Fire & Water Damage Restoration Do’s & Dont’s
Fire Damage Cleanup Tips
After a house fire it is natural to want to jump right in and start cleaning the damage and contents. Timely action can be a great help, but incorrect cleaning can jeopardize or impede satisfactory restoration results.
- Clean and protect chrome trim on faucets by washing with detergent and applying a coating of Vaseline or oil to prevent rusting.
- Blow off or brush-vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, draperies and carpeting and counter tops. Open all windows for fresh air ventilation if weather permits.
- Empty refrigerators and freezers if electricity is shut off, and prop doors open with a rolled towel or newspaper to allow air circulation to prevent smell.
- Pour antifreeze in toilet bowls, tanks, sink and tub drains to prevent freeze damage if heat is off in winter. Call a plumber to drain and blow out all water lines if heat is off in winter to prevent frozen burst pipes.
- Remove pets to a clean environment if heavy fire residues are present.
- Send a sample group of garments for cleaning and deodorization in order to observe the results.
- Contact Select Restoration to board up open windows, roofs, or other penetrations in order to prevent additional damage and theft.
- Wipe or attempt to clean fire and soot residues from walls, ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy residues or debris as it holds smell.
- Use food items or canned goods exposed to heat \ throw out but inventory all items to get reimbursed.
- Turn on computers, TV’s, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked by a certified contractor.
Soot Damage Cleanup Tips
Soot may resemble smoke residues from a fire, the restoration of soot damage often requires different techniques only performed by a professional. Incorrect action can make restoration more difficult and delay the return to normal living.
- Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery draperies and carpets.
- Cover upholstery with clean sheets before use. Do not attempt to wash walls, ceilings or contents without professional assistance.
- Attempt to wash walls, ceilings or contents without professional assistance.
Water Damage Cleanup Tips
Water damage arises from many sources here in Michigan. Broken or frozen pipes, blocked drains, malfunctioning appliances, storms and other causes happen to often. The appropriate treatment depends on the nature of the water damage. Some water carries contaminates and should be considered hazardous (see sewage and Flood Damage, below). Whatever the origin, the prospects of water restoration depend largely on the speed with which your building and personal property can be dried. Even clean water can generate mildew and other bacterial growth if left uncleaned.
- Ventilate all wet areas. Turn on air conditioning for accelerated drying in summer; in winter alternate cycles of opened windows and turn your heating up to 78.
- Remove all visible standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting.
- Take up saturated rugs and carpets when hardwood floors are at risk.
- Stay out of rooms were ceilings are sagging from retained water in case they fall.
- Transport computers to a dry environment, remove cases and blow dry with low pressure air.
- Remove lamps, telephones and decorative items from wet furniture tops.
- Open drawers and cabinet doors for interior drying, but do not force open stuck drawers or doors.
- Freeze valuable books and documents to retard mildew growth until professional drying can be performed.
- Place aluminum foil squares, china saucers or wood blocks under furniture legs to avoid carpet staining.
- Operate TVs, vacuums or other appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors. Serious injury may result.
- Use heat to dry closed building interiors; mildew and expanded moisture damage may result.
- Leave wet fabrics in place; space them apart and dry as soon as possible.
Sewage & Flood Damage Cleanup Tips
Raw sewage from flood waters contain bacteria and other micro organisms which are extremely hazardous to humans and pets health. These can be transmitted by touching contaminated items or by tracking them into uncontaminated areas on shoes. Children and pets are especially vulnerable. Frequent hand washing is an important preventive measure to stop the spread of disease. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall are NOT restorable after direct contact with sewage-contaminated or flood-contaminated water. These materials must be removed and discarded.
- Treat all water-impacted surfaces and furnishings as toxic, until properly decontaminated.
- Keep children and pets out of contaminated areas.
- Track contaminated material into undamaged areas.
- Attempt to decontaminate surfaces with sprays and other over-the-counter germicidal products, which may not fully disinfect contaminated surfaces.