We are experienced fire & smoke restoration contractors with IICRC certifications
for smoke cleaning & deodorization.
We possess specialized equipment that helps to filter the air and neutralize
smoke odors. Treating a smoke affected structure is not a job for a
homeowner/laymen or even a typical contractor.
We will help our clients start a smoke insurance claim and guide them through
this tricky, involved process. We utilize the Xactimate estimating program which
is the same estimating database used by most, if not all insurance providers. By
using this program it allows us to communicate directly with your insurance
company on your behalf and come to an acceptable insurance payout which
eliminates out of pocket expenses for our clients.
Our communication & managerial systems and attention to detail are tops in the
The 4-Step Process for Proper Smoke Cleaning
Step 1: Air Treatment & Removal Textiles & other sources of smoke smell
Air Scrubbers – An air scrubber combined with an activated carbon or charcoal filter is a very affective means for odor removal. The HEPA filter within the air scrubber will remove air pollutants that are invisible to the naked eye down to 0.3 microns. Toput that in perspective, a human hair has a diameter of 100-150 microns and the human eye can only see to 10 microns.
o Use of an Air Scrubber on a Soot or fire loss is imperative as it removes the air
pollution from the environment. Air pollution can’t be seen with the naked eye.
o Particles also settle out at different rates, (visible dust takes 5 seconds, mites
and fungal spores take 5 minutes, dander takes 10 hours, soot and gasses
can take up to 10 days.
o Activated carbon or charcoal filters should be used with an air scrubber to
remove odor. Carbon and charcoal filters are one in the same as the
terminology is based on the manufacture selling the product.
Activated Carbon works by adsorption to remove gasses and
odor causing fumes.
1 lbs of activated carbon has the surface area to treat the
equivalent of 100 football fields. The carbon filters we use have
2.2 lbs of activated in them.
Removal & cleaning of textiles (clothing, drapes, bedding, etc.) will drastically lower the odor in the property and is the next step of remediation / cleaning process.
Step 2: Clean and Deodorize Exposed Surfaces
Precleaning with a HEPA vacuum with a brush head followed by either a dry or wet
cleaning method depending on the surfaces and the type of smoke or soot. Another
step of pre-cleaning would be the cleaning of any HVAC system affected, which
should be done prior to wipe down of any surfaces. Precleaning with a HEPA
vacuum reduces the particles that can be re-released into the air.
The next step is a wipe down with a dry chemsponge and / or wet cleaning with a
degreaser to physically remove soot from the surface of the material. Dry cleaning
with a soot or dry sponge will pull some soot out of the pores of porous materials.
Chemical Odor neutralizers such as Odor X 9D9 can either be mixed with a wet
cleaning solution or applied directly by a ULV fogger or pump sprayer
Step 3: Neutralizing trapped smoke odors
Ozone producing machines – Ozone producing machines are used to create a
chemical reaction to odor molecules by adding one oxygen molecule (This process
is called oxidation). Although ozone is the most effective odor neutralizer, it is also
the most dangerous if not used correctly.
o Ozone can damage, paint and rubber, create peroxide if water is present
bleaching materials, and cause major health hazards as it is a strong
o Only use in vacant houses with no fish tanks and on a timer.
Hydroxyl Ions – Hydroxyl generating machines operate much like an ozone machine
as it works by oxidizing materials, however is much milder then ozone as it does not
damage materials and does not pose a health hazard. Since it is a milder machine, it
takes days to do what ozone does in hours.
o Hydroxyl machines require humidity to work as it uses water molecules
to create hydroxyl Ions.
o Some Hydroxyl machines create small amounts of ozone
Crystal Odor Counteractant (COC) and Thermal fogging – COC and thermal
fogging work in conjunction with each other.
o COC is an odor adsorbing crystal which helps neutralize certain types of odor
causing gasses by the process of adsorption much like activated carbon. The
difference being that COC use a time release evaporative control agent into the
air where it attaches to the odor causing molecule to neutralize it.
4 ounces controls 200 Sf of area.
o Thermal fogging takes a liquid with odor neutralizing capabilities and
effectively evaporates it into a smoke like fog. This fog acts just like smoke
from a fire and pushes its way into all the cracks and crevasses that were un
able to be cleaned by hand. This fog works by adsorption attaching to the
odor molecules and neutralizing them.
Some thermal foggers use a gas burning flame to work and should
only be used in unoccupied fully gutted houses.
2 people should be working together for 1 thermal fogging job. 1 person
to operate the fogger and 1 person to guide the other out of the room
as the fog will inhibit vision
Some thermal foggers can ignite drapes, carpet, or contents if too close, this process is done with great care. The local fire department will be notified prior to commencing fogging as the structure will be filled with this fog and often times gives
the appearance of a fire
Step 4: Encapsulation, Seal surfaces
After all the cleaning is completed and the air pollution is reduced, the final stage is to
encapsulate the remaining structure by use of fire or odor rated sealers. This step
seals off all the pores of the materials effectively locking any remaining odor causing
molecules that have not been neutralized into the material. This sealer can be
sprayed or painted onto a surface with a brush or roller
It is important to note that this is the final step of the cleaning process and at no time
should any previous steps be skipped prior to this step. Encapsulation only works if
there is a small amount of remaining odors molecules left behind after the cleaning
process. The reason for this is expansion and contraction of materials based on the
environment. As materials get exposed to heat or moisture they expand exposing the
pores of the material and heavy odors can still escape if the previous steps are not
completed ( a job competed in January with no odor may have an odor reappear in
August if the process is not followed).
Do’s & Dont’s for smoke damage in Long Island NY:
DON’T- Do anything until you document the extent of the smoke & soot
DON’T- attempt to exhaust any smoke through your HVAC system or whole
DON’T- attempt to clean any wall surfaces, garments, upholstery, carpets and
appliances without consulting a True Restorations professional. Improper
cleaning techniques may cause further damage.
DON’T – consume any foods exposed to smoke
DON’T – use any makeup or topically applied ointments exposed to smoke
DO- ensure the HVAC system is shut off
DO- open windows & doors to release trapped smoke if weather conditions allow
DO- empty you refrigerator, freezer and cabinets of all perishable items.
CALL US ASAP!!!!
If you experience a fire or any kind of smoke related issue, please call us in for an
immediate consult. We will respond in and handle any and all aspects of cleanup 631-757- 0212