Can You Paint Over Soot?

Tuesday 16th January 2024

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Someone painting a wall CONTENTS

After a fire in your property, you will want to get things back to normal as soon as possible. But taking shortcuts, like painting over smoke damage, is not an effective way to deal with the problem, and will probably make the situation worse. You must bring in professional cleaners as soon as possible after a fire to make your home safe again. 

At ICE Cleaning, we offer rapid response fire restoration services nationwide. Our comprehensive fire damage clean up services can take care of the entire aftermath of a fire. In an emergency, we can be on site within several hours, no matter where you are in the UK. 

Keep reading to find out more about how to paint over soot and why you should always bring in fire damage cleaning professionals. 

What is soot?

Soot is a black powdery or flaky substance mainly made up of carbon that results from the incomplete combustion of organic materials such as wood and fossil fuels. 

Soot is an oily, greasy substance that clings onto almost any surface including ceilings, walls, and furniture. Whether stains have been left behind by candles or a house fire, it must be cleaned up thoroughly as it carries a number of health risks due to its toxic makeup of acids, metals, soils, and dusts.

The dangers of soot

Soot may seem like a simple nuisance, but it's much more than just an eyesore; it poses real risks to your health and property.

Firstly, when inhaled, fine particles can lead to respiratory issues such as bronchitis or chronic conditions like asthma. Particulate matter from house fires has been linked to cardiovascular problems, too. Soot can even cause cancer

Beyond health concerns, soot also has corrosive properties that can damage your home’s interiors over time. When it permeates into electronics, it can cause malfunctions or short circuits. Soot accumulation is particularly insidious because its damage is not always immediately visible but becomes harder to tackle over time.

Cleaning up these hazardous materials requires specific techniques and specialist equipment. Regular household cleaners will not do the job effectively because they might not remove all toxic components nor neutralize acidity levels properly.

Why you should never paint over fire damaged walls

A coat of paint is not an effective way to deal with soot and smoke damage. When you try painting over fire and smoke damaged surfaces, many issues can arise:

  • Paint will fail to adhere correctly to the smoke damaged wall or ceiling, resulting in peeling and flaking
  • A lingering smoke odour problem can persist despite the paint
  • The carbon deposits are incredibly adhesive and bleed through most types of paint so the smoke stain will come back soon after it is painted 
  • The acidic, corrosive soot will still be present on the surface and continue to degrade it
  • Skipping over the fire restoration process and just covering the stains will leave behind harmful soot particles on other surfaces, including porous surfaces, like upholstery, and continue to put people's health at risk

The benefits of fire restoration professionals

A professional team understands how fire and smoke damage can affect surfaces, causing damage that is not only superficial but structural as well. With specialised equipment, they tackle every nook and cranny where soot may hide. Fine particles from ash can infiltrate places within your home where typical cleaning efforts would not reach — behind baseboards or inside HVAC systems, for example — creating hidden hazards over time.

They will also have access to the equipment and chemicals that can remove all traces of the soot without damaging the surfaces. They will even be trained in how to safely clean the smoke damage to protect their own health and that of the customer. 

Their experience means they have meticulous attention to detail, too. They are quick to identify materials that can be salvaged and can assess all potential impact areas, including ductwork, ensuring nothing gets overlooked.

Professional fire damage cleaners can give you peace of mind that your property is completely safe to reoccupy. They can help maintain the integrity of the structure and safeguard inhabitants against the possible adverse effects associated with contaminants that are not fully cleaned up. 

Get in touch

Our accredited team of experts can remove all the soot and ash from property, tackle any lingering smoke odours, and dispose of waste for you. We operate 24/7, 365 days a year, including bank holidays. 

Contact our team today on 0208 066 0360 or enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk. They will be happy to schedule your free site survey and give you a no-obligation quote for our fire damage cleaning services. We also offer smoke damage cleaning services, should they be required.

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Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison

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Why choose us?

  • Cater to a wide variety of cleaning situations
  • Nationwide coverage, available 24/7
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