Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your house is most often stressful and traumatic. Paul Davis offers the following tips and information that will help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Of course, it’s 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 let them know you are all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Keep a listing of any household goods or personal belongings that you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your property.
- Is your house 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’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: A water event can present several possible safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips and 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 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: Be sure to turn off all power to affected areas of the home. Don’t operate your TV or other electrical appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Air Conditioning: Turn your air conditioner on to assist with drying in summertime or in regions with more humidity.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Don’t use the 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 a dry area. Don’t let draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of large furniture. Wipe any residual 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 suggestions to help deal with the situation:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the property 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 used to diffuse the fire, as well as scrapes and cuts 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 cause additional damage. Enter ONLY if emergency personnel have cleared the property and deemed it safe to enter and only if absolutely necessary.
- Appliances/Electronics: Never use 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 when possible. Do not use “DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not wipe or attempt to wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close all doors in affected areas to confine smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t eat food items exposed to smoke or canned items that have been subjected to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape two pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Relocate all pets to a safe environment until your home has been cleaned and restored.
- 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 has been damaged by mold, water, storm, fire or other disaster, Call Paul!