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Fire and Flood Restoration: Dos and Don’ts

May 15th, 2023 | 15 min read

By Chrystal D. Osborn

When it comes to fire and flood restoration, the task can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to manage the physical damage, but also the emotional toll of such disasters. However, if you're armed with the right information, you can ensure your property is restored promptly and effectively. In this article, Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, the top fire and flood damage restoration company in El Dorado, covers the dos and don'ts for successful fire and flood restoration.

Picture this: You've just endured a fire or flood in your home or business, and now you're faced with not only all the physical repairs that need to be done but also all of the decisions that come with them. From hiring contractors to ensuring everything is up-to-code — it's enough to keep anyone up at night! That's why it's important to know what steps must be taken to ensure successful fire and flood restoration.

The good news is that you can follow simple tips to guide you through this process. We'll break down exactly what needs to be done during every stage of fire and flood restoration so that when disaster strikes again (and let's hope it doesn't!), you'll feel prepared and confident about tackling whatever comes your way.

Definition of Fire and Flood Damage

The devastating impact of fire and flood damage can pose significant risks to residential and commercial properties. Fire damage entails the destruction of assets through the ravaging effects of flames, smoke, and soot. In contrast, flood damage arises from water infiltration, resulting in hazardous conditions such as mold growth. Both calamities can incur substantial expenses and present formidable challenges during restoration. It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the necessary precautions and best practices in fire and flood restoration to safeguard the well-being of yourself, your loved ones, and your valuable property.

The first step in dealing with fire or flood damage is assessing the severity of the situation. It's important to determine what kind of repairs need to be done before you begin any work on restoring your property. You should also contact a professional to assess what needs to be done for proper remediation.

Once you have evaluated the situation, prompt action is imperative. If you observe visible water damage caused by flooding, it is crucial to contact a professional water restoration company without delay to prevent additional harm to the structure and mitigate health risks associated with mold growth. In the event of a fire, it is essential to contact a professional fire restoration company that can assess any damage caused by smoke or soot and offer air quality testing services if needed. Restore-It Restoration and Cleaning is a leading fire and flood damage restoration provider in El Dorado. 

It is highly advised to seek professional consultation, like Restore-It Restoration and Cleaning, before undertaking any repair work, as doing so without proper expertise may result in additional complications. Whether you are facing fire or flood damage, prioritizing safety should always be your foremost concern before embarking on any repairs or debris cleanup.

Risk Assessment

When it comes to fire and flood damage restoration, risk assessment is an essential part of the process. It's important to identify potential hazards before attempting any repair work. Here, Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning will discuss some do's and don'ts for risk assessment for fire or flood restoration.

First off, DO conduct a thorough visual inspection of the area before beginning any repair work. Look for signs of structural damage and hazardous materials like asbestos that may be present in older buildings. Wear the proper protective gear when inspecting any area with potentially dangerous materials. Also, remember that if you find any hazardous materials, you should contact a professional from Restore-It who can assess and handle them immediately.

Next, take into account the dangers posed by water or fire-damaged structures. Even if a building looks structurally sound, there may still be unseen damages that could pose risks to your safety or the safety of others working on the repairs. Be sure to scrutinize all parts of the structure and consider hiring a professional inspector if necessary.

Finally, only try to repair something yourself if you are an experienced tradesperson or contractor with knowledge and experience in dealing with these projects. Attempting DIY repairs without proper training can put you at risk of injury or even death due to unsafe practices or improper technique. If you need help determining what kind of repair needs, always consult a professional from Restore-It before attempting anything yourself.

Safety and Health Considerations

At Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, we understand that safety and health considerations should always be paramount when dealing with fire and flood damage restoration. This is particularly important for any personnel involved in the restoration process. To ensure that everyone remains safe at all times, certain dos and don'ts must be followed.

First of all, it's essential that protective clothing is worn at all times while on-site. This includes gloves, goggles, and masks to protect against hazardous materials or airborne particles that may be present due to the damage caused by the fire or water. It's also essential to take regular breaks from work to rest, rehydrate, and ensure that any tools or equipment being used are well maintained to avoid potential hazards.

