Emergency Damage Control Tips

What to do when bad things happen to good homes?

At ServiceMaster Restoration of First Coast , we understand that any home 
emergency is stressful.

From our technical expertise to our communication with 
you, we are dedicated to restoring peace of mind the same 
way we are dedicated to restoring homes.  Follow these 
steps to help keep the damage to a minimum, and call in 
the professionals.  

Water Damage
What to do:
  • Damage from water and bacteria growth can begin within hours.  Call for professional help.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping and blotting.
  • Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings not permanently attached.  Do not attempt to start removing your wall-to-wall carpet.
  • Lift draperies off the floor, loop through a coat hanger and place the hanger on the drapery rod.
  • Wipe furniture, prop up wet furniture, prop up wet furniture cushions for even drying and place aluminum foil under furniture legs.
  • Move photos, paintings and art objects to a safe, dry location.
  • Do not remove books from shelves.  Rather pack them tightly to prevent warping of pages until a restoration professional can begin this specialized drying.
  • Open drawers, closet and cabinet doors to enhance drying.

What NOT to do:
  • Do not enter a room with standing water until electricity has been turned off.
  • Do not use a regular household vacuum to remove water.
  • Do not lift tacked-down carpet without professional help.
  • Do not use electrical appliances while on wet carpet or flooring.
  • Do not disturb visible mold.

Smoke/Fire Damage 
What to do:
  • Corrosive byproducts 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 hand can permeate upholstery, walls and wood work, 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.

What to do:
  • Fast action is required to prevent further damage.  Call a restoration professional to remove damage caused by vandals.
  • Make a list of all damage.
  • Use a shop vacuum to remove glass particles from carpet and upholstery.
  • Remove any debris from carpet or interior walls.  Scrape or blot carpets and furniture – do not rub.
  • Do not wash any egg or other residue from the building exterior using water.

What NOT to do:
  • Do not use household cleaning products on fabrics, upholstery or carpets.
  • Do not attempt to remove chemical stains, including ink or paint.
  • Do not operate damaged electrical appliances.

Practical advice for restoring your home after damage from fire, smoke, water or vandalism.

When fire, smoke or water unexpectedly damage your home, the first steps you take could mean the difference between a small cleanup and a more costly and time consuming restoration.

Knowing when to call a professional can also save you time in getting your life back to normal and money by preventing further damage to you home.  ServiceMaster Clean restoration professionals help return you home to normal, as quickly as  possible, while restoring your peace of mind that the job a was done right.  
866-388-1101 Toll Free
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