Restoration & Repair


  • Watch for structural damage when reentering the site. Ceilings and roofs may collapse.
  • Make sure that the fire department or utility provider deemed your water, electricity, and gas safe for use before restarting.
  • Board up openings and notify local police if the site must be left unoccupied to prevent vandalism.
  • Contact local disaster relief services such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army, for immediate help.
  • Speak with your insurance company to determine what actions you are required to take. There may be policies on how to address the immediate needs of the building. You may also be required to catalogue all damaged property with quantity and price details. Do not throw items away until everything has been recorded in an inventory.
  • Open windows for ventilation.
  • For insurance and income tax claim purposes, keep all receipts from the time of fire.
  • When cleaning the area, vacuum loose smoke particles from upholstery, carpets and drapes.
  • Use a light coat of oil or Vaseline to clean and reinforce any kitchen appliances or bathroom features with chrome trim.
  • Completely empty freezer and refrigerators if the electricity is off.
  • Do not wipe or wash walls, ceilings or any absorbent surfaces.
  • Do not use exposed food items or canned goods subjected to heat or smoke.
  • Do not use electrical appliances until they have been cleaned and examined.
  • Do not enter the damaged site without clearance from the fire department. Fires can rekindle from smoldering embers or residual heat.

See for more details


  • Turn off electricity if necessary. Do not turn it back on if you smell gas or if the electric system was affected by the flood.
  • Wear protective clothing such as work boots and gloves.
  • Do not handle electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that was touched by flood waters.
  • Avoid floodwaters because they may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from downed power lines.
  • Stay out of buildings surrounded by floodwaters.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and beware that roads or ceilings could collapse under the weight of water.
  • Clean and disinfect everything that got wet.
  • Clear items from wooden furniture and wipe off moisture.
  • Circulate air by opening windows or using an air conditioner for maximum drying.
  • Pierce small holes in sagging ceilings to release trapped water.
  • Make sure all carpeting is dried before rolling it up to retain color quality.
  • Remove valuables to a safe place.
  • Do not leave wet fabrics in place. Dry them as soon as possible.
  • Do not repair or repaint damaged surfaces until they are completely dry.
  • Do not leave furniture directly on wet carpeting. Place aluminum foil or wooden blocks beneath legs of chairs, couches and tables.


  • Dry wet materials or areas thoroughly 24-48 hours after a leak or spill happens so that mold does not develop.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly.
  • Quickly dry wet windows, walls or pipes.
  • Make sure water does not pool or enter around the foundation of your building.
  • Keep indoor humidity low (ideally between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity).
  • In the event of a mold problem, ascertain the extent of the contamination and consult a professional industrial hygienist.
  • Obtain a clear report with scientific testing results to document the mold condition and a recommendation for remediation.
  • Hire a professional mold remediation contractor with the proper licenses, insurance and experience to handle the type of mold in your building.
  • Wear protective gear around contaminated areas.
  • Do not try to remove or clean the mold yourself, if it occupies an area greater than 10 contiguous square feet.
  • Do not try to demolish contaminated materials or disturb the mold because this may cause further contamination.