When working with waterlogged areas, it is vital for Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning professionals to prioritize safety and remain vigilant regarding the risk of electrocution if electricity is still active in the vicinity. Workers must switch off any power supplies before entering a flooded area and carefully inspect for gas leaks before restoring. Furthermore, workers will thoroughly assess structural integrity before entering a flooded site to mitigate the risk of potential collapses while inside.

By following these simple steps and remaining vigilant, personnel can ensure their safety when dealing with fire and flood restoration projects. These precautions will help minimize risks so everyone involved can remain safe throughout the process.

Initial Steps To Take After Disaster Strikes

When disaster strikes, taking the proper steps to ensure safety and begin the restoration process is important. Here are some dos and don'ts from Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning for the initial stages of fire and flood damage restoration:


  1. Assess the situation - Before attempting any cleanup, assess the damage's severity and determine if staying in the building or structure is safe.
  2. Contact your insurance company - You should contact your insurer as soon as possible to inform them about the situation and initiate a claim.
  3. Contact a professional restoration company - Hire a reputable local flood and fire damage restoration company, such as Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, specializing in restoring El Dorado homes after disasters. This will help you get back on track quickly with minimal disruption to your daily life.


  1. Attempt any repairs yourself - It is dangerous and potentially illegal to do so without proper training or experience in this area. Leave all repairs to experienced professionals from Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning who know what they're doing and can guarantee quality results.
  2. Make permanent decisions without consulting an expert - Don't make any irreversible decisions before consulting with a restoration specialist first, as they can provide valuable advice on how best to proceed, given your particular situation.
  3. Delay getting started - The sooner you start cleaning up after a disaster, the less likely you will experience further issues due to mold or structural damage caused by water or smoke exposure.

Documenting the Damage

Now that you have taken the necessary initial steps to respond to a fire or flood disaster, it is important to document the damage. This will provide records for insurance companies and a timeline of events and materials used in the cleanup process. Here are some dos and don'ts when documenting the damage:

Do take pictures of the damage from various angles and distances. Include any damaged furniture, appliances, walls, floors, ceilings, and any areas where water or smoke has entered into the building. Remember to photograph any items removed from the building for cleaning and repair.

Make an inventory list of all items damaged during the disaster. Ensure to include any serial numbers for electronics or other large items for proof of ownership. Additionally, note whether each item was damaged beyond repair or can be repaired with an estimate of costs associated with each item.

Don't overlook potential hidden damages such as mold growth due to water exposure or smoke residue deep inside HVAC systems and ductwork. Be sure to check these areas carefully and photograph them thoroughly while noting what needs to be done to remediate them. Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, a professional flood and fire damage restoration company, ensure that all such documentation is done promptly and correctly.

For Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, it is vital to emphasize the significance of documenting damage after a fire or flood disaster. This documentation is crucial for filing insurance claims and conducting thorough cleanup operations. Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning ensures clients have a detailed and comprehensive account of the event by adhering to these recommended dos and don'ts when documenting damages. This accurate record facilitates a prompt recovery, enabling clients to regain stability once the ordeal is behind them swiftly.

Choosing a Restoration Company

When it comes to choosing a fire and flood damage restoration company, there are some essential factors to consider:

  1. You should ensure the company is licensed and insured, as this will ensure that they can handle any issue that may arise.
  2. You should ask for references from previous customers to ensure the company has a good track record.
  3. Be sure to get an estimate up front to know what kind of cost you're looking at.

Inquire about the expertise of Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning when it comes to handling similar situations, and inquire about any specialized services or potential discounts they may provide. It is also important to ascertain the estimated timeframe for completing the job to allow for proper planning. Review all contractual documents before affixing your signature, and never hesitate to seek clarifications through thoughtful questioning. This approach protects the interests of both parties and ensures that your specific needs are promptly addressed. At Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, we take pride in our exceptional customer service skills. Our dedicated staff is always prepared to address any inquiries and provide clear explanations to our valued customers.

Clean-Up Processes

Now that you have chosen a fire and flood damage restoration company- Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, knowing what to do and not do during the cleanup process is important. Following these dos and don'ts will ensure your family's and home's safety and make the entire process smoother.


