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Smoke Damage Glossary

Do you know the difference between wet and dry smoke? If you've suffered through a wildfire, you'll likely hear a lot of new words. We've put together a list of some of the common words you can expect to hear in conjunction with smoke damage claims.

Ash – Ashes are the powdery remnants of items burned in a fire. Ashes can be carried by the wind long distances. For example, ash from a fire dozens of miles away can coat your car, house, landscape, and more.

Dry Smoke – High-temperature, fast-burning fires tend to create dry smoke which tends to be easier to clean than its opposite, "wet" smoke.

Insurance Adjuster – Insurance adjusters are licensed professionals who estimate insurance losses.

Power Washing – Power washing is often used to clean up smoke, soot, and ashes after wildfires.

Pressurized Smoke – Smoke has different properties based on the gases, temperatures, and other conditions involved in a fire. Pressurized smoke is typically seen as temperatures rise. This type of smoke can get into small areas thanks to its pressurized nature.

Protein Smoke – Smoke from fires where meat or animals have been burned is called protein smoke. Protein smoke smells awful and is capable of penetrating small areas.

Public Insurance Adjuster – Like traditional insurance adjusters, public insurance adjusters are licensed professionals who estimate insurance losses. However, public adjusters work for individual policyholders rather than insurance companies.

Puff Back – Puff back is a term used to describe malfunctioning and clogged furnaces that puff out smoke or soot.

Smoke Damage – Smoke can cause extensive damage. Soot, ash, and oily residues are obvious forms of smoke damage. In addition, strong smoke odors can infiltrate furnishings, building materials, clothing, insulation, ductwork, and more.

Smoke Damage Claim – Smoke damage claims are a type of insurance claim, typically filed under a homeowners or business insurance policy.

Soot – Fires involving the incomplete combustion of fuels leaves behind fine particles and residue known as soot. Soot can be tar-like, powdery, or oily depending on the type of fuels burned.

Wet Smoke – Slow-burning, smoldering fires create "wet" smoke, a hard-to-clean, hard-to-deodorize type of smoke.