How to Clean Smoke Damaged Electronics December 27, 2017 – Posted in: Blog – Tags:

When a fire happens at your home or business, the flames and smoke affect almost everything left inside, including computers, appliances and other electronics. While some of these electronics won’t be salvageable after fire or smoke damage, they often can be if you take the right steps.

Can Electronics Be Damaged by Smoke?

The simple answer to this question is “yes.” Smoke can damage electronics in several ways:

  • Black Film: Smoke can seep into all parts of your electronics, leaving a black film on interior components. This black film creates an insulating effect, leaving your electronics prone to overheating. When electronics overheat more often, it leads to shortening of an item’s lifespan and premature failure.
  • Magnetic Charge: Smoke includes a magnetic charge — something many people may not realize. This magnetic charge could cause the shorting of an item’s circuits, which can happen to televisions, computers, appliances and any other electronics.
  • Acidity from Soot: The soot that smoke leaves behind both inside and outside your electronics is highly acidic. Acidity can lead to the early degradation of your electronics, shortening their usable lifespan.

How to Clean Soot from Electronics

The first thing to know about how to clean soot from electronics is this: You will always have better success when calling in a professional. Restoration professionals are experts at saving appliances, computers and other electronics after smoke damage and they have the right equipment to get the job done.

The best thing you can do on your own is to remove any storage or memory. For example, the important things on your computer are housed on its hard drive. Try removing the hard drive and transferring any personal data onto another computer. Then, a professional can work on saving the rest of the computer, cleaning away smoke and soot damage so the computer is usable again.

For televisions, it’s best to unplug them and to leave them turned off. If they are turned on before properly cleaned, it could lead to a short circuit and permanent damage, whereas a professional can clean in a way that avoids permanent damage.

How to Clean Smoke Damaged Appliances

Treat smoke damaged appliances just as you would a television — disconnect their power, leave them turned off completely and then call a professional. If you turn them on before they’re clean, permanent damage could occur. However, a professional might be able to clean them to prevent damage.

If you’re looking for something else you can do for your appliances, try this: Find your warranty records. You might be surprised to find damage related to fire and water is covered in your appliances warranty — as long as it remains current.

Leave It to the Professionals

Appliances, televisions, computers and other electronics represent some of the most valuable assets in a home or business. You can try cleaning away smoke damage and soot yourself, but it’s too easy for a novice to make things worse. If you secure a professional for assistance, they can save you a ton of a money over the long-term, as they’re much more likely to be able to salvage your electronics so you can avoid expensive replacement costs.

At Aer Industries, we provide equipment that professionals need to properly restore homes and businesses after smoke, fire or water damage. Browse our selection of restoration equipment, or call us at 855.345.3555 — you can also contact us online.