  • Wear protective clothing such as long sleeves, pants, gloves, goggles, and masks when cleaning up contaminated materials such as mold or sewage.
  • Ventilate the area by opening windows and using fans to help speed along the drying process.
  • Separate any salvageable items from those that are too damaged to save. This will help with the disposal process later on.
  • Place all damaged items outside to help prevent further spreading of contaminants in your home.


  • Don't touch any electrical equipment if there has been water damage, as this could lead to electric shock or electrocution.
  • Don't try to remove any large pieces of debris yourself, as this can cause injury or further damage due to a lack of experience with proper removal techniques.
  • Don't use a vacuum cleaner to clean up any wet debris or liquids, as this can cause serious damage to your machine and could even spread contaminants throughout your home.

Cleanup processes should be undertaken carefully and cautiously for everyone's safety and health. Follow these guidelines with the expertise of Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning. You'll ensure all affected areas are cleaned properly and efficiently without risking injury or further damage.

Restoring Electrical Systems

When it comes to restoring electrical systems after a fire or flood, Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning emphasizes the importance of prioritizing safety. Being aware of the dos and don'ts in such situations is crucial. Begin by turning off the power at the breaker box to ensure a safe environment. Proceed with a thorough inspection of the wiring and all electrical equipment within the premises, taking utmost care to avoid contact with anything that may pose a potential hazard. In the event of identifying burnt or damaged outlets, switches, or wires, it is imperative to have them replaced before restoring power to the building. By following these guidelines, Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning ensures a secure and risk-free restoration process for your electrical systems.

When cleaning up after a fire or flood, don't attempt any repairs unless you are an experienced electrician and have been trained in safety procedures. Don't use any electrical appliances until inspected and tested for safety. Additionally, avoid using extension cords as a permanent solution for powering your appliances - instead, opt for professionally installed wiring.

Finally, if you suspect damage beyond what you can safely repair, contact a professional who can assess the situation and guide you on how best to proceed with repairs. These steps will help ensure that your home or business is safe from potential hazards caused by water damage or fire restoration efforts.

Rebuilding Structures

Now that the electrical systems have been restored, it's time to rebuild structures. Rebuilding structures after flood damage can be a complicated and challenging task. Knowing what to do and not to do is essential for a successful rebuild. Here are some dos and don'ts to remember when rebuilding structures after a flood.

First, ensure all necessary permits and authorizations have been obtained from the local governing body before beginning any work on the structure. It is essential to follow all building codes set forth by local authorities for the structure to be approved for use. Additionally, inspecting all materials used in the rebuilding process for safety is crucial. Ensure any wood being used is free of mold or mildew, as well as any other contaminants that may pose health risks.

It is also essential to consider the structure's overall design when rebuilding after a flood. The structure should be designed so that water won't collect near or around it during future floods, which could cause additional damage over time. Avoid planting trees too close to the structure since their roots could cause damage if they become too large over time.

When rebuilding, ensure you work with experienced professionals such as Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, who understand how best to protect against future flooding events. Proper sealing techniques and quality building materials will help ensure your property is safe from future floods and other disasters. With these tips in mind, you can get your property back up and running quickly following a disaster like a flood.

Insurance Coverage

When dealing with fire and flood restoration, it's important to understand the insurance coverage associated with the damage. It is essential to know what your policy covers and how many repairs it will cover. Here are some do's and don'ts regarding insurance coverage during fire and flood restoration.

Do contact your insurance provider as soon as possible after a fire or flood. Before beginning any repair work, you'll need to ensure adequate repair coverage. Please list all damaged items and check them against your policy to ensure they're covered. You can receive reimbursement for items not covered under your policy if damaged in the incident.

Remember to document everything. Please take photos of the damaged items before disposing of them and keep track of all receipts related to repairs or replacements. Don't delay filing a claim: even if your policy has a deadline for filing claims, do it as soon as possible following the incident to ensure that you get reimbursed for all damages promptly.

Remember these tips from Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning when dealing with fire and flood damage restoration to maximize your insurance coverage and minimize any out-of-pocket expenses associated with repairs or replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does fire and flood restoration cost?

