Appliances & Personal Effects

Clothing
If clothing becomes wet, quickly wash it according to manufacturer’s instructions. Clothing left wet will readily develop odors and mildew. To remove mildew, wash with soap and water. If the stain is still in place, try lemon juice and salt or very diluted bleach. Always test for color fastness before trying a stain removal!

Electrical Appliances
Have your electrical appliances professionally serviced. Do not use them after they have been exposed to water. If there is standing water in the home, turn off the power and do not turn it back on until the system has been checked by an electrician.

Flooring & Rugs
If you have a wood sub-floor, this flooring will warp and smell. Remove a floor covering that will hold moisture, such as linoleum and thoroughly dry the wood. If carpeting is covering the floor, you may be able to run fans over the carpet to dry it. Make sure it is dry completely. The surface may feel dry to the touch, but if the padding or backing is moist, the rug will quickly rot.

If humidity is high outside, you may have to run your air conditioner or heater to remove the moisture from within the home. Throw rugs and other removable items should be cleaned and dried outside, but keep them out of direct sun as this may cause fading. Contact your carpet dealer or installer for more detailed recommendations.

Leather
Wipe leather goods with a damp, then dry cloth. Retain the shape of leather products by stuffing them with newspapers. Don’t choose papers that may bleed, the colors may then transfer. When they are dry, clean them with saddle soap. Always keep leather goods out of the sun and heat to prevent fading and cracking.

Walls
Walls may be cleaned by using a mild soap. Do not repaint the walls until they are completely dry. Again, you may have to run your air conditioner or heater to remove the moisture. You may be able to save wall paper by using a commercial paste to repair edges.

Furniture
Do not dry wood furniture in the sun as this will cause warping. Wood that is wet will rot and develop mold. You can remove the mold by purchasing commercial wood cleaners or by using borax and hot water. When drying furniture with drawers, remove the drawers completely and dry separately. A 50/50 mixture of ammonia and water will probably remove spots from the wood. Be sure to dry thoroughly and wax or polish the furniture to protect it.

Additional Information
There are professional reclamation and recovery organizations who will be able to protect and restore your property. Be sure to find a reputable one and be aware of any unsolicited or uncertified firms who may approach you after an event. Protect yourself and get a detailed estimate. Take photographs or videos of damage and keep all receipts of the work that was done.

Contact your insurance company as they probably will have firms they contract with to provide these services. The Florida Department of Insurance has a hotline to handle questions or complaints. Call 800-528-7094 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.