Restoring your home after fire and water damage

Whether your home has suffered a tiny bit of smoke damage or complete fire and water destruction, the cleanup process can leave you overwhelmed.

“We had little bit of a rain back in May, and during that time, our sump pump failed and we had about four inches of water throughout the finished basement downstairs,” Homeowner Steve Westervelt said.

The water damaged Westervelt’s drywall and carpet.

“The restoration company that we worked with did an excellent job because they took pictures of everything they were going to take out for repair,” added Westervelt. “That kind of helps because sometimes you just kind of forget what you had and what was taken.”

Cleaning up water and smoke damage quickly is important because if left untreated, the damage can become a bigger problem, costing more money to repair. Companies that specialize in remediation and restoration are staffed with professional technicians who have extensive experience and use heavy duty equipment to help remove mold, mildew, smoke and odors from your home and belongings.

“It’s very important when you have a major fire or flood and your contents are being packed out of your home that the company doing it does complete photographic inventory, bar coding, scanning of all contents so it can be tracked from start to finish from the home to the restoration facility and back into the home,” Restoration Company Owner Kenny Cochran said.

“When going through the items that you might have lost in the fire or flood, you first need to assess what their value was, how much it would cost to replace them, because that’s going to help you make some of these decisions a little easier,” said Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks. “Obviously the sentimental things are going to be a lot tougher. But that sofa you paid $1,000 for, if it’s going to cost $800 to repair it, you might just want to go ahead and get a new one.”

A fire or flood can you leave you feeling desperate for help, but homeowners should still research contractors thoroughly and get estimates in writing.

“Finding one before the problem arises is always a good idea because you want to make sure that you do all your vetting, because a quick decision could result in more pain and headache down the road then spending a little extra time doing your research,” Hicks said.

Most homeowners don’t plan for a disaster, but you should. Go room by room in your home and take photos of your possessions. Keep important documents and receipts in a fire safe, waterproof container.