Pushing My Boundries: Smoke Remediation

So I am attempting a smoke remediation on eaves and soffits tomorrow. Never did this before, I am hoping it will just be spray and wipe. If I can remove the smoke damage, I will also get the house wash job on top of it.

Tomorrow will either be a total bust, or a really nice pay day. Here are some pics:

So, the black that you see is from the exhaust just below. Apparently, the fireplace was mistakenly connected to this exhaust and not the chimney. So I am told. Sounds crazy.

I am going to use Swish Powerhouse:

I plan on getting on my ladder, spraying and wiping the entire area and then doing a house wash from the eaves down.

I have never done this before, but I identified a problem and I want to provide a solution, despite lack of previous experience.

If any of you guys have helpful suggestions, I would love to hear it asap!


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@Innocentbystander where was your cynical grumpy ■■■??? I expected you to tell me to “walk away, don’t touch it”. I needed you. :cold_sweat:

Instead this is the result:

The eaves turned out fine. But, wherever there was a “cut edge” for example at all the weep holes, the smoke penetrated and damaged the paint to the point that only removing the paint would fix it, or repainting.

Lesson learned. I am not a smoke damage fixer. I am a window cleaner and a pressure washer. Period.

When I did a test spot with my chems, I did it on the eaves, it wiped clean! I assumed that the rest would do the same. Wrong.

All flat surfaces that were not “cut” came pretty clean. But the weep holes are cut into the aluminum, they are not sealed and the customer was not happy. I don’t know if I will get paid at all, I wasn’t happy with the results either.

Win some lose some. But, I will never do this again. I have 2 specialties and I am sticking to them from now on.

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You need to keep in mind it’s a Pressure washer wand not a magic wand . Sometimes ruined is just ruined


Sometimes we have to leave you to your own devices, lol. First, if you’re going to try something like that go well armed. You went to a gunfight with a pocketknife. Seriously, if I was going to try something like that I would have gone with 5-6 different products running the range, everything from dawn to F9, and several spray bottles and tried different things till I found what worked.

I realize you have limited product availability up there, but we talked about you getting some EBC a month ago. That would have been the first thing I tried. If that didn’t work then would have tried a gutter cleaner, on down thru the products, last but not least a can of oven cleaner. But I don’t know what you charged. My fee for something like that, similar to if it was rust removal would have been $400-$500. Then you could have afforded to show up with more options. Or now you know, you can just walk away. PITA jobs just not worth it unless you really make it worth your while.


I try to be nice to the Canadian crowd so they will send me bacon


Agreed! I had to learn this on my own. And lesson learned.

Fyi, the pics are not the final result. But, it is not much better.

Ok, I will be brutally honest, and my wife will kill me for this… I only charged $150 for the smoke remediation. Ok, please rake me over the coals. I deserve it. But the house wash was DEPENDANT on the smoke removal.

Nevermind guys, I think I am just getting played.

@Racer I did come with multiple solutions, I scrubed by hand for 2 hours and then tried everything else just to make them happy and to know I did my best. Believe me, the weeping spots were permanently wrecked.

Next time if I send you bacon, can you please tell me to walk away? Today was really awful, it was so bad I want to cry. And I worked really really hard.

Just joking that you could have saved me, I just had to learn the hard way. I am so tired, and I am not going to get paid… sigh.

Biggest lesson is don’t over promise. Your whole paycheck shouldn’t ride on one thing. You need to bill that out separate. Housewash + stain treatment. Not stain removal


House wash should have been a separate deal. It either needs washing or it doesn’t. Should have sold them the house wash and told them you’d try to get the smoke off but no promises. Definitely don’t put yourself into a position of If you can fix this almost impossible problem we’ll let you do some more work. That’s bull. So they going to hire some other dude to wash the house? And if the guy wasn’t a total jerk, should give you something for the effort because now he knows what’s not going to work.

So look at the bright side, it was an educational day, and not too expensive for you. You learned several things and life lessons relatively cheap. Seriously, Never price specialty type work at normal prices. If they want it done, they’ve got to pay up for your knowledge and effort. With more experience you could probably have gotten that off, but you’ve got to charge for it


Did you try any type of gutter cleaner on it? Gutter grenade, gutter butter, etc.

Also, Dragon Juice would have been the 3rd thing I tried. It does wonders on metal.

I did not. But, it became clear that the paint was corrupted.

I think the moral of this story is: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I screwed up. Period. I don’t even care if I get paid at this point, I just want it to go away.


I worked so hard for 5 hours, made nothing. That’s fine, learned what not to do in the future.


This business gives you the equivalent of a graduate degree! As long as you learned some valuable lessons I would say you did excellent. Maybe I am crazy though! :grinning:

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