Determining the cost of fire and flood restoration can feel overwhelming, but Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning can guide you. We understand the importance of assessing the financial implications after a sudden disaster like a home fire or major flooding. Numerous factors come into play when calculating the cost of fire and flood restoration services, including the affected area's size, the damage's extent, and whether professional assistance is required.

When estimating the expenses for fire and flood restoration, it is crucial to consider any structural damage that may have occurred. This entails evaluating building materials for water damage, examining walls and ceilings for smoke stains, and addressing soot deposits left behind by smoke particles. Additionally, damaged furniture and personal items should be factored in to calculate the complete restoration cost.

Furthermore, it is essential to account for additional expenses to restore your property after a fire or flood. This may involve hiring specialized contractors to repair flood or fire-related damages and potentially purchasing new furniture or appliances to replace ruined items. 

In addition to direct costs tied to repairs and replacements, it is vital to consider indirect expenses resulting from your property being temporarily out of commission during the restoration and renovation. These indirect costs may include lost rental income, increased insurance premiums, or additional lodging expenses while seeking temporary housing. 

Considering all these variables ensures a comprehensive understanding of the actual cost of fire and flood restoration.

At Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, we are committed to providing transparent and detailed cost assessments, guiding you through the financial aspects of the restoration journey with clarity and professionalism.

How long does the restoration process take?

Restoring fire and flood damage is a complex undertaking that demands specialized expertise and knowledge. It is crucial to have a clear understanding of the estimated duration of the restoration process to facilitate proper planning. The timeline for restoration can vary significantly depending on the extent of the damage, spanning from a few days for smaller areas to weeks or even months for larger structures. This article explores the factors that influence the length of a restoration project and provides tips for expediting the timeline.

The size of the area affected by fire or water damage is a primary determinant of the restoration duration. Minor damage in a small room may only necessitate a few days of work, whereas extensive damage in a large structure could require substantial repair efforts spanning weeks or months. Moreover, if the incident caused damage to structural components such as walls or floorboards, reconstruction becomes necessary, further prolonging the restoration timeline.

The prompt initiation of repairs is another critical factor affecting the duration of the fire and flood damage restoration. Acting swiftly is crucial in the face of water or smoke damage to prevent further harm or deterioration of materials. Delays in starting the restoration project may result in the need for more extensive repairs, adding extra time to the overall timeline.

Fortunately, several measures can be taken to minimize delays and expedite restoration. Engaging the services of an experienced contractor specializing in fire and flood restoration ensures that all necessary steps are carried out promptly while maintaining the quality of repairs. Additionally, having all required materials readily available before commencing repairs helps ensure smooth progress, eliminating the need to wait for supplies.

Whether dealing with minor water stains from a broken pipe or the aftermath of a smoke and soot incident, understanding the expected duration of your property's restoration allows for proper project planning and facilitates a smooth process. By collaborating with a skilled contractor such as Restore-It and ensuring the availability of necessary supplies in advance, delays can be minimized, enabling efficient and effective completion of your restoration project. Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning is dedicated to providing experienced services that streamline the restoration timeline, ensuring a successful outcome for your property.

What should I do if I don't have insurance coverage?

When facing the aftermath of a fire or flooding without insurance coverage, Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning understands the challenges you may encounter. Insurance is not the sole solution for restoring your home or property to its original state. Alternative methods can be explored, and we are here to guide you.

The first crucial step is to assess the damage and determine the necessary actions. Our Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning team can provide the expertise of qualified professionals who can conduct a thorough assessment. This assessment will provide an accurate understanding of the situation, identify the required repairs, and estimate the associated costs.

Once you clearly understand the restoration needs, it's time to explore other funding options. We can help you navigate the available resources, including grants and aid programs offered by government agencies, non-profit organizations, and other relief initiatives. These sources can provide direct financial assistance or contribute towards rebuilding costs. Additionally, there may be opportunities for volunteer services that can help reduce labor expenses during the restoration process.

Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning is committed to providing comprehensive support beyond insurance coverage. We will work closely with you, offering our expertise and resources to help you explore alternative funding options and restore your property to its pre-disaster condition. We aim to ensure that you have the means and guidance necessary to overcome the challenges and move forward confidently.

Are there any tax incentives for fire and flood restoration?

