How Smoke Can Damage Your Home

Fires can cause significant damage to homes and businesses. To make matters worse, smoke produced by the fire causes additional damage which can easily seep into hard-to-reach spaces such as HVAC systems, insulation, carpet padding, and more.

Smoke damage occurs within hours of exposure. Prolonged exposure to soot can lead to permanent damage that will ultimately require replacement, which increases costs in the long run.

Smoke damage can cause:

  • Permanent stains on clothing and textiles
  • Yellowing or stains on carpet, flooring, walls, and ceilings
  • Damage to wooden furniture or flooring that requires refinishing
  • Corrosion and pitting on metal surfaces from exposure to the acids in ash
  • Etching on enamel surfaces in tubs and sinks
  • Etching on glass
  • Yellowing of plastics and paint
  • Permanent damage to electronics
  • Damage to houseplants
  • Damage to stored food, even if it is still sealed
  • Long term or recurring odor of smoke if not cleaned properly


Smoke is naturally acidic and contains oils and many chemical by-products that corrode and stain surfaces. These elements must be neutralized quickly in order to prevent surface degradation. If not removed promptly, smoke and ash will continue to damage surfaces until they have been cleaned. Therefore, it is important to clean up smoke as soon as possible.

Learn more: Why should professionals clean smoke from your home?