Fire Damage, Odor Issues, Property Damage

The 3 Types Of Fire Smoke And Residues


Perhaps my article on “basics of fire damage in your home” has brought you here, regardless you are likely looking for some more information on the smoke and residue damage that has occurred in your home.

Well there are 3 main types of smoke and residues that can be left behind by fire damage in your home:

    1. Synthetic: These synthetic residues appear when oil based materials are burned such as plastics and fabrics. This could include everything from window coverings, furniture, carpets, and electronics. When synthetic materials burn they will produce a thick black smoke, leaving behind a smeary residue that can create quite the mess if not cleaned up properly. In these situations avoid touching any of the residue to prevent smearing as vacuuming is the best approach to cleaning the residues left behind, followed by dry-chem sponge cleaning.
  1. Protein: Fires caused by the burning of proteins such as meats and beans for example will leave behind a yellowish brown residue. The texture of which is greasy feeling and can stick to any surface, making it a pain to clean up. Make sure you  head over to your local Home-Depot type shop and ask for the proper fire cleaning chemical that will work well on cleaning up after protein fires.
  2. Natural: These type of fires are caused by the burning of natural products such as wood and paper. They produce dry powdery residue that is greyish-black in colour. These residues are easier to clean up than the synthetic or protein residues. Removing the residues can be done by vacuuming with a bristled brush, followed by dry-chem sponge cleaning.

Now that you are able to identify the different sources of fire smoke and residues you can determine which type you are dealing with in your particular case and apply the appropriate cleaning methods as discussed.


  1. Erika Brady

    I didn’t realize that there were 3 different kinds of smoke damage that can happen in a home. I obviously knew about the natural kind. I did not know about the synthetic kind, though. Protein is probably the most common in my house. I cook meat and beans often in our family and I’ve noticed the yellowish brown residue that you are talking about. Thanks

  2. Sam Wilkins

    My sister recently had a fire in her home and told me she’s hiring a professional to help her with the damage. I’m going to send her this article to help her clean using the best method for her case:)


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