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What is Soot and Why is it in my Loft?

Despite being a very common feature in all areas of city life, as well as being emblematic of the industrial era. The true dangers of soot are actually relatively unknown. We share some insight knowledge from the Easy Home Improvement Blog on the topic and how you can deal with soot. The first question here is what is soot?

What is Soot?

Visibly, soot is a dusty black powder that appears as a by-product of fire or any form of combustion. Formed from any combination of metals, soils, acids, dust, and other chemicals. The most common cause of soot is the burning of fossil fuels in industry, manufacturing, and domestic fireplaces. With very little oxygen present (hence its prevalence in chimneys and tunnels).

Why is Soot Dangerous? 

As well as causing a nuisance when it comes to cleaning up. Soot also presents a threat to health and safety. Many of the hazards are derived from the minute size of the soot particles, which generally measure in at PM 2.5 (PM = picometer). To put that into context, beach sand usually clocks in at around PM 90, with human hair ranging between PM 50 and PM 70.

These were particularly prevalent through the Industrial Revolution. Where heart disease, asthma, bronchitis, and more were rife. Soot also poses a structural hazard, especially in chimneys. Here, blockages can occur from soot build-up. Increasing the amount of smoke produced by a fire. With less oxygen drawn in due to the soot obstruction. The amount of fuel required to be burnt becomes less economical.

Soot in the Loft

What is Soot

Flue damage in a chimney that might go through the loft area could cause a number of issues. Anything that negatively affects a chimney’s ability to remove hazardous gases. Drawing them up and away from the home, presents a danger. 

A crack in the flue could see soot leaking into your loft – something that you may not immediately be aware of until it is too late. As well as leaving an unsightly black stain across your wall. You could be exposing yourself and your family to the health risks associated with soot buildup. 

Get Some Qualified Chimney Sweep

Any qualified chimney sweep will be able to inspect for flue damage in the loft area, advising as to the best course of action to rectify any hazards discovered. Similarly, all professional loft conversion companies will take chimney stacks and their potential dangers into account when designing your extension, ensuring that all works are carried out in respect to upholding safety.

For more home tips, advice and ideas visit our website Home Guidelines.

1 Comment

  1. Alyson Mitchell

    My husband has recently installed a new loft hatch and ladder with boarding over the insulation, after cutting the ceiling for the hatch you’d think he’d been down a coal mine for months!!

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