When fire, smoke or water unexpectedly damage your home, the first steps you take could mean the difference between a small cleanup and more costly and time consuming restoration. When filing a claim make sure you take photos and notes of the damaged and undamaged areas of your property. Review your insurance policies regularly.
What to do:
· Corrosive by-products can cause irreversible etching in as few as 72 hours. Call for professional help.
· If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out the house to reduce smoke odor.
· Clean Formica, chrome, porcelain and aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent 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.
What Not to do:
· Do not touch anything with your bare hands. Oil from your hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, 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.