Post-Fire Air Quality Testing for Smoke, Soot and Ash
Post-Fire Indoor Air Quality Testing is part of the clean-up process after a fire. It should be done before remediation takes place, and after remediation is complete. Air testing is performed to look for any residual presence of smoke, soot, ash, or fire. Depending on the types of materials consumed in the fire, there are a number of different indicators of fire and smoke residue. Thus, testing is performed for an assortment of fire indicators including, post-fire VOCs (Volatile Organic Compound), airborne post-fire particles, surface post-fire particles, and testing for airborne gases.
Post-Fire particulate, also known as post-fire remnants, falls into 3 broad categories: soot, char, and ash. The relative distribution of these three components varies significantly with the nature, extent, and temperature of a fire but, all three of these compounds will be detectable in particle ID samples. Both air and surface samples should be taken and analyzed for a screen of particulate that includes soot, char, and ash.
Once each category is tested and depending on the severity of each particulate leftover from each, a thorough report of finding and process for remediation should take place. If your dwelling has had quite a bit of exposure to smoke from a fire, it is important to keep your indoor air as free of smoke particles as possible, and while waiting for remediation to begin, if necessary, an air purifier can help. In instances where there is a large amount of particulate matter, such as benzene, and other chemicals on furniture, walls, floors, and other surfaces, VOC chemicals from these deposits will continue to be released into the air over the weeks following the fire, but they will reduce over time. It is important to properly clean your home while protecting your health to reduce your exposure to particulate matter and these chemicals.
The best way to do this is to hire a licensed and insured post-fire remediation company. Remember to test your home for the amount of VOCs and other particulate matter before the area that was affected is cleaned. If you attempt to clean your home yourself, you are more likely to spread the matter into the air and spread the particles to other rooms and furnishings in your home. This can delay the exposure time and make cleaning a longer process than necessary. Prolonged exposure to ash, soot, or smoke can result in coughing, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, headaches, nausea or unusual fatigue, or lightheadedness.
Fire and smoke air quality testing are essential in the aftermath of a fire event. If someone you know has been affected by fire, smoke, soot, or ash caused by fire, have them give us a call. Our expertise, experience, and equipment will provide you with the assurance that we can complete the job without putting you in harm’s way. If you want a reliable team to deal with post-fire indoor air testing, do give us a call today at 303-995-7015.
We’ll provide you with our post-fire soot and smoke testing service so you can get the peace of mind and proper clean-up and inspection you deserve.