hand in pink glove scrubbing smoke stains off tile

Of all the terrible things that can happen in a house fire, one with a high potential for severe, long-term repercussions comes from the blanket of soot that settles after extinguishing a fire. While smoke alarms warn of the imminent danger you are in because of the blaze, soot often performs its insidious work with nothing to draw attention it’s way. Here are five reasons why soot removal is essential for your home after a fire.


Just like the dark cloud of smoke that heralds its arrival, inhaling soot is incredibly dangerous, and you must avoid doing it at all costs. Soot is known to carry many different carcinogens that can quickly settle into your lungs. Your HVAC system is a popular hiding place for soot following a fire, so it is essential to have everything cleaned before turning anything back on.

Smells Bad

While the appearance of soot may be gone, the scent often lingers on well into the future. During a house fire, the tiny particles that make up soot become trapped in clothing, furniture upholstery, drapes, and other fabrics. If the items are of sentimental or personal value, the option to have materials professionally restored exists and can help remove the scent.

Stains on Contact

It can sometimes take several days before all the stains and discoloration becomes apparent on your items in the aftermath of a fire. This yellowing of walls and floors may take several days to complete before you can finally evaluate the full extent of the damage. Countertops made from marble and granite are often porous, allowing soot to settle in and discolor the stone much the same way it does with exposed wood.

Skin and Eye Irritant

One of the biggest reasons why soot removal is essential following a house fire is that it irritates your skin and eyes. If the condition becomes severe enough, this can necessitate medical intervention. Always be sure to cover up as much of your skin as possible when near soot, and make sure to cover your eyes with safety glasses or goggles.


The last thing to worry about with soot is that it can be corrosive when left unattended. Soot is highly acidic, so items around the home that most would assume safe, including metal objects like doorknobs and pipes, must be checked for signs of damage. Corrosion is especially problematic once soot enters the HVAC systems because the system quickly distributes it throughout the home.

If you’ve recently experienced a house fire, the experts at Aloha Restoration are here to help put your life back together. Our expert team has the experience and tools to provide top-notch soot removal services throughout much of northeastern Illinois.

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