Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has affected your residence 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 is always important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget your pets) are secure and that you contact your relatives and friends to assure them that you are all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- 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.
- 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 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 a lot of potential safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are real. Remember, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only complete tasks that can be done safely.
- Water Source: It is very 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 the power to affected rooms of the house. Do not operate your television or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to aid in drying in summertime or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Get rid of as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Don’t use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot wet carpet with clean, white towels. Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Relocate wet items to dry places. 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 under the legs of larger 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 scene completely 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 that was used to extinguish 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 small amount of time, entry by a person can lead to more 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 stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been inspected by a professional. If the electricity is off, empty your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open with a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking or tracking on carpet if at all possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Do not wipe or attempt to wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close doors in affected rooms to limit smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t eat food exposed to smoke or any canned goods 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: Transport any pets to a safe environment until your house has been fully cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Clean 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!