The aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your house can often be a traumatic situation that is filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Of course, 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 all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Keep a listing of any household personal belongings or goods you have discarded 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’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 a lot of potential safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are very 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 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 your water meter.
- Electrical: Turn off all power to affected rooms of the house. Do not operate your television or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to speed up drying in summertime or in regions with more humidity.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Don’t use the vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot wet 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. Don’t let 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 large furniture. Wipe any excess 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 helpful tips to help deal with the situation:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the home 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 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 aftermath of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short time, entry by a person can cause extra damage. Enter ONLY if emergency personnel have cleared the property and deemed it safe to enter and only if absolutely necessary.
- Electronics/Appliances: Don’t any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been inspected by a technician. If the electricity is off, empty your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open with a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking on carpet if possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Don’t attempt to wipe or wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close doors in affected rooms to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume food items exposed to smoke or any canned products that have been exposed to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the air conditioner or furnace filter if the blower is operating. Tape two pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Transport all pets to a safe environment until your house has been fully cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Rinse 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, storm, water, mold or other disaster, Call Paul!