We'll start with some Do's and Don'ts for smoke and fire damage. This would include furnace puffbacks, chimney fires, or even severely burning Christmas dinner (yes, we have had a fire job before as a result of a burnt holiday dinner).
Fire and Smoke Damage
-Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes, and carpets.
-Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old linens to prevent additional soiling and permanent damage.
-Discard open food packages as the food could be contaminated.
-If you loose electrical service as a result of the damage, clean out any refrigerators and freezers you may have. Prop the doors open, and if there is an odor in the unit place some charcoal in the unit.
-Clean formica and chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent permanent tarnishing.
-Wipe residue from porcelain fixtures to prevent permanent etching.
-DO NOT wait to call for professional help
-DO NOT attempt to clean/wash any walls covered in wall paper or a flat finish paint without consulting your professional cleaner. Incorrect cleaning procedures could compound the soot residue problem.
-DO NOT attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture. Again, incorrect cleaning procedures could result in increased damage.
-DO NOT use electrical appliances that have been close to fire or water. These appliances should be evaluated by a professional to ensure your safety before using them.
-DO NOT use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. A short circuit could result.
-DO NOT touch anything with soot on your hands. Soot on your hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork, causing further damage.
-DO NOT eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
Water damage is also a common occurrence for winter months as we see pipes break, and in some cases water damage happens as a result of extinguishing a fire. Below are some Do's and Don'ts for water damage.
-Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
-Use fans to circulate air. This promotes proper drying.
-Move photos, paintings, art objects, and other valuables to a safe dry location.
-Remove wet fabrics and dry them as soon as possible. Hang furs and leathers to dry separately at room temperature.
-Remove damp books from shelves and spread open to dry.
-Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings.
-Prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying.
-Place small pieces of aluminum foil under furniture legs.
-Wipe furniture dry.
-DO NOT use an ordinary household vacuum to remove water.
-DO NOT use electrical appliances while on wet carpet or wet floors.
-DO NOT go in to rooms with standing water if the electricity is still on.
-DO NOT lift up tacked down carpet without professional help. Lifting carpet incorrectly could promote shrinkage.
-DO NOT wait to call for professional help. Damage from the water and bacteria growth can begin within hours.
I know that was a good bit of reading, but you can never be too knowledgeable when disaster strikes your home. Once again, I can not stress how important it is to seek the help of a disaster restoration professional if your home falls victim to flood, fire, or smoke damage. Too many times homeowners try to take care of the cleaning and repairs themselves which often results in more sever problems down the road.
Thanks for reading,
ServiceMaster by Bell Inc.