Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your home is most often traumatic and stressful. Paul Davis offers the following tips and information that will help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it’s always important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget your pets) are safe and that you contact your relatives and friends to inform them that you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you possibly can.
- Keep a listing of any household personal belongings or goods you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your property.
- 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 have suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present many potential safety hazards to occupants. The potential for slips, 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 very 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 the water meter.
- Electrical: Turn off all power to affected areas of the home. Don’t operate the television or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to aid indrying during the summer or in humid areas of the country.
- Floors: Dispose of as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Don’t use the vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpet with clean, white towels. Remove Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transfer wet items to a dry place. Do not allow draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpet. Place plastic wrap or plastic bags beneath the legs of bigger 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 handle with the situation:
- Be Safe: 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 the water that was used to diffuse 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 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.
- Appliances/Electronics: Do not use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been checked by a technician. 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 being on carpet if at all possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not wipe or attempt to wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close doors in affected areas to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume food items exposed to smoke or any canned products that have been subjected to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape double pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Transport all pets to a safe environment until your home 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 home or business is damaged by storm, fire, mold, water or other disaster, Call Paul!