Dealing with the aftermath of any disaster that has affected your house can be a traumatic situation filled with uncertainty and stress. Paul Davis offers the following tips and information that will help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Obviously, it is extremely important to make 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 it is possible.
- Keep a listing of all household goods or personal belongings 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 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 have suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present many potential safety hazards to occupants. The potential for electric shock and slips and falls are very real. Remember, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only perform tasks that can be done safely.
- Water Source: It is important to turn 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 home. Never operate your TV or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to aid in drying in summertime or in regions with more humidity.
- Floors: Dispose of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Do not use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpet with clean, white towels. Remove all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Relocate wet items to a dry place. Don’t let 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 large furniture. Wipe any residual water off of the furniture.
Fire Damage Tips
You have suffered a fire loss. While you are waiting for us to arrive, below are some suggestions to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the scene 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 diffuse the fire, and cuts and scrapes from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be done completely safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a small amount of time, entry by a person can create 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 checked 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 ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not attempt to wipe or wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut all doors in affected areas to focus smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Do not eat 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 home has been cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Clean 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 storm, fire, mold, water or other disaster, Call Paul!