Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your home can be a traumatic situation filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that will 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 unharmed and that you contact your relatives and friends 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 and all household goods or personal belongings that you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your home.
- Is your house safe? Depending on the amount of 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 have suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, listed below are helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present several potential safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are very real. Remember, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only handle 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: Turn off all power to affected areas of the house. Do not operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to speed up drying in summertime or in more humid regions.
- 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: Relocate wet items to a dry place. Do not allow draperies to remain in contact with wet floors or carpeting.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap beneath the legs of bigger furniture. Wipe any excess 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: Never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the property completely safe. Even after the fire is out, there are potential safety hazards to be aware of. The potential for slips and falls from water used to extinguish the fire, as well as scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be done completely safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short period of time, entry by a person can lead to 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 technician. 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 or tracking on carpet when possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Do not attempt to wipe or wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut all doors in affected areas to limit smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume any food exposed to smoke or any canned items that have been subjected 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: Transfer any and all pets to a clean 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: Open windows to ventilate the area when possible.
If your business or home is damaged by fire, storm, water, mold or other disaster, Call Paul!