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Smoke, Fire, and Water Damage

Oct 12, 2007
A house fire is one of the worst things that can befall a person and their family and the cleanup afterward can wreak even more havoc, but more on the wallet than anything else.

You can hire someone to assist you in cleaning up your home after a fire has damaged the inside or you can do the majority of the cleanup yourself, depending on whether you are physically able or not. You can save a lot of money by doing most of the work yourself, but if there is anything that you are unsure of your ability to do, let the professionals handle it.

Do not enter the house without turning the electricity off, especially if there is standing water from the fire truck left. You need to record any damage that occurred to the home with a video or still camera. This will help you when you need to file a claim with your insurance company in the very near future.

Locate the important papers in your home, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, insurance papers, and etcetera. If you did not have a fireproof and waterproof safe to store these in, you should purchase one as soon as you can. The odds of a house fire happening to the same person twice may not seem that great, but it does happen. Learn from the past and protect your valuables.

Do not walk on carpets that have ash and soot on them. Use a vacuum cleaner (not an upright) to clean this up, since an upright has bristles that will only drive the ash further into the fibers of it.

Anything damaged by the fire or the water sprayed into the house by the fire truck should be removed and taken outside. Wet items of furniture should be taken outside and let to dry out as soon as possible.

Items with a heavy amount of padding that have been soaked with water must be dried out as soon as possible or they will mold within a few days. This is different than in a situation where a sofa or chair is flooded by water from a river or the ocean due to a hurricane or other storm, since those waters contain mud, silt, bacteria, and etcetera. There is not much danger of a large amount of bacteria being in the water from the truck, so you are more able to save your furniture.

Unfortunately, the smoke damage to your ceiling and walls will have to be painted over. Most of the time, attempts to wash this off the walls only succeed in spreading the soot around.
About the Author
Jim Corkern is a writer and promoter of quality
Florida water damage restoration companies and
Miami Water Damage Restoration. contractors
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