Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has affected your residence is most often a traumatic situation filled with uncertainty and stress. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that can help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is extremely important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are safe and that you contact your friends and relatives to inform them that you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as it is possible.
- Keep a listing of all household goods or personal belongings you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your property.
- Are you sure your house is safe? Depending on the amount of damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the repairs and cleanup are complete. (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, listed below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present several potential safety hazards to occupants. The potential for electric shock and slips and falls are very real. Remember, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only handle 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 the water meter.
- Electrical: Be sure to turn off the power to affected areas of the property. Don’t operate the TV or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to assist drying in summertime or in humid areas of the country.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Don’t use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpeting with clean, white towels. Remove all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Move wet items to dry places. Don’t allow draperies to stay in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of bigger furniture. Wipe any residual 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 tips to help handle with the situation:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the scene safe. Even after the fire is out, there are potential safety hazards to be aware of. The potential for slips and falls from the water used to put out the fire, and scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be done safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short time, entry by a person can create additional damage. Enter ONLY if emergency personnel have cleared the property and deemed it safe to enter and only if absolutely necessary.
- Electronics/Appliances: Never use any TV, stereo or other electrical appliances until they have been inspected by a professional. If the electricity is turned off, empty your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open using a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking or tracking on carpet when possible. Do not use “DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Don’t wipe or attempt to wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut doors in affected areas to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume food items exposed to smoke or canned products that have been exposed to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the air conditioner or furnace filter if the blower is operating. Tape double pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Relocate any and all pets to a clean environment until your property has been cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Wash plants with water and mild soap, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: Open windows to ventilate the area when possible.
If your business or home is damaged by mold, storm, fire, water or other disaster, Call Paul!