Dealing with the aftermath of any disaster that has directly affected your property can be a traumatic situation filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that can help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Of course, it is always important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are safe and that you contact your relatives and friends to let them know you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Keep a listing of any and all household goods or personal belongings that you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur in protecting your home.
- Is your house safe? Depending on the amount of damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the repairs and cleanup are done. (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, listed below are helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present many possible safety hazards to occupants. The potential for slips, falls and electric shock are very real. Keep in mind, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only handle 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 the power to affected rooms of the home. Don’t operate your TV or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn your air conditioner on to assist drying in the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Get rid of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Don’t use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpeting with clean, white towels. Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transport 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 under the legs of larger 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 suggestions to help handle with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house 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 water used to put out the fire, as well as scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be completed safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a small amount of time, entry by a person can cause 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 turned off, empty the contents of your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open with a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking on carpet when possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not attempt to wipe or wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close doors in affected rooms to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t eat food exposed to smoke or canned products 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: Move any pets to a clean environment until your home has been cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Rinse plants with water and mild soap, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your home or business is damaged by fire, storm, water, mold or other disaster, Call Paul!