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Top 10 Tips To Lessen The Impact Of Fire And Water Damage

Fire and Water Damage and Restoration
Fire, Smoke, or Water Damage?
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The water used to put out a fire can sometimes do more damage than the fire and the loss can be devastating. But water damage can also come from storms, broken pipes, backed up drains and broken appliances. Whatever the cause, time is of the essence. The faster you act to salvage your home and your possessions the better chance you have at getting your life back to normal.

  1. Above all, avoid entering buildings and rooms that are structurally unsafe. Piles of debris, sagging ceilings and broken or missing supports are all signs that an area could be hazardous. If the damage is caused by a fire, the fire department can tell you whether it’s safe for you to enter or not.
  2. Provide as much ventilation to the interior as possible to remove moisture and the smell of smoke. Use fans to keep the moist air moving. In the summer turn on the air conditioner and in winter alternate between turning on the heat and opening the windows. Don’t just turn up the furnace in a closed space. The warm moist air can provide the perfect environment for mold growth.
  3. Mop and sponge up standing water. The sooner you get rid of as much water as possible the faster things will dry out. Water left standing on wood or vinyl tile flooring will cause warping and curling requiring replacement of the entire floor.
  4. Remove wet carpeting and rugs immediately to save the floor underneath. The same applies to any wet fabrics including draperies, upholstered furniture and clothing. All of these things will retain moisture and need to be taken outside. Saturated upholstered furniture is difficult to salvage but draperies and clothing can be laundered and dried.
  5. Throw out anything that can’t be cleaned or that might cause a hazard. This includes food, stuffed toys and pillows that can’t be washed or dry cleaned and appliances that have gotten wet. If it’s something you can easily replace it’s best to dispose of it.
  6. Don’t use electrical appliances in areas where there is water and don’t use appliances that may have gotten wet. Remember that water and electricity don’t mix and can result in serious injury.
  7. Remove electronics, phones, lamps and small appliances away from water damaged areas. If these haven’t gotten wet they may be salvageable.
  8. Open all interior doors, cabinets and drawers to allow for good air circulation but avoid trying to force them open if they’re swollen shut, Wait for them to dry and try again.
  9. If you have valuable documents or books that have gotten wet you can freeze them to prevent mold until you have the time to dry them or have them professionally restored. Do not use a blow dryer or place books or other paper items in direct sunlight. This can cause them to buckle.
  10. Sometimes water damage is caused by contaminated water either due to natural flooding or sewage backup. This can create a very toxic and hazardous situation. You should never attempt to handle this type of cleanup on your own. This is one instance where you need to leave the job to professionals.

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