Dos and Don'ts
Coping with water, fire, and smoke damage.
Water Damage Tips:
- Call ServiceMaster Restore® immediately. Water damage and bacterial
growth can begin within hours.
- If possible, stop the source of the water.
- Blot furniture, prop up cushions on upholstered pieces and
place furniture legs on wood blocks or aluminum foil.
- Turn on air conditioning or heating system. Turn on ceiling
fans if ceiling isn’t wet.
- Lift draperies and sheers off wet surfaces. Loop the draperies
through a coat hanger and place on the drapery rod.
- Move photos, paintings and art objects to a safe, dry location.
- Check under all beds and in closets for wet surfaces.
- Open closets, drawers and cabinet doors to enhance drying.
- Don’t touch any electrical source or enter a room with
standing water until electricity has been turned off.
- Don’t use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet. A
short circuit could result.
- Don’t use electrical appliances while standing on wet
flooring or carpeting.
- Don’t use appliances that have been close to fire or
water before having them checked.
- Don’t remove books from shelves. Rather pack them together
tightly until your restoration professional can start specialized drying
- Don’t use a household vacuum to remove water.
- Don’t lift tacked down carpet without professional help.
Lifting the carpet incorrectly could promote shrinking.
- Don’t disturb visible mold.
- Don’t wait to call for professional help! Immediate action can
prevent further damage.
Fire & Smoke Damage Tips:
- Call ServiceMaster Restore® immediately. Corrosive byproducts from
fire and smoke can cause irreversible damage in as few as 72 hours.
- Cover carpeted traffic areas with towels or old linens to prevent additional
- Discard open food packages. The food may be contaminated.
- If electrical service is off, clean out the freezer and refrigerator.
Leave the doors open.
- Send clothing and linens with heavy smoke damage to a professional restoration
cleaner rather than a dry cleaner.
- Wipe formica and chrome fixtures in the kitchen and bathroom to prevent
- Wipe residue from porcelain bath fixtures to prevent etching.
- Wipe the leaves of houseplants to remove smoke residue.
- Tape cheesecloth over intake and outlet air registers to capture any
loose soot in the air.
- If the temperature is above 60 degrees, open doors and windows to air
out the house to reduce smoke odor.
- Don’t touch anything with your bare hands. Oil from your
hands can permeate upholstery, walls, and woodwork causing further damage.
- Don’t attempt to clean painted walls or wallpaper. Incorrect
cleaning can compound soot residue.
- Don’t attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
- Don’t use electrical appliances without having them
- Don’t eat food that has been exposed to fire or smoke.
- Don’t use ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.