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The aftermath of a fire in your commercial building can be as stressful and damaging as the fire itself. Soot can cover virtually every inch of your business. Smoke can permeate your walls, surfaces and air ducts, leaving unseen odors everywhere. Professional smoke damage restoration, odor removal and soot removal is necessary to properly clean your facility and restore it to a healthy condition for you and your employees. That’s a job for our teams of professionals with the experience, expertise and commitment to customer service at ServiceMaster Restore.


  • In just a few minutes, smoke can discolor the walls.
  • Within a few hours, finishes on kitchen appliances can yellow.
  • Smoke causes etching in glass after just a short time, and smoke will tarnish metal quickly.
  • Ash and smoke can contribute to damage and corrosion of materials left behind.


To ensure superior smoke, odor damage and soot removal, we:

  • Clean the ash residue that builds up on surfaces before it continues to spread
  • Neutralize the odors to keep them from returning
  • Remove the troubling reminders of soot, odor & stains from at-risk items such as brass, aluminum, chrome, marble, tile, porcelain, as well as fabrics, upholstery & carpets
  • Deodorize the carpets & curtains before they’re cleaned
  • Use special chemicals that break up the molecules in the smoke to get rid of the odors before dry cleaning your clothing

Smoke and soot definitions

Soot: Fine, black particles carbon particulates, produced by incomplete fuel combustion.

Smoke: The solid, liquid and gaseous products of combustion released into the air

Puffbacks: A puffback is a misfiring in the furnace that, at its worst, can send soot throughout your business, covering drapes, furniture, cabinets, walls and everything in between. It can happen all at once or gradually over time. This soot is a substance that is difficult to clean and often has a strong, oily odor. This dirty residue needs to be cleaned as soon as possible by professionals.

How to prevent puffbacks

Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent a puffback, annual inspection and maintenance of your oil burner or furnace can greatly reduce your risk. So be sure to have your oil burner and furnace system cleaned regularly.


  • If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the facility to reduce smoke odor.
  • If it uses forced hot air, change the air filter on the furnace.
  • Tape damp cheesecloth over returns and supply registers to capture loose soot in the air.
  • Do not touch anything with your bare hands. Oils from hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing additional damage.
  • Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue.

When a fire impacts your place of business, burned equipment and charred possessions are just the damages you can see on the surface. Even after the flames have been put out and the smoke has cleared, your business is still in trouble. Since smoke and soot are highly acidic, they can damage a wide range of materials they come in contact with.

This amount of smoke damage can easily overwhelm any business owner. That’s why it’s important to call in a professional soot cleaning and smoke odor removal service to restore your building to a clean, healthy and safe condition for yourself and your employees. Soot cleanup is a specialized job that requires advanced tools, professional know-how and the steady guidance that you’ll get from ServiceMaster Restore. Our caring experts have what it takes to handle even the toughest smoke, odor and soot removal jobs quickly and effectively, so that you can get back in business.



International Women of Color 2023