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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

What Are Soot Webs?

9/23/2020 (Permalink)

A thin black soot web forming in the corner of a ceiling. Don't worry - it's just soot.

Unless you’ve been in a fire- or smoke-damaged home, you probably don’t know what that damage actually looks like. It’s not always like a movie, where things are either untouched or charred beyond recognition. Fire, smoke and soot damage can often take stranger forms.

Take, for example, the soot web. A soot web (actually called a soot tag) resembles a black spider web that’s usually hanging on a wall or a ceiling in a home that has suffered a fire.

When these pop up, homeowners have a wide variety of reactions. Usually, people assume that soot webs are actual spider webs that have been covered in soot. In some cases, homeowners get embarrassed when we point soot webs out – they claim that, before the fire, they kept a very clean home, and they can’t imagine how such a large, eye-catching spider web go there.

If that sounds like you, relax – it’s not your fault. Soot webs are not cobwebs. They form when smoke from rubber or plastic sources ionizes floating soot particles. These particles bind together as they circulate towards cooler areas of the home. Because of this, you may see long strands of soot particles hanging from the corner of the ceiling. It looks an awful lot like a spider web, but you can sleep easy – there’s no such thing as a fire spider.

Cleaning soot webs is not as simple as sweeping away a regular cobweb. If you have a soot web in your home, give SERVPRO of West Seneca/Lancaster a call. We have the training, tools, experience and products necessary to clean soot without causing any further damage in your home.

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