The normal thing for a person to do in the aftermath of a fire, flood, or storm damage in the home or business is to rush right back into the space, try to assess the damage, and begin the clean up process. This may not, however, be the best plan of action. It may result in some serious consequences to the property owner’s health, the amount of money he or she spends for restoration, and the success of the project. Many people believe that as soon as the fire department or emergency workers have left it is safe to return to their home or business, and this is certainly not true in many instances, especially if it has been more than a day since the incident occurred. Firefighters and other emergency workers are concerned only with the safety and relief of those who occupy the building at the time of the event. The owner becomes responsible for what happens after the emergency. Be careful before you return to a structure that may not be safe. When you go back into the area for the first time, you should wear goggles and a facemask or some type of respiratory filter to protect you from mold spores or other contaminants such as smoke odors. If the space is water- soaked, be sure to guard against falls, debris, and electrical shocks.
Before you reenter your property, there are steps you should take to be sure all goes well. Not many of us can accurately assess the devastation a catastrophe like fires, floods, or storms cause. Sometimes we even do ourselves harm by trying to clean or repair things that are beyond our abilities. Most will need to consult experts. If you are fortunate enough to be able to perform the restoration on your own, that is great. However, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you realize you are in over your head. In this event, you should consult a professional restoration company.
Your local Better Business Bureau, friends who have had similar problems or professional websites may provide suggestions. Take pictures of your property before the restoration begins and as it progresses. A professional restoration company can also give you an assessment of damages, a written estimate of the cost for repairs, and a plan for the completion of its services. The restoration company can contact your insurance agent, check to be sure you’re covered, and ask an adjustor to visit your site and assess the damage before anyone starts to clean up. In fact, it might be helpful to compare the two damage assessments and ask questions about anything you feel is not clear. Just remember, patience is the rule. Be sure you’ve thought things through before you rush into your flood damage repair, mold cleanup, or fire damage remediation.