Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your house can be traumatic and stressful. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is extremely important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are secure and that you contact your relatives and friends to assure them that you are all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Keep a listing of any and all household personal belongings or goods you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur in 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 repairs and cleanup are completed. (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: A water event can present many potential safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are real. Also, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only complete tasks that can be done so safely.
- Water Source: It is 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 your water meter.
- Electrical: Turn off the power to affected areas of the property. Never operate your TV or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to speed up drying in summertime or in regions with more humidity.
- Floors: Get rid of as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Don’t use the 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: Transfer wet items to a dry place. Do not allow draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of larger furniture. Wipe any residual 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 handle with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the scene completely 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 that was used to diffuse the fire, as well as cuts and scrapes from exposed, sharp edges are real. Only perform tasks that can be done safely.
- Going Back Inside: The effects 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 TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been inspected by a professional. If the electricity is off, empty the contents of your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open using a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking or tracking on carpet if at all possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not attempt to wash or wipe ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut all doors in affected areas to confine smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume any food exposed to smoke or any canned goods 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: Move any pets to a clean environment until your property has been fully cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Wash 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!