Regarding fire and flood restoration, Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning understands the importance of exploring all available avenues for assistance, including potential tax incentives. We are here to guide you through the process and ensure you know of any tax benefits that may apply to your situation.

It's essential to recognize that various tax incentives are available depending on your specific circumstances. Certain expenses related to evacuation and cleanup may be deductible from your taxes in some cases. Furthermore, some states offer specific tax credit programs to assist individuals impacted by natural disasters. Conducting thorough research to understand the tax incentives available in your area is crucial.

In addition to potential tax benefits, other valuable services and organizations can aid in fire and flood restoration efforts. FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides financial assistance to individuals affected by natural disasters like fires and floods. Local non-profit organizations also offer resources such as counseling services and grants, contributing to recovery.

At Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, we provide comprehensive support throughout the restoration journey. We can help you navigate the complexities of tax incentives, connect you with relevant resources, and ensure that you make the most of the available assistance. We aim to help you recover from this challenging situation and restore your home with peace.

Remember, exploring all options and understanding available resources is essential in maximizing your recovery efforts. By partnering with Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, you can benefit from our expertise and knowledge to ensure a smooth and successful restoration process.

Are there any special considerations for restoring a historical building?

Restoring a historic building is a significant undertaking that requires meticulous care and expertise. At Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning, we understand the unique considerations involved in preserving and restoring historic structures. We are committed to providing the specialized services and attention to detail necessary to protect and enhance the historical significance of these buildings.

The first step in restoring a historical building is conducting thorough research into its history and architectural features. This knowledge will guide the selection of appropriate materials and restoration techniques that will honor the building's original design. Our team will work closely with you to ensure that every aspect of the restoration aligns with the building's historical significance.

Preservationists and experts play a crucial role in the restoration process. We collaborate with local preservation organizations and specialists with invaluable knowledge and insights. Their expertise helps us navigate the unique challenges and requirements of each historical building, ensuring that the restoration is carried out with the utmost care and attention to detail.

Compliance with local regulations and obtaining the necessary permits is another critical aspect of restoring historic buildings. Our team is well-versed in navigating the complex landscape of permits and permissions. We will work closely with local government officials and relevant agencies to meet all requirements before commencing the restoration work.

Environmental factors are carefully considered during the restoration process. We assess potential risks, such as high water tables or hazardous materials like lead paint or asbestos, and develop appropriate mitigation strategies. Our priority is to ensure the safety of our team, the building, and its surroundings throughout the restoration process.

Undertaking a restoration project of historical significance may seem daunting, but with Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning by your side, you can have confidence in the successful outcome. We bring extensive experience, research, and expertise to every restoration project, ensuring that each historical building receives the utmost care and attention it deserves.

By partnering with us, you can rest assured that your historic building will be restored to its former glory while preserving its unique character and architectural integrity. Trust in our commitment to excellence and our passion for historic preservation. Together, we will bring your historic building back to life, ensuring its protection for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.


In conclusion, Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning understands that fire and flood restoration can come with significant costs. However, we are committed to helping our clients navigate this process and find ways to minimize expenses. It's important to remember that restoration timelines can vary depending on the damage's extent and the project's scope. Our experienced team will work efficiently to complete the restoration promptly without compromising quality.

For those without insurance coverage, seeking assistance from a local financial institution can be a viable option. They may offer financing solutions or advice on securing funds for the restoration project. It's also worth exploring tax incentives available for specific projects. Our team can guide you in identifying and maximizing potential tax benefits.

We emphasize the importance of conducting thorough research to understand the costs and timeline associated with fire and flood restoration. By being well-informed, you can make informed decisions about your project. Our team is dedicated to providing you with the necessary information and guidance to help you accurately assess the restoration's scope.

Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning is committed to delivering exceptional service and ensuring that restoring your property after a disaster is a smooth and efficient process. Contact us today to discuss your specific restoration needs, and let us guide you through this challenging but rewarding journey.

Chrystal D. Osborn

Chrystal is co-owner of Restore-It Restoration & Cleaning with her husband, Marcus. Chrystal has 9 years of restoration industry experience, in which she contributes this time to the desire to help and educate people. She believes that knowledge is the best tool for knowing what to do and when to do it.