The aftermath of any disaster that has directly affected your house can be a traumatic situation that is filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that should help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Obviously, it is always important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget your pets) are safe 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 it is possible.
- Keep a listing of any household personal belongings or goods that you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur in 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 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 helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present several potential safety hazards to occupants. The potential for slips, falls and electric shock are real. Also, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only perform tasks that can be done 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 the water meter.
- Electrical: Be sure to turn off all power to affected areas of the home. Do not operate the TV or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to assist with drying in the summer or in humid areas of the country.
- 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 all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transport wet items to a dry area. Do not allow draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpet. Place plastic wrap or plastic bags 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 handle with the damage:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the home until fire officials have deemed the property 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 put out the fire, and 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 lead to extra damage. Enter ONLY if emergency personnel have cleared the property and deemed it safe to enter and only if absolutely necessary.
- Appliances/Electronics: Don’t any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been inspected by a professional. 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 at all possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not wipe or attempt to wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close all doors in affected areas to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume any food exposed to smoke or canned items 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: Transfer any pets to a safe environment until your home has been completely restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Wash plants with mild soap and water, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your business or home is damaged by water, fire, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!