The 4 Main Types of Smoke Damage

April 8, 2022

Smoke damage results from burning materials, leaving soot and other types of residue on surfaces in your home. If not cleaned properly, this residue can cause long-term damage to your property. Experts say that residue has caused significant damage in the past and continues to be a problem for many businesses and commercial buildings.

Smoke damage is classified into four types: wet smoke, dry smoke, petroleum smoke (fuel oil soot), and protein fires. Each type of smoke damage requires a different kind of cleaning method.

Types Of Smoke Damage

Below are descriptions of the 4 types of Smoke Damage:

Wet Smoke Damage

Smoldering fires cause wet smoke damage with low heat. A sticky, smeary soot residue characterizes this type of smoke damage. Wet smoke damages can be challenging to clean because the soot is often embedded in surfaces. However, this does not mean that you cannot entirely clean up the damage, and you will need to employ various cleaning methods to get the job done.


Cleaning up wet smoke damage requires unique solutions and techniques. Porous materials, such as wood and drywall, may need to be replaced. To prevent further damage, it’s essential to call a professional restoration company as soon as possible. Alternatively, you can try to clean up the damage yourself, but you may not be able to get rid of all the soot.

Dry Smoke Damage

High-heat fires cause dry smoke damage, and a powdery residue characterizes this type of smoke damage. Dry smoke damage may be relatively difficult to clean, but it’s not impossible. With the right cleaning products and methods, you should remove the residue.


The cleaning process for dry smoke damage is not as complex as most people think. However, it’s still important to call a professional restoration company to avoid further damage. But before then, try using a vacuum cleaner to remove the bulk of the residue. You can also try using a wet cloth to wipe down surfaces. Test any cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area before applying them to the entire surface.

Petroleum Smoke Damage

Petroleum smoke damage is caused by fires involving plastics or synthetic materials. A greasy, yellow residue characterizes this type of smoke damage. Petroleum Smoke damage is one of the most accessible types of smoke damage to clean.


You can clean up light petroleum smoke damage with a mild detergent. You may need to use a more robust cleaning solution or call a professional restoration company for more severe injury. Alternatively, experts recommend using a dry-cleaning method for clothing and other fabric items.

Protein Fire Damage

Fires cause protein fire damage with high heat that involves organic materials, such as wood or paper. A black, sooty residue characterizes this type of smoke damage. Protein fire damage is equally challenging to clean as dry smoke damage.


The best way to restore protein fire damage is to call a professional restoration company. However, if you want to clean it up yourself, you can use a vacuum cleaner and a wet cloth. It is best to test cleaning solutions in an inconspicuous area before applying them to the entire surface because protein fire damage can be challenging to restore.

Hire Insight Restoration for Commercial Fire and Smoke Damage Restoration

No matter what type of smoke damage you have, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent further damage. If the damage is too severe, you should always call a professional restoration company. They have the experience and knowledge to get the job done right.

Insight Restoration is a professional restoration company that specializes in commercial fire and smoke damage restoration. We have the experience and knowledge to clean up any smoke damage. We also offer a wide range of services, including water damage restoration, mold removal, and reconstruction. If you’re dealing with commercial smoke or fire damage, don’t hesitate to call Insight Restoration.

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