Smoke Damage Testing
After the Fire – The Lingering Environmental Effects of Smoke
Thousands of homes and office buildings have been affected by smoke from raging wildfires. After the flames die down, the lingering environmental effects remain. Smoke, soot, ash, char, and other combustion by-products are left behind. Homes and buildings that survived the wildfires may have significant visible and invisible smoke damage.
When a home has been inundated with smoke, the smoke eventually clears and leaves behind smoke residue that's virtually undetectable to the untrained eye. Though the damage may not be readily apparent, many homeowners in smoke-ravaged areas have reported sore throats, red eyes, allergies, and upper respiratory problems. Some residents have reported similar symptoms even in homes with no detectable smoke odor.
In addition to potential health concerns, smoke residue can damage property with smoke odors, discoloration, and "ghosting" effects from the deposit of carbonized material on building surfaces. Many homeowners have reported ghost-like stains and soot deposits around vents and electrical outlets. This residue is known as Black Carbon.
Smoke is clearly damaging, but difficult to detect once the smoke blows away. In order to process a smoke-related insurance claim, most insurance companies require proof of damage. That's where smoke testing comes in. Not only can smoke testing prove that a property has been damaged, it can also provide detailed information used to determine the next steps as far as remediation goes.
Our smoke damage testing process involves:
- Highly accurate smoke damage investigations
- In home sampling – we swap walls, floors, ceilings, furnishings, and other surfaces. We also take "microvac" samples which involves vacuuming dust from padded surfaces such as couches and clothing. All samples are sent to an accredited lab for analysis.
- Advanced testing methods and equipment including Scanning Electron Microscopy, Electron Microscopy, Polarized Light Microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy, epi-Reflected Light Microscopy, and Energy-Dispersive X-ray Spectrometry
- Combustion by-products analysis (soot, char and ash)
- Common particle identification of combustion by-products
- Black carbon analysis
You will receive two reports: a full lab report from an accredited lab and a report from us detailing our abatement recommendations.
All recommendations are specific to your home and the lab's findings. For example, our report details the damages found in each room with specific measures recommended on a room-by-room basis. In some cases, all that may be required is an interior cleaning and laundering of clothes. In other cases, drywall on exterior walls may need to be removed in order to replace the smoke-damaged wall insulation beneath it. No matter what needs to be done, you will have comprehensive documentation that supports and proves your insurance losses.
Contact us today to learn more about smoke damage testing.