3 Easy Steps to Creating an Inventory for Water or Fire Damage

Disaster strikes! Whether it’s a burst pipe or a flickering flame gone rogue, water damage or fire damage can leave you feeling overwhelmed. During the chaos, one crucial step often gets overlooked: creating a detailed inventory of your damaged belongings.

While it might seem like the least of your worries at the moment, a well-documented inventory is vital for two key reasons:

Insurance Claims: A comprehensive inventory provides clear evidence of your losses to your insurance company. This helps ensure you receive fair compensation for damaged or destroyed items.

Peace of Mind: Having a record of your belongings can ease the emotional burden during a stressful time. It helps you remember what you had and serves as a roadmap for replacing essential items.

Let’s discuss creating an inventory for your home and business so if you ever have water or fire damage and your belongings get ruined, you can easily claim and recover the funds needed to replace them.

Here are three easy steps to creating an inventory you’ll be glad you have in the event of water or fire damage.

1.    Capture Video Footage

saving video footage

You can start by using your phone’s camera or a dedicated video camera to make a video of your home and business. Walk through the spaces of your residential and commercial property, and record everything. Focus mainly on your belongings.

1.1 Why Video Footage is Important

Video footage serves as a visual record that can substantiate your claims. It provides a comprehensive overview of your possessions, capturing details that may be overlooked in a written list.

1.2 How to Record Effective Video Footage

When filming, ensure to cover all areas of your home, focusing on high-value items. Open closets, drawers, and cabinets to record their contents.

Make sure you open all your drawers, cabinets, closets, and storage spaces to record the things you have stored inside. Backup the video footage to an offline, external storage device and a cloud storage service like Dropbox or box.net. This will ensure the physical and digital safety of the footage.

2.    Digitize Essential Documents

scanning of documents

Once you have assessed the damage, it’s time to start documenting your belongings. Begin by making a list of all items that have been affected by the water or fire, including furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, and personal belongings. Take a scan of each item to provide visual evidence of the damage, and it should be stored in a secure digital format.

2.1 Reasons to Digitize Documents

Scanning important documents ensures they are preserved, even if the physical copies are damaged. It also makes them easily accessible when needed.

2.2 Tips for Scanning Documents

Ensure that the scans are clear and legible. Save them in multiple locations, such as cloud storage and external hard drives, for added security.

Important documents and paperwork also need to be scanned and stored in a safe, offline physical storage device and the cloud. Consider documents like birth and death certificates, marriage licenses, social security cards, bonds, wills, insurance policies, property papers, health care directives, appraisal documents, etc.

3.      Comprehensive List of Valuables

listing important valuables

The final step involves creating a comprehensive list of your valuable items.

Items of greater value, like jewelry or business equipment, should be recorded in a detailed list with details like purchase date, original price, and independent appraisals. You need to back up and secure this list as well. Most importantly, you need to consult your insurance agent for guidance because you may need to get extra coverage or insurance for such valuables.

3.1 The Importance of a Detailed Inventory

An itemized list of valuables aids in estimating the total loss and supports insurance claims.

3.2 How to Create a Detailed Inventory

Organizing your inventory is crucial for keeping track of your belongings and facilitating the claims process with your insurance company. Create a detailed spreadsheet or use a digital inventory management tool to categorize and list each item, including its description, condition, approximate value, and any relevant receipts or documentation.

Additionally, consider including the following information in your inventory:

  • Date of purchase
  • Brand or manufacturer
  • Model number (if applicable)
  • Serial number (if applicable)
  • Replacement cost

Be sure to make multiple copies of your inventory and store them in secure locations, such as cloud storage or a safety deposit box. This ensures that you have access to your inventory in case of further damage to your property or loss of documentation.


It is always ideal to hope for the best and plan for the worst. If your home or business ever experiences water or fire damage, such an inventory will be invaluable for recovering your losses. Ensure you store information safely in the cloud and on an offline physical storage device, preferably stored in a safe location away from your home or business.

Lastly, don’t forget to consult your insurance agent and call Major Restoration for comprehensive water or fire damage restoration services.

If you want to learn more about creating an inventory for water and fire damage or about our comprehensive restoration solutions, please visit our website today.


Serving South Central Pennsylvania and Northern Maryland
PA# 019590 MD# 108211
We also do : Water Damage Restoration, Drying & Dehumidification, Fire, Smoke & Soot Clean Up, Sump Pump Failures, Restoration and Mitigation, Crime Scene Clean Up, Pack Outs, Biohazard, Puff-back Cleanup, Mold Remediation, Sewage Clean Up, Water Extraction and General Contracting

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1214 East Market Street
York, PA 17403



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