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First Steps after a house fire or flood

When the unthinkable happens, such as a house fire or major flooding, the immediate reaction for most of us in regards to our home and the aftermath would be an overwhelming feeling of anxiety accompanied by the question, “Where do I even begin?”

Because the damage caused by fires and flooding most often affects more than just what the eye can see, help from a professional is crucial to remediating damage and restoring your home to working order.

As soon as you’re able, contact your insurance agency and then call a restoration professional, such as Water Extraction Experts, who can assess the damage, give an estimate of costs, and begin the cleanup process. It’s extremely important to have a certified professional, like us at Water Extraction Experts, address the problems right away, because both smoke and water damage will worsen the longer they are allowed to go unaddressed.

While you wait for help from the pros, though, there are a few steps you can take.

First Steps After Fire and Smoke Damage:

  1. Before attempting to inspect the damage yourself, make sure the fire department has given the all-clear to reenter the house or business. Fires can cause structural damage that could make your home unsafe to enter. Be sure to wear sturdy shoes, work gloves, long sleeves/pants, safety glasses, and a mask, as exposure to soot can cause respiratory problems.
  2. Secure your property. Cover or board up any doors or windows (we offer our customers this service so that don’t have to worry about protecting their property) that were broken in the fire or by the fire department to minimize the risk of looting or any accidents.
  3. Open all working windows and air out the house as much as possible for as long as you’re able. Use box fans to force out dust and the contaminated, unsafe air to help minimize the smoke damage. Fire and smoke damage can be extensive. At Water Extraction Experts, we have the equipment and methods to restore your personal property effectively.
  4. Food that has come in contact with smoke, debris, and even water should be thrown out. Water used to douse flames can transfer soot, debris, and other harmful substances to whatever it touches. Dishes and food prep items should be thoroughly cleaned before reuse.
  5. Wash all bedding, clothing, curtains, and items that can be machine washed with an alkaline cleaner. You may need to wash items more than once. Only use washers and dryers that haven’t been exposed to smoke or significant fire damage. We can help you get the smoke smell out of your house and personal items. 

Most importantly: Be safe. Don’t turn on any electrical appliances until the fire department has inspected them and given the all clear.

First Steps After CLEAN Water Damage:

  1. Clean water is what would come out of your faucet or water heater. Water from your shower, dishwasher or washing machine is considered grey water. Water from a toilet or from a storm is black water. Each type of water damage is handled differently.
  2. If you have CLEAN standing water in your basement, Do NOT wade into the water. Give us a call. There could be an issue with electrical wires. If the water is in a kitchen, bathroom, laundry room or garage, you can remove as much standing water as possible using a wet/dry vacuum, and only do so if you know your electricity is in safe working order. We do have special equipment to remove moisture from floors, walls, cabinets, and ceilings. 
  3. Use towels to blot flat surfaces to get rid of standing water. Open all your cabinets and drawers, closets, and luggage so air can circulate. Loop curtains through a hanger and place that hanger on the rod to get drapes off of the wet floor. Leave your seasonally-appropriate HVAC on.
  4. Place your valuable books and important papers in the freezer as soon as possible. This will help combat mildew growth until you’re able to start the drying process.

Again: Be safe. Don’t enter rooms with standing water while the electricity is on. Don’t attempt to use appliances while standing on wet flooring. Wear appropriate safety gear. To avoid mold growth and restore your property, it’s best to work with a professional restoration company such as Water Extraction Experts. We serve Northern Colorado, Alberqurque & Santa Fe Areas of New Mexico and Southeast Wyoming.

First Steps After Sewage and Water Damage (black water):

  1. If you have water damage due to sewage or a storm it’s best not to try to restore your property yourself. The opportunity to get ill or spread contaminates is too great.  Sewage spreads a plethora of viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases, and contaminated items should immediately be handled properly by professionals.
  2. We will professionally treat any dry damp areas in the first 48 hours to help prevent mold growth. Using your own sprays or products to attempt to clean contaminated areas only does more harm than good, so wait for professional help.
  3. To prevent further spread of germs and parasites, keep kids and pets out of contaminated areas until after remediation.

While a major fire or flooding is among the worst disasters that can happen to your home or business, rest assured that Water Extraction Experts are restoration professionals. We are equipped to guide you through the process of repairing your home and getting you back to your life as soon as possible.


CALL: 970-581-4498 Northern Colorado

CALL: 307-220-5900 Southeastern Wyoming

CALL: 505-250-6500 Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico Areas