When unexpected damages occur to your home and your emotions are running high, it is important to remember that time is of the essence. Your first priority after reporting any claim is to immediately curtail any further damage to your property. If the damage is substantial, make sure to ask your insurance carrier if using a disaster restoration company is the best option to help you during the recovery/claims process. If approved, most restoration companies will work directly with your carrier to make sure you recapture your peace of mind.
In part two of a three part series, here is some practical advice from the team over at ServiceMaster Clean Restoration on what to do when mitigating smoke & fire damage to your home.
Emergency Damage Control Tips: Smoke/Fire
What NOT to Do:
- Do not touch anything with your bare hands. Oil from your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, thus causing additional damage.
- Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue.
- Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
- Do not use electrical appliances until having them checked.
- Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.
What to Do:
- Take detailed photos and keep receipts for all of your costs during the recovery process.
- Corrosive byproducts can cause irreversible etching in as few as 72 hours. If approved, call a professional.
- If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.
- Clean Formica, chrome, porcelain, and aluminum fixtures to prevent tarnishing or etching.
- Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
- Tape damp cheesecloth over returns and supply registers to capture loose soot in the air.
- Discard any open food packages.
- If the electricity is off, clean out the refrigerator and leave doors propped open.
- Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified restoration dry cleaner.
If you need to report a claim and want a list of disaster recovery companies in the Greater Charleston-Metro Area, click HERE.