Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your residence can be traumatic and stressful. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that will help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is always important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are secure and that you contact your friends and relatives to inform them that you are all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Keep a listing of any 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 amount of damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the repairs and cleanup are finished. (Notify your insurance company if this is the case.)
Water Damage Tips
You’ve suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present many possible safety hazards to occupants. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are real. Keep in mind, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only perform tasks that can be done so safely.
- Water Source: It is 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 the power to affected areas of the house. Don’t operate your television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to aid in drying in summertime or in regions with more humidity.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Don’t use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpet with clean, white towels. Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transfer wet items to dry places. Do not let draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpeting. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of larger furniture. Wipe any extra water off of the furniture.
Fire Damage Tips
You’ve suffered a fire loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are some suggestions to help deal with the situation:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the home 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, as well as cuts and scrapes from exposed, sharp edges are real. Only perform tasks that can be completed safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage can be 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: Do not use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been checked by a professional. If the electricity is turned off, empty the contents of your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open using a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking on carpet if at all possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Don’t attempt to wipe or wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close all doors in affected areas to focus smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume food exposed to smoke or any canned products that have been exposed to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape two pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Transfer all pets to a clean environment until your house has been completely restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Rinse plants with mild soap and water, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your home or business is damaged by fire, water, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!