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Soot Damage: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

Soot Damage: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment

The effects of soot can creep up on you unawares. If you notice soot in your home, here’s what you should do.

Each year, thousands of people are affected by the damage of soot. Soot, the film of black stuff that may have formed on your walls and ceilings, or perhaps around the inner glass of your candle holder, is a unique substance that can have serious consequences to your health and home. Let’s explore what soot damage is, its causes, and how to prevent it.

What Is Soot Damage?

Soot is particles of carbon. It comes in two kinds, dry and oily. To test what kind of soot you might have, run your finger across it. If it smears, it’s the oily kind. Soot is made from fuels that did not fully combust. The type of soot that results depends on what was burning.

Compared to a grain of fine sand, or even the diameter of a human hair, a soot particle is significantly smaller. This is partly what makes soot dangerous. Because its particles are so tiny, it can easily enter and lodge into the lungs, not to mention affect the air quality of your home. It can also result in “ghosting,” in which soot particles gather on surfaces due to static electricity.

Causes of Soot Damage

Candles are notorious for causing a build-up of soot on your walls, ceiling, furniture, curtains, and more. Scented candles, as well as soft and greasy candles, can cause the most damage. Besides candles, furnaces, fireplaces, and heaters can also produce unhealthy levels of soot. 

Prevention and Treatment

There are several means of keeping soot ghosts from your home. To avoid a bad candle mishap, buy unscented and higher quality candles with a wide opening. Keep them away from a draft, as this can cause smoke and soot to spread. If one of your appliances or your fireplace is emitting soot, call an inspector to come check it out. 

As for treatment of soot-ridden things, there are a number of methods that can help. If the soot is the result of a house fire, it may be safer to opt for a professional restoration company to safely remove harmful soot and other damage from your home.


If you have more questions about preventing fires in your home, North Arundel Contracting is here to help you out. Our trained professionals can teach you everything there is to know about house fires. Call us any time at 410-766-2855 or reach us by fax at 410-553-2367. Feel free to send us an email at [email protected] and for after-hours emergencies, call us at 410-541-0328. For tips, tricks, and to see what we have been up to, be sure to follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 9th, 2019 at 11:48 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.