Soot Sampling and Fire Damage Evaluations

Determining an appropriate scope-of-work following a structural fire can be difficult and is often a strongly debated issue between the insurance adjuster, property owner, and restoration contractor. 

IAQ Diagnostics can provide fire/combustion residue sampling (frequently referred to as soot sampling) to help differentiate between affected and unaffected areas of the building.  With a sufficient number of samples, a map of the impacted and unaffected areas of the building can be made.

Instead of merely determining the presence or absence of fire-combustion residue, the laboratory used by IAQ Diagnostics categorizes the levels of soot, char, and ash into the following classification ranges:


  • Background (low)
  • Upper Background
  • Moderate
  • High

This classification range, and items seen in the home (e.g. fireplaces, used ashtrays, abundant candles, etc.), helps determine if the levels of soot, char, and ash are typical or atypical (elevated) for that environment.