Smoke Damage Glossary
Ash – A residue from a fire that contains high carbon particulate and does not maintain its original form.
Black Carbon (Soot) – A by-product of uncontrolled combustion, randomly formed particulate carbon.
Carbon Black (Furnace, Lamp, Acetylene Black) – Similar to black carbon except Carbon black is an industrially manufactured carbon material produced for a variety of uses such as paint pigment or printer cartridges.
Carbonized Material (Char) – A solid decomposition product of natural or synthetic origin.
Charcoal – Charcoal is used to describe char that comes from organic materials such as wood, peat, or coal.
Coal – Coals is a high carbon, combustible brown or black rock consisting of compressed, decayed organic material.
Coke – A non-graphitic solid obtained from bituminous coal. Coke is high in carbon content and often contains mineral matter.
Dry Smoke – Smoke from high-temperature, fast-burning fires is called "dry smoke."
Graphite – A mineral form of elemental carbon. Graphite is hard to ignite and is typically mined for use as a pigment and lubricant.
Pressure Power Washing – A high pressure washing technique that is often used for cleaning smoke, soot, char, and ash.
Pressurized Smoke – Fires with high temperatures and igniting gases can generate pressurized smoke which can penetrate through tiny openings.
Protein Smoke – Fires involving animals, animal fats, meats, and other sources of protein generate protein smoke which is pungent and capable of penetrating small areas.
Puff Back – Malfunctioning furnaces and gas appliances such as fireplaces can "puff back" soot and smoke.
Soot – An oily, powdery, or tar-like residue left behind after a fire due to incomplete combustion of fuels.
Wet Smoke – Slow-burning fires generate "wet" smoke which is extremely hard to clean and deodorize.