Emergency Property Restoration Tips
Taking appropriate action immediately following water, fire, smoke, soot, or odor damage can be a critical factor in determining how much can effectively be restored to pre-damage conditions. It is especially important that you do not attempt to clean or restore damaged wood, walls, carpets, draperies, clothing, furniture, or electrical appliances without first contacting a professional restoration service. Improper cleaning may result in permanent smoke odor, embedded soot particles, etc.
Home and business owners can help to minimize the long-term effects of the damage by following these emergency procedures:
•Keep movement in your home or office to a minimum. This will help to prevent soot particles from being permanently imbedded into upholstery and carpets. If you must handle or touch furniture, carpets, walls, woodwork, etc., make sure your hands are clean—soot on hands can be easily transferred, causing even more damage.
•Protect upholstered furniture with old sheets and cover rug and carpet traffic areas with clean towels or sheets to minimize further damage.
•Use a brush vacuum to remove loose soot particles from draperies, carpets, upholstered furniture, etc.
•If your heat is off and there is a chance of below-freezing weather, pour anti-freeze in sinks, toilet bowls, and tubs.
•Change the furnace filter and use tape to cover all air registers with double layers of cheesecloth.
•If you have indoor plants, wash both sides of leaves carefully. Using a water softener is especially helpful.
•Clean all chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trim, and appliances and protect it with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.
•If the ceiling is wet, do not turn on ceiling fixtures such as fans or overhead lights. Wet or damaged wiring can be a serious fire hazard.
•To avoid possible contamination, throw out any canned or packaged foods or beverages that have been stored close to fire, heat, or water.