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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Spider Webs or Cob Webs or Soot Tags: What is the Difference?

9/3/2020 (Permalink)

Dirty House? Spider Webs? Or Something Else?

As fire restoration specialists, we have seen a lot of fire damaged homes and businesses over the years in various parts of Wisconsin.  Sometimes the extent of the damage is very obvious especially when the damage is on the walls and ceilings of homes and personal contents. Other times the most damage is in the attics, or trapped between walls where it is unseen until we dig in with our inspection. 

One of the most common visible forms of fire damage are the black "spider webs" that seem to spring out of nowhere after a fire. These spider webs are actually called “Soot Tags” and actually don’t have anything to do with spider webs. Many times are customers are embarrassed because they feel these soot tags makes it look like spider webs and they feel like they did not keep their home clean.  So don't you worry because your house cleaning skills were not the cause.   

Soot Tags form in areas of low circulation when petroleum/synthetic based sources burn. In a fire, the heat of the fire moves into colder areas since the air seeks to create equilibrium. Since that soot is riding the air with that heat, soot particles follow the air into those colder areas with low circulation and are able to concentrate in certain areas. Since that soot is a product of combustion, the particles themselves are charged which makes it quite easy for them to create long chains of soot or soot tags. So while it looks like a lot of soot got stuck on pre-existing spider webs, it is actually a whole new structure. Spiders did not leave them.

Cob webs and spider webs are defined the same:  Noun. a web spun by a spider to entrap its prey. A single thread spun by a spider. Something resembling a cobweb; anything finespun, flimsy, or insubstantial.

Spider webs are called cobwebs because the old English word for spider was coppe. ... Spider webs do not all look the same, there are orb, sheet, tangle, funnel, lace, radial and purse.

If your home of business in Wisconsin is affected by smoke or fire damage give us a call so we can start making it “Like it never even happened.”  Our certified fire & smoke restoration technicians are here to help.  262-542-0900.

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