Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your house can be a traumatic situation filled with uncertainty and stress. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is always important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are secure and that you contact your friends and relatives to assure them that you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you possibly can.
- Keep a listing of any household goods or personal belongings you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur in protecting your home.
- Is your house safe? Depending on the amount of damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the repairs and cleanup are completed. (Notify your insurance company if this is the case.)
Water Damage Tips
You have suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for us to arrive, below are helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present a lot of possible safety hazards to occupants. The potential for electric shock and slips and falls are real. Keep in mind, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only perform tasks that can be done safely.
- Water Source: It is very important to shut 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: Turn off all power to affected rooms of the home. Do not operate the television or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to speed up drying in the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Get rid of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Do not use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot wet carpet with clean, white towels. Remove all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Move wet items to a dry area. Don’t let draperies to stay in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap beneath the legs of large furniture. Wipe any extra water off of the furniture.
Fire Damage Tips
You have suffered a fire loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the home until fire officials have deemed the scene completely safe. Even when the fire is out, there are potential safety hazards to be aware of. The potential for slips and falls from the water that was used to diffuse the fire, and scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are real. Only perform tasks that can be completed safely.
- Going Back Inside: The effects of fire damage can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short period of 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.
- Appliances/Electronics: Never use any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been checked by a technician. If the electricity is turned off, empty your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open using a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid being on carpet when possible. Do not use “DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Don’t attempt to wash or wipe ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut doors in affected rooms to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Do not eat food items exposed to smoke or any canned goods 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: Relocate any pets to a safe environment until your home has been fully cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Clean plants with mild soap and water, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: Open windows to ventilate the area when possible.
If your home or business has been damaged by fire, water, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!