Fire Damage FAQs

Frequently asked questions about fire damage:

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Q. How long will the restoration process take?

A. Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration of your home or business will take. Consult with your ServiceMaster of Eugene technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.

Q. Can I clean it myself?

A. We suggest you do not attempt any “do it yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your ServiceMaster technician. Pretesting, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a ServiceMaster of Eugene fire restoration technician expertly controls results. ServiceMaster of Eugene’s professional cleaning system products used by experienced, trained technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings.

Q. What are some safety concerns?

A. At ServiceMasterof Eugene, occupant and worker safety is top priority. During initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separated out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation or safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.

Q. Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?

A. We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.

Q. What items do I keep in my possession?

  • Cash
  • Checkbooks
  • Flammables
  • Gasoline cans
  • Medications
  • Personal documents
  • Pets
  • Stamp/Coin collections
  • Valuable jewelry
  • Valuable Paintings
  • Weapons/Ammunition

Q. How do I keep track of non-restorable items?

A. We recommend that you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.

Q. Do I need to move out of my property during this process?

A. This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, cable company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.

Q. Do I need general contractors?

A. There are some items that require general contractors, such as drywall/painting, electrical, plumbing, framing/finish carpentry, flooring/carpet, installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post construction clean up, etc. ServiceMaster of Eugene specializes in reconstruction after a fire or smoke damage.

Q. Do my belongings need to be moves away from the premises?

A. Depending on the source, nature and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to secure facility for cleaning, storage, and to make room for restoration or construction. ServiceMaster of Eugene will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process.

Q. Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?

A. Yes. With advanced notice we can schedule time for a ServiceMaster of Eugene technician to meet with you and provide access to your requested items.

Q. What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.?

A. Some high value items require restoration by a specialist. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.

What to do when bad things happen to good homes and businesses.
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ServiceMaster in 1

What to do:

Corrosive byproducts from fire and smoke can cause irreversible etching in as few as 72 hours. Call ServiceMaster of Eguene immediately at 541-687-0900.

  • If the temperature is above 60 degrees, air out your home by opening windows and doors to reduce smoke odor.
  • Clean Formica, chrome, porcelain and aluminum fixtures to prevent permanent tarnishing or etching.
  • Change the air filter on your furnace if it uses forced hot air.
  • Tape damp cheesecloth over important documents to capture loose soot in the air.
  • Discard any open food packages.
  • If the electricity is off, clean out the refrigerator and leave doors propped open.
  • Send clothing with heavy smoke damage to a qualified restoration dry cleaner.

What not to do:

  • Do not touch anything. Oil from your hands can permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing additional damage.
  • Do not wash walls. Incorrect cleaning could compound the soot residue.
  • Do not attempt to clean carpets or upholstered furniture.
  • Do not use electrical appliances until having them checked.
  • Do not use ceiling fixtures if the ceiling is wet.

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