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Fire & Smoke Damage

Every fire is unique – different combinations of burning materials will result in different types of smoke and damage. Having trained technicians and specialized equipment on-site is crucial.

When you see a fire on television, the main image is always of the flames. During a fire restoration project, however, the complexity is largely due to the unique behaviour of smoke.

In a fire, smoke travels through plumbing systems using holes around pipes to move from floor to floor. If smoke is pressurized during a fire, smoke will permeate a structure’s cracks and crevices, and be absorbed into building materials. The odour-causing residue that remains can be difficult to remove without specialized equipment.

Our team is trained to secure, protect, and restore your home or business after a fire – more importantly, we understand how devastating a fire loss can be.

We restore once-in-a-lifetime situations, every single day.

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Restoration Service Area

Restoration services area map
  • Bamfield
  • Comox
  • Courtenay
  • Gabriola Island
  • Ladysmith
  • Nanaimo
  • Nanoose Bay
  • Parksville
  • Port Alberni
  • Protection Island
  • Qualicum Beach
  • Salt Spring Island
  • Tofino
  • Ucluelet

Proud Members

Proud members of various professional and community organizations

OUR PROCESS

NOTE  Depending on your situation, the following steps may be done in a different order (or not at all).

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STEPS TO TAKE

NOTE  These steps are provided as guidelines only, and may not apply to every scenario. Safety is always the #1 priority.

1 Call

Call ProPacific at (877) 755-9966 to inspect the damaged areas and ensure there is no immediate safety concerns or structural damage. We’ll assess the next steps for a quick and efficient clean-up and restoration.

2 Food

Do not eat any food in the fridge or pantry! And, although it might be tempting, make sure you don’t discard any open food packages (we need to take a thorough inventory on everything lost to the damages, including food).

3 Fixtures

All chrome, porcelain, and aluminum fixtures should be cleaned to prevent further damage from the acidity of fire and smoke residue.

4 Furnace

In order to prevent soot from spreading into other areas, do not use any forced-air furnaces. Our crew will supply you with alternate heat sources that are safe to use.

5 Electrical

Avoid using any electricity, such as lights, ceiling fans, electronics, or kitchen appliances, especially if the area is wet or soot is present – even unplugging can be very dangerous!

6 Wait

Don’t attempt to clean walls (painted or papered), carpet, upholstery, or other fabrics without the aid of a professional, as each type of smoke residue requires distinct cleaning methods.

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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Wisps of smoke

Types of Smoke

When we meet with you after a fire, our first concern is your safety. We then run a series of tests to determine the type of smoke that caused the damage. There are four main categories, each one requiring individualized treatment.

  • Dry Smoke – Fast-burning, high-temperature fires produce dry smoke. Not only does dry smoke deposit a powdery, dusty residue on virtually every item it touches, it leaves a strong odour that permeates many household materials. This smoke will travel to higher areas causing damage in places where the fire wasn’t present.
  • Wet Smoke – Usually associated with smouldering, wet smoke is particularly invasive. Whereas the smell produced by dry smoke will generally disappear after being washed from fabrics, wet smoke leaves behind a particularly pungent odour that can be difficult to erase. Wet smoke tends to be sticky and smears easily, making it very difficult to clean.
  • Protein Smoke – As you might have guessed, protein smoke damage comes specifically from proteins, commonly caused by burnt meat or eggs that were forgotten on the stove or in the oven. There are usually no visible signs of smoke or soot. However, while invisible to the eye, protein smoke has a very strong and acrid odour. In time, even protein smoke will become visible as interior surfaces begin to discolour.
  • Fuel-Oil Soot – Although today’s boilers and heaters are designed to eliminate soot build-up, there are still burners in use that can create serious fuel-oil soot problems. This soot can settle on and stick to clothing, furniture, drapes, and carpets. A dark and greasy residue makes cleaning tricky, and if left untreated, fuel-oil soot can cause permanent damage.

Although the type of smoke damage affects the restoration process, having trained technicians on-site to deal with any sort of fire loss is critical.

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Home ravaged by a fire

Other Considerations

Fires are complex by nature, and there can be a lot of factors that influence how they burn, the damage they cause, and the smoke they create. Here are some of the considerations we take when assessing a fire loss.

  • Temperature – Higher temperature fires produce a different smoke than lower temperatures, so we will have to consider how hot the fire burned. For example, a hot fire produces dryer smoke, which migrates up to cooler, fire-free areas (i.e.: upper floors or an attic) which may require our attention.
  • Flow – Smoke can be agile, and tends to find its way through every nook and cranny in the structure, including holes around pipes and electrical wiring. We want to make sure all areas of smoke residue are addressed, whether they are obvious or not.
  • Acidity – Smoke residue is often acidic, capable of causing corrosion on metal surfaces if not addressed quickly. We will make priorities on the repairs to minimize further damages.
  • Toxicity – Depending on the fire and materials burned, there are often airborne hazards and risks that might be present, but unseen. Our trained staff will always make safety the primary concern.

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