Smoke Damage: Definition and Common Types

“Smoke damage” refers to any physical damage produced by smoke rather than the fire itself. Smoke, unlike fire, does not destroy a space, its contents, or its property, but it can nonetheless have disastrous consequences. Some effects include soot coating and a lingering odor, but it can also take other forms.

Many people are unaware of how oily smoke and soot can be. It can be extremely unpleasant to touch when it settles on valuable goods. It wreaks havoc on fabrics and furnishings in particular. If left for too long without having the damaged objects cleaned by a professional, soot and smoke particles can affect porous materials like wood or textiles and degrade things like metal.

Smoke Damage: The Most Common Types

We all know that fire is the root cause of smoke damage, but did you know that the type of fire can impact the outcome? The smoke and soot produced will behave differently depending on how the fire started.

Electrical issues, smoking, cooking, and simple accidental accidents are the most prevalent causes of fires in homes and workplaces. However, you may sustain special damage due to the fire smoke categories listed below.

Wet Smoke

This word refers to gases produced by low-heat, smoldering flames, specifically burnt rubber or plastic materials. They have a characteristic burnt plastic odor. These fumes are also thick, making them ideal candidates for causing damage to your property. 

They can also cause metal goods to corrode if left for too long. This variety is also particularly oily, making cleaning even more difficult. Good luck if you try to clean up on your own. It’s infuriating and unyielding. Please leave it to the property restoration professionals.

Fuel Smoke 

Fuel smoke is produced by the combustion of petroleum, oil, or a similar substance. This kind is less likely to be found inside a house or company. Oil fume damage is more likely in warehouses that store petroleum.

It has one of the most strong odors and is difficult to clean. Any cloth comes into contact with is most likely irreparable. Once settled, the residue is thick and sticky, allowing it to adhere to nearly any surface. It’s a terrible nightmare without professional help from companies like PuroClean of Northbrook.

Dry Smoke

Dry smoke from high-temperature flames may swiftly travel throughout buildings. They are frequently caused by wood, so they are frequently connected with house fires. The residue left behind on smoke-damaged things is powdered rather than sticky, making it easier to clean up.

However, its granular nature is also its main disadvantage. It may squeeze into even the smallest crevices in a room, wreaking havoc on the structural integrity of your home. It can also harm your wiring, perhaps causing long-term electrical damage in your house. Fortunately, the stink isn’t overpowering, and a skilled crew would have no trouble doing a comprehensive cleanup.


You can clean smoke damage yourself in various ways, but you usually eliminate the apparent evidence. Only professionals can provide comprehensive eradication through expert cleaning. Whatever Google tells you, vinegar and hot water are not a cleaning panacea.

But if you wait long, you may suffer irreparable harm. If not addressed immediately, soot, for example, can permanently harm a carpet. For the best outcomes, act fast.