There are 3 main types of smoke and residues that can be left behind by fire damage in your home:
1. Synthetic: These synthetic residues appear when oil-based materials are burned such as plastics and fabrics. This could include everything from window coverings, furniture, carpets, and electronics. When synthetic materials burn, they will produce a thick black smoke, leaving behind a smeary residue that can create quite the mess if not cleaned up properly. In these situations, avoid touching any of the residue to prevent smearing as vacuuming is the best approach to cleaning the residues left behind, followed by dry-chem sponge cleaning.
2. Protein: Fires caused by the burning of proteins such as meats and beans for example will leave behind a yellowish-brown residue. The texture of which is greasy feeling and can stick to any surface, making it a pain to clean up. Make sure you head over to your local Home-Depot type shop and ask for the proper fire cleaning chemical that will work well on cleaning up after protein fires.
3. Natural: These types of fires are caused by the burning of natural products such as wood and paper. They produce dry powdery residue that is greyish-black in color. These residues are easier to clean up than the synthetic or protein residues. Removing the residues can be done by vacuuming with a bristled brush, followed by dry-chem sponge cleaning.
Now that you are able to identify the different sources of fire smoke and residues you can determine which type you are dealing with in your particular case and apply the appropriate cleaning methods as discussed.