C
Matt C
05:05 17 Aug 16
If I could leave more than 5 Stars I would! I had a pipe leak in my basement overnight and woke up to a flooded basement. Called the plumber and had the pipe fixed and then called PDQ Restoration about having them come out and clean up the water. They were there literally 20 minutes after I called and got right to work. PDQ Restoration is run how a business should be. They are punctual, neat, friendly, reasonable, and willing to do whatever it takes to make sure you are completely satisfied. This is tough to find in this day and age in my opinion. Some businesses are out to make money and get it done as fast as possible without caring about customer satisfaction. PDQ stayed around as long as it took to make sure all of the water and moisture was 100% gone and made sure we were 100% happy. My experience with them could not have been better. I would recommend them to anyone in a heartbeat! Thanks again guys!
Eva Moonika
Eva Moonika
15:39 15 Aug 16
I had a dryer fire on Sunday. I thought everything was fine and we were thankful to be ok. What I was equally thankful for though was PDQ! Though education, Tim & Elizabeth were able to show me that was I thought was "fine" was actually a dangerous situation to be living in. There was soot all over my house that I didn't even know about. PDQ came in and cleaned my home and returned it back to a healthy living environment. Extremely pleased with their level of communication and professionalism. I highly recommend PDQ Restoration!! PS: Tim, I can't figure out how to reply to your comment, so I just edited this post to add on. Thank you and your company again and again! A true gem of a team you have there! Thanks ~ Eva ( posted on: 8/15/16)
Pat Balkin
Pat Balkin
15:34 15 Aug 16
Came home from vacation to a flooded mess in my basement. Everything was ruined. My insurance company recommended PDQ. They were onsite quickly and knew exactly what to do! My nerves were shot and I am so thankful I had their help and expertise during that trying time. My basement looks better than ever and I'm glad that whole ordeal is behind me. Thank you PDQ and my insurance company!
Macy Vasquez
Macy Vasquez
14:25 04 May 16
PDQ made the unfortunate puff back event (boiler malfunction that causes soot to go EVERYWHERE!) much more bearable! From the start, they knew their stuff and what seemed like an overwhelming project went so smoothly. My home looks amazing!!! It is back to the healthy, beautiful home that I love! Hats off to Elizabeth, Tim, Bryan and crew! WOW!
Dennis Bailey
Dennis Bailey
20:17 29 Nov 15
We used PDQ last week to cleanup a sewage backup we had in our finished basement. I did not realize all of the steps that were necessary to clean, sanitize and seal all of the affected areas. I am glad we chose PDQ. They knew exactly what to do and even deodorized the basement. My wife and I are very happy we choose PDQ!
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