Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has affected your house can be traumatic and stressful. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that can help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it’s extremely important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are unharmed and that you contact your relatives and friends to inform them that you are all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you possibly can.
- Keep a listing of all household personal belongings or goods you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your property.
- 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 completed. (Notify your insurance company if this is the case.)
Water Damage Tips
You’ve suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for us to arrive, listed below are helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present many potential safety hazards to occupants. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are very real. Remember, 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: Be sure to turn off all power to affected areas of the house. Never operate your television 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: Get rid of as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Do not use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpeting with clean, white towels. Remove all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Move 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 beneath the legs of bigger 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 tips to help deal with the situation:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the home until fire officials have deemed the scene 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 extinguish 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 effects of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short period of 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.
- Electronics/Appliances: Never use any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been checked by a professional. If the electricity is off, empty 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 “DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Don’t attempt to wash or wipe ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut all doors in affected areas to limit smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Do not 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 two pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Move any and all pets to a safe environment until your house has been 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 has been damaged by fire, storm, water, mold or other disaster, Call Paul!