ServiceMaster Restoration & Cleaning

3 Factors That Affect Fabrics in a Fire and How Fire Damage Restoration in Hudson, WI, Can Help

September 28th, 2016

Any size building fire could potentially lead to fire damage. Even a kitchen stove fire that is put out in seconds can leave behind trace amounts of soot and smoke damage which can accumulate and worsen with time. If you’re struggling with the after-effects of a fire in your home or business, you can rely on ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning for comprehensive fire damage restoration in Hudson, WI.

A fire starting from any source will have no shortage of fuel since virtually all materials in your building are combustible. While most materials in your building are flammable, some of the most readily combustible objects are fabric-based. There are three primary factors that affect how fabrics burn and determine how some fabrics may pose a greater risk of spreading building fires than others.


Surface Area

Materials with a low density and high surface area exposure will combust more quickly than denser materials with a lower surface area. Because fabrics are often low density and high surface area, they burn easily compared to most other materials in your building. If we follow these standards of physics, fabrics with a greater exposed surface area and lower density will catch fire more easily and burn quickly. For example, loosely woven cottons (think curtains or drapes) or terry cloths with raised fibers are highly flammable fabrics.



When factoring in levels of exposed surface area and density, the molecular structure of a fabric should be taken into consideration. In most cases, synthetic fabrics will burn with less intensity than natural fabrics because of the difference in material thermo plasticity. Thermoplastic materials like polyester will melt and shrink away from heat, making them less combustible and less likely to start a building fire. Natural materials like cotton are not thermoplastics and will ignite when exposed to intense heat, creating a greater chance of spreading the flame.


Smoke and Gasses

When fabrics burn, they leave behind harmful gasses, smoke, and soot that can damage your home or business. Even natural fibers which burn cleanly leave behind toxic levels of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Synthetic fabrics release a myriad of toxic gasses depending on the material.

After a building fire some fabrics can be salvaged, and with the help of our expert restoration teams your home or business can make a full recovery. For more information about fire damage restoration in Hudson, WI, contact ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning at (715) 386-3711.


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