water and flood damage

What to Do in an Emergency: Vandalism, Flood, and Fire Restoration from ServiceMaster by Rice

July 16, 2015 11:00 am

Vandalism and natural disasters can leave homes and businesses financially and emotionally devastated. ServiceMaster by Rice is here to help families and business owners in Des Moines, Carroll, Okoboji, and Spencer during these difficult circumstances with our cleanup and restoration services. If you are in a situation that requires police, the fire department, or medical assistance, please call 911 immediately.

Once everyone is safe and accounted for, call us at 515.274.9109 for disaster relief services. Our trained professionals will walk you through some important steps over the phone until our restoration team arrives.

It is difficult to prepare for unexpected disasters such as vandalism, flooding, and fires, but there are actions you can take to help alleviate stress and minimize the severity of the damage. Review our list of dos and don’ts so you know the best way to react if you find yourself in an emergency situation.

How to Respond to Vandalism

The Dos

  • Identify and document all damage. Remember to take photos.
  • Wash eggs or other residue from the exterior of the building.
  • Carefully remove broken glass from carpet and upholstery with a shop vacuum.
  • Blot or scrape affected areas of the carpet or walls. (Do not rub.)

The Don’ts

  • Clean fabric, upholstery, or carpet with household cleaning products. These products could potentially cause even more damage to your carpets and furniture.
  • Remove chemical stains, ink, or paint. Attempting to wash away these materials can be hazardous and could cause irreparable damage to your property.

How to Respond to Flooding and Water Damage

The Dos

  • Attempt to stop the source of water encroachment, if possible.
  • Transport as many items and valuables as possible away from the affected area(s).
  • Remove wet area rugs.

The Don’ts

  • Enter a room with standing water. Wait until the electricity has been turned off to avoid electric shock before going into a room with standing water.
  • Clean up water with a vacuum. Water cleanup with a vacuum is very dangerous. Allow ServiceMaster by Rice to clean the area with our water extraction process.
  • Go near or attempt to clean visible mold. Disturbing the mold causes spores to spread, which could propagate the mold throughout the building and cause health problems.
  • Lift tacked down carpet without help from professionals.

How to Respond to Fire Damage

The Dos

  • Air out the building to help reduce odors, if possible.
  • Discard open food packages and containers.
  • Change the a/c and furnace filters.

The Don’ts

  • Clean your home or office. Improper cleaning solutions and techniques could cause further damage.
  • Use any electrical appliances. Have all appliances and electrical work checked and cleared by a professional before attempting to use them.

ServiceMaster by Rice provides residential and commercial emergency relief services for counties all across the state of Iowa and even in Fairmont, Minnesota. We understand that vandalism, flooding, and fires are a traumatic situation for disaster victims to experience. Our cleanup and restoration services are thorough, fast, and efficient so you can return to normal, comfortable living conditions as soon as possible.