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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Ash in the Attic

8/2/2018 (Permalink)

photo of the inside of an attic showing insulation with some ash on top Ash in the attic after a wildfire can cause your home to smell like smoke

We just assumed that the weather people were wrong again.  It was Friday afternoon and the prediction had been that the temperatures would rise to over 100 degrees but here it was 4 pm  and we were still only at 90 degrees.  We had not taken into consideration the “sundowners”.  Sundowners are a uniquely Santa Barbara phenomenon where, because of our geography we get winds that come from the north and blow down the face of our east-west facing mountains.  These winds are hot and dry and when they are blowing, they can raise the temperature considerably.  The foothills in Goleta reached 105 degrees by 8:30 pm to prove the forecasters correct.  The winds howled with gusts over 50 miles per hour and it was not long before they brought down a power line and sparked the conflagration to be known as The Holiday Fire.  It was several days until the fire fighters were able to tame this beast but in the meanwhile the fire had burned over one hundred acres, twenty-eight structures and thirteen homes. 

It was not long after that SERVPRO of Santa Barbara was called into action.  Wildfires consume massive amounts of fuel and turn that fuel into smoke and ash and soot.  This burnt material becomes easily airborne and once it reaches your house, it looks for opportunities to come inside.  Openings around doors or windows, vents in the attic, doggy doors… you name it and any possible opening presents an opportunity for soot and ash to come inside.  Many homeowners are able to do much of the cleaning on their own but when it comes time to clean an attic, it is a good idea to let the professional technicians at SERVPRO of Santa Barbara handle the load.  When an attic smells like smoke, it is important to remove the source of the odor and that usually means removing the insulation.  Whether it is blown in or rolled, our techs will be able to remove it all.  Afterwards, we will HEPA vacuum the areas and then replace the insulation with new insulation.  If necessary, we will perform an ozone treatment  to get rid of any lingering smells.

If your attic smells like ash after the Holiday Fire, please give SERVPRO of Santa Barbara a call at 1-805-963-0606.

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