The aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your home is most often traumatic and stressful. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it’s extremely important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget your pets) are secure and that you contact your relatives and friends to let them know you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Keep a listing of all household goods or personal belongings that you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your home.
- Are you sure your house is safe? Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the cleanup and repairs are finished. (Notify your insurance company if this is the case.)
Water Damage Tips
You have suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present many potential safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips, falls and electric shock are very real. Also, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only complete tasks that can be done so safely.
- Water Source: It is very important to turn off the water. For most, the main shut-off valve is located either in your garage or utility room, or outside, next to your water meter.
- Electrical: Turn off all power to affected areas of the property. Don’t operate your TV or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn your air conditioner on to aid indrying in the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Dispose of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Don’t use the vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot wet carpeting with clean, white towels. Remove all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transfer wet items to dry areas. Do not allow draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpeting. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of larger furniture. Wipe any excess water off of the furniture.
Fire Damage Tips
You have suffered a fire loss. While you are waiting for us to arrive, below are some suggestions to help deal with the situation:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the scene safe. Even when the fire is out, there are potential safety hazards to be aware of. The potential for slips and falls from water that was used to put out the fire, as well as scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be done safely.
- Going Back Inside: The effects of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short period of time, entry by a person can cause additional damage. Enter ONLY if emergency personnel have cleared the property and deemed it safe to enter and only if absolutely necessary.
- Electronics/Appliances: Do not use any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been inspected by a technician. If the electricity is turned off, empty your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open with a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid being on carpet if at all possible. Do not use “DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not attempt to wash or wipe ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut doors in affected areas to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t eat food items exposed to smoke or canned items that have been subjected to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape double pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Move all pets to a safe environment until your property has been restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Wash plants with water and mild soap, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your home or business has been damaged by fire, water, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!