One of the big types of damage after a fire is the soot and smoke smell and accumulation on nearby items in your house. After a fire, you may wonder if only the items that were actually consumed by flames will need to be thrown out or if the other damage is going to cause losses as well. Here are the basics on which items may need to be replaced after fire damage and which may be recoverable.

Burned Items Usually Need Replacing

As your instincts likely told you, anything that's actually had flames eating away at it is typically unsalvageable. Fire can not only melt, deform, and crack various substances with its intense heat but can consume a variety of materials as well. Wood and paper materials, as well as many plastics and some other substances, can be consumed by fire. So anything that was actually within the blaze or close enough to be affected by the extreme heat will be the first to need replacing.

Very Sooty Items May Need Replacing If Porous 

A very porous material that can't be cleaned on the inside is very difficult to get smoke smell out of. For instance, furniture that's upholstered can absorb smoke smells. The furniture may need to be cleaned with professional tools or may need to be discarded in severe cases. If you're very attached to the furniture, ask your restoration professionals if reupholstering could help.

Cleanable Items May Be Recoverable

Items that are easy to clean, such as those that are non-porous and have hard, durable surfaces, are unlikely to need replacing simply due to fire and soot damage. An exception would be if the item has direct fire damage. For instance, glass windows or dishes are relatively easy to clean and restore, unless they were in direct contact with the fire and became cracked.

Items in Distant Rooms May Be Recoverable

In a fire that was limited to one room, you may find that items in another room aren't as affected by the fire and soot. Smoke can travel, taking soot with it, but far distant rooms may not have experienced as much smoke. In these distant rooms, your fire damage restoration team may be able to focus on cleaning the air and may not have to replace as many items and surfaces.

These are some of the basics of what you can expect to need replacing versus cleaning during a fire damage restoration job. However, be sure to discuss with your fire damage professionals which items can be saved; you might be surprised at the extent of their cleaning and restoration capabilities.