What to do before we get there

Steps you can take to help when an area is flooded

Lift all affected contents on pieces of wood or styrofoam plates.

For Carpeted Areas:

Check to see if there is padding under the carpet.

If the area is padded the carpet and padding must be removed. If left unattended the pad will not dry, and higher levels of moisture will lead to odor and excess humidity.

Cut the carpet with a razor knife and put into heavy-duty bags. Note you should cut the carpet into small pieces and check the weight of the bags, as the water will make them very heavy.

Open windows if possible, look for a temperature of 70 to 74 degrees and dry.

Glued down carpeting:

Glued carpet is very difficult to remove, but it can be saved with the proper procedures. First thoughly remove excessive water with a wet vac, once completed the area should be deodorized and sanitized with industrial spray products. Next the area should be dried with commercial dryers, and dehumidifiers (available from rental companies).

Wood floors:

If water is left on wood floors the wood will “cup” making refinishing impossible. Use dryers and dehumidifiers to dry the wood, followed by sanding and refinishing.

Tile or concrete slab:

Use a wet vac to extract any standing water. Open windows if possible and use fans to circulate air, moving the air direction every 4 or 5 hours.


Large amounts of drywall that have been soaked or submersed should be cut out and replaced along with and wet insulation so the structure behind can be dried. If the tape or paper facing of the drywall has peeled it should be replaced.

Minor smoke damage-Puff Backs:

When it comes to smoke cleaning one has to be careful not to use the wrong products or chemicals that can make the situation worse.

Smoke from small grease fires contains many airborne particles and must be handled with care, especially materials like plastics. Soft good such as sofas, drapes, and fabric covered furniture must be lightly dry vacuumed, cleaned and deodorized.

Puff backs:

Most puff backs contain heavy grease particles. When cleaning walls, tile and cabinets it is necessary to dry vacuum where possible. Walls that are heavily smoke damaged need to be cleaned properly in order to prep for paint. One should use a mild degreaser mixed with hot water applied with a damp sponge always starting from the top working your way down. One the cleaning is completed and dried, the walls should be primed with a product such as Binns of Kills before the color coat is applied.

Major fire losses can put you in a hotel for weeks or months, you should consult with your insurance agent to see what benefits are available.