Whether your home has suffered a tiny bit of smoke damage or complete fire and water destruction, the cleanup process can leave you overwhelmed.
But choosing a reputable company quickly to make repairs is important, because the longer it's left untreated, the more costly the repairs.
Homeowner Steve Westervelt had to hire a restoration company after heavy rains damaged his home.
"Our sump pump failed and we had about four inches of water throughout the finished basement downstairs," Westervelt said.
"The restoration company that we worked with did an excellent job because they took pictures of everything they were going to take out for repair. That kind of helps because sometimes you just kind of forget what you had and what was taken," he added.
Experts say you should make sure the company takes complete photographic inventory of the contents of your home so it can be tracked during the restoration.
Another thing to consider: Is the recovery of the item worth the price tag?
"When going through the items that you might have lost in the fire or flood, you first need to access what their value was, how much it would cost to replace them because that's going to help you make some of these decisions a little easier," said Angie Hicks from Angie's List. "Obviously the sentimental things are going to be a lot tougher. But that sofa you paid $1,000 for, if it's going to cost $800 to repair it, you might just want to go ahead and get a new one."
A fire or flood can you leave you feeling desperate for help, but homeowners should still research contractors thoroughly and get estimates in writing.
"Finding one before the problem arises is always a good idea because you want to make sure that you do all your vetting because a quick decision could result in more pain and headache down the road then spending a little extra time doing your research," Hicks said.
Most homeowners don't plan for a disaster, but you should. Go room by room in your home and take photos of your possessions. Keep important documents and receipts in a fire safe, waterproof container.
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