How to Repair Fire Damaged Wood

Thursday 4th January 2024

Joanna Grimbley-Smith

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Burnt wood CONTENTS

 

Fire damage does not just destroy possessions, cover your property in unsightly stains, and leave behind foul-smelling smoke odours. It can affect the structural integrity of your home and make your property an unsafe place to live. You must bring in fire restoration professionals immediately after a fire to make your home safe again. 

Here at ICE Cleaning, we offer our fire damage cleaning services nationwide. Our fully trained technicians can remove soot and ash, collect waste and dispose of it, and even get rid of lingering smoke smells. In an emergency, we can be on site within several hours, no matter where you are in the UK. 

Read on to find out more about cleaning fire damaged wood. 

What are the effects of fire damage on wood?

Wood is a highly flammable material and provides good fuel for a fire. As a result, fire can have serious effects on wood, including weakening it and causing char to form on it. It can also leave behind scorch marks and cover the wood in soot. 

Aside from the aesthetic impacts of a fire, the smoke from the fire can penetrate into the porous material, and cause odours to become embedded in it. 

Fire damage to wood framing and beams may also affect the structural integrity of the property. Soot is corrosive, too, and can easily be absorbed into the wood via its tiny pores. 

Removing the soot and smoke damage is critical as both can put people's health at risk. Soot is a carcinogen and inhaling particles can damage your heart and lungs, and even worsen respiratory conditions, like emphysema and asthma. 

Should you replace or repair fire-damaged wood?

After a fire, it can be difficult to determine whether you need to throw away affected possessions or if you can save them. Making the right decision is especially important for fire-damaged wood as it can compromise the structure of your home and harm your health. 

If the damage is just surface level - that is, there is charring on the wood - surface cleaning and sanding will likely be required to get rid of the char, soot, and any odours. But if the fire seriously damaged the wood or smoke permeates it deeply, replacement may be required. 

Water damage from extinguishing methods used to get rid of the fire can also damage wood, such as causing it to crack or split. Just like with fire damage, it can be restored in some cases but serious repairs or replacement may be required.

Fire restoration professionals can assess what can be salvaged and dispose of severely damaged property and possessions for you. For antique wooden furniture, it is recommended you bring in experts to evaluate the damage. You can find out more about what to do with fire-damaged furniture in this blog

Why you should not clean fire damage yourself

Tackling fire damage is a complex, time-consuming process that can put your health at risk. It should always be left to professionals. 

Firstly, fire and smoke damage tend to permeate deep into wood and require specialist cleaning methods to restore the affected surfaces to how they were before. The wrong technique could leave harmful soot behind and even damage wooden surfaces more. 

Eliminating lingering smoke odours is particularly challenging, and will require professional odour neutralisation techniques. Airing out the property alone is not effective enough to cast out the offensive smell. 

Cleaning fire damage will bring you in close contact with the dangerous residue fires leave behind, too. Full personal protective equipment will be needed to protect your health. 

Professionals can give you peace of mind that your property is quickly restored to how it was before, and help you return to normal as soon as possible. You can learn more about the benefits of bringing in professionals for fire damage restoration here

How to protect wood against fire damage

There are plenty of fire-resistant coatings and treatments available that can protect your wooden furniture and beams against fire damage should one break out including: 

  • Intumescent paint: it swells up to form a thick barrier when exposed to heat that just forms a stable char when in contact with fire. 
  • Wood impregnation: this process involves impregnating the wood with chemicals which diffuse into the cell walls and increase the wood's strength, hardness, dimensional stability, and resistance to decay. 

You should also perform regular maintenance checks to ensure your coating is in top condition and will perform as intended.

Get in touch

We operate 24/7, 365 days a year, including bank holidays. Our technicians have been accredited by a wide range of organisations including Dewpoint Professional, SafeContractor, and BICSc. 

To learn more about our fire damage cleaning services, speak to our team on 0208 066 0360 or send an email to enquiries@icecleaning.co.uk.

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Melissa Harrison

Melissa Harrison

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