How do you clean up after fire and water damage?

How do you clean up after fire damage?

Things that you should NOT do after a fire:

  • Wipe or attempt to wash fire residues from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces as this will cause further damage.
  • Use food or canned goods that have been exposed to heat- for your safety.
  • Do not turn on computers, T.V.’s, stereo’s or other electronics including electronic appliances until they have been cleaned and checked.
  • Do not use furniture that has been affected by smoke and/or soot.
  • Do not attempt to clean affected areas by yourself, as it is recommended that a professional conduct the cleaning and restoration to prevent further damage to your personal property.

Minimize damages:

  • Change furnace filter
  • Brush vacuum-smoke particulate from furnishings and draperies.
  • Move pets to a clean and safe environment.
  • Cover carpeted traffic areas to prevent tracking of soot and debris throughout the property.
  • Open windows for ventilation ( if weather permits)
  • Empty refrigerators and freezers if electricity is turned off. (restoration technicians can inventory these items and dispose of)
  • During cold winter months, pour anti-freeze in toilet bowls, tanks and sinks to prevent freezing if the heat is off, or call a plumber to address this issue.
  • Wipe leaves of house plants to remove smoke residue and get to appropriate temperatures if cold weather has arrived.

 Cleaning up after water damage… 

 Examples of what NOT to do with water damage: 

  • DON’T use a household vacuum to remove water.
  • DON’T use T.V.’s or other appliances if they have gotten wet.
  • DON’T turn on ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.
  • DON’T go into rooms where ceilings are sagging from water.

Prevent further damages after a water damage: 

  •  Contact your insurance company.
  • Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
  • Separate wet fabrics into like colors to prevent bleeding.
  • Remove as much water as possible by mopping, blotting or with a wet/dry shop vac.
  • Remove lamps, etc. from wood furniture and wipe dry.
  • Prop up or hang any cushions to dry. Check for possible color bleeding.
  • Place aluminum foil between furniture legs and any carpet to prevent staining.
  • Open drawers and doors for complete drying.
  • Remove art and oil paintings to a safe and dry place.
  • In the summer, turn on air conditioning for maximum drying; in the winter, set the heat to 70 degrees.


Fire and water restoration is not as simple as some people would think. The soot, ash, and other fire residues are generally considered to be a health hazard. In addition, the contamination from fire can cause significant damage to parts of the structure not directly impacted by flames or burning.

Water damage restoration should be handled by a professional to ensure that all of the excess water has been removed from an area to prevent further damages such as mold.

Contact Bouchard Cleaning and Restoration today, no matter the day, no the matter the time, we are here for you.