Frequently Asked Questions
If you have water damage, here is a list of some things you should do:
- Your safety is of primary concern, so stay clear of any damaged areas.
- Contact your insurance carrier right away.
- Contact a water damage restoration company like PuroClean Certified Restoration to assist with cleanup.
- If safely possible, move furniture or other items of value to an unaffected area of your home to prevent further damage to them.
- Make a list of everything that has been damaged or destroyed for your insurance adjuster. Document as much as possible including the approximate age of the item, style or model numbers, and approximately how much you paid for the item. Take pictures or videos of the damage sustained. Do not throw contents out before first documenting them and discussing with your adjuster.
- Do not try to clean damaged items yourself. Cleaning damaged items without the proper equipment can do more harm than good.
- Do not make any permanent repairs or replacements until you discuss with your insurance company. They may want to see the damage in order to make assessments.
- Save all receipts of any temporary repairs that are made to secure the home. They may be forwarded to your insurance company for potential repayment.
If you have water damage at your home or business, you need to take these steps to get it taken care of as soon as possible:
- Have a professional plumber or other qualified contractor stop and/or correct the source of the leak.
- Call PuroClean immediately for help! Damage from water and bacterial growth can begin within just a few hours.
- Remove as much water as possible from floors by mopping or blotting with clean, white towels.
- Turn off circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet areas if appropriate. Unplug and remove any small electrical devices located on wet carpet or other wet surfaces.
- Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings that are not attached. Do not remove wall-to-wall carpet.
- Hang draperies and pin up furniture skirts to prevent contact with wet carpet.
- Wipe furniture and prop up wet cushions for even drying.
- Place aluminum foil under legs of wood furniture (especially antiques).
- Remove small furniture items to prevent rust or stains and to expedite restoration.
- Remove books, shoes, paper goods, fabrics, potted plants and other items that may stain the carpet (be sure to check under the beds and in closets).
- Move photos, paintings, art and any high-value items to a safe, dry location.
- Open drawers and closet cabinet doors to speed the drying process.
- Make plans for the restoration crew to move large furniture items onto dry carpet, linoleum, garage, or storage areas.
- Gasoline cans
- Personal documents
- Stamp/Coin collections
- Valuable jewelry
- Valuable paintings
- CALL PuroClean Certified Restoration as soon as possible. Corrosive byproducts of smoke/soot can cause irreversible etching.
- If the temperature is above 60 degrees, open windows to ventilate the home.
- If you have to turn off your water, take steps to prevent your plumbing and/or heating supply pipes from freezing.
- If the electricity is off, remove perishable foods from your refrigerator and freezer. The odor created by spoiled food is usually impossible to remove. Leave the doors propped open.
- Discard any open food packages.
- Keep a listing of anything you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur in protecting your property. Most likely, your insurance claim representative will ask for these items.
- Vacuum loose dry soot smoke particles from carpets. Make sure the vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter to prevent redistribution of fine soot. Avoid walking or tracking on carpet if possible.
- Close doors on affected areas to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
- Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape damp cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape to capture loose soot in the air.
- Clean Formica, chrome, porcelain and aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing or etching.
- Don’t touch anything with your bare hands. Oils from your hands can cause additional damage.
- Don’t use any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been checked by a technician.
- Don’t use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.
- Don’t attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
- Don’t wipe or attempt to wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue.
- Don’t consume food items exposed to smoke or canned goods that have been subjected to excessive heat.
- Don’t use upholstered furniture if possible.
You can keep refrigerated food if your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire. Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. In cases where the power was turned off during the fire and the refrigerator was turned off for more than 4 hours, discard the food.
Frozen food can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. Whenever in doubt, discard the food.
You will have to be very careful when dealing with food. If food is burnt or even partially burnt, discard it. Discard food that has been exposed to heat, smoke or soot. The high temperatures of fire and its byproducts can make food unsafe. Do not use any canned foods where the can has bulged, is badly dented or has rusted.
If your refrigerator was not damaged in the fire, check its content. Confirm that the food is still cold and that no soot penetrated it. If in doubt, discard the food.
Your refrigerator will keep cold for 4 hours if it is well sealed. In cases where the power was turned off during the fire and the refrigerator was turned off for more than 4 hours, discard the food.
The food that was in the freezer can be used if it still has ice crystals on it and if it still feels cold and hard. If not, discard it. Again, whenever in doubt, discard the food.
Medicines and Cosmetics
Discard medicines and cosmetics if contamination is suspected. Inspect medicines and cosmetics carefully to make sure that they are clean of soot, dust, and all other chemicals that might have been in use to extinguish the fire.
Clothes and Textile
Clothes and textile can often be cleaned and disinfected. Discard these materials only if burnt. Be extra cautious with baby and children clothes.
All other contents can be reused after you make sure that it is well cleaned and disinfected and that it is dust and soot free.