Project Objective

Our client was the owner of a 3,000 square foot unit that had suffered soot and smoke damage throughout, following a fire in the neighbouring unit.

The insurance company who were involved with the claim were being slow in dealing with the case and our client was suffering from a loss in productivity as the store was forced to close.

Smoke and soot damage can seem like easy problems to solve. However, soot residues can sometimes be hard to notice and residues can be dry, wet, or even sticky. Soot is hazardous to health and becomes acidic and corrosive when mixed with water, causing damage to the materials and surfaces it contacts.

The Briefing

Soot and smoke damage from the neighbouring fire had forced the store to close. This was having a significant impact on the business.

Not only was our client’s productivity suffering, it is crucial that you act quickly to minimize secondary damage caused by soot, especially if the structure contains post-fire moisture, such as that left by the emergency services. It’s also important to note that if any moisture or water damage isn’t dealt with swiftly, the risk of a mould infestation greatly increases.

For this particular job, our brief was to decontaminate the environment by removing all traces of soot and smoke, thoroughly de-grease, and complete the process with a treatment to remove all odour caused by the fire damage.

A fire in the neighbouring industrial unit had caused deposition of particulate matter throughout the unit. Walls, floors and ceilings, as well as fixtures and fittings, were coated with a layer of soot.

The Technical part

As a fire progresses, it produces different types of smoke. Each type will then create and deposit its own unique residue. The type of smoke and residue created is determined by the speed at which items are burned, and also by the types of items being burned.

The methods used to decontaminate a structure and its content after a fire varies, based on the nature of the surface being cleaned. In this instance, HEPA rated air scrubbing machines were installed to remove all particulate matter from the air, leaving it purified. All surfaces, including fixtures and fittings, were cleaned with HEPA rated vacuums and thoroughly degreased, removing all traces of the soot. The procedure was completed with an extensive BioSweep® treatment – our high performance air and surface decontamination solution that completely removes all malodours.

Before carrying out the BioSweep® treatment, our specially trained technicians conducted a full assessment of the site and structure to highlight any potential health risks. This inspection was essential to allow our technicians to perform the necessary calculations to determine the total number of BioSweep® reactors needed and the length of the treatment that would be required. The size of a structure, type of odour, and damage caused are all factors that directly affect the amount of time required to carry out an effective treatment.

During the deodorisation process, the entire building had to be free of any occupants, plants, and animals. Once this was confirmed, our team sealed off the property and monitored for any openings or cracks that could allow vapour to escape. It was essential that the building was properly sealed during the BioSweep® treatment so that we could maintain a relative humidity (RH) of at least 45% and a minimum indoor air temperature of 21˚C, to ensure the best possible outcome.

The Results

We were the client’s preferred choice to provide soot and smoke remediation because of our ability to respond quickly, and that we could deliver the service over the weekend. We were able to restore the business to a safe and fully functional operation in a significantly shorter time than quoted by other companies.

Following the BioSweep® treatment and upon completion, we provided our client with a 100% odour removal guarantee certificate.

The client stated:

“Everyone was very friendly and efficient, kept us up-to-date, very professional, and generally very helpful.”