The aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your home is most often is a traumatic situation that is filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis offers the following information and tips that should help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Of course, it is extremely important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are safe and that you contact your friends and relatives to let them know you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as it is possible.
- Keep a listing of any and all household goods or personal belongings you have thrown out 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 cleanup and repairs are finished. (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 some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present several potential safety hazards to occupants. The potential for electric shock and slips and falls are real. Also, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only complete tasks that can be done safely.
- Water Source: It is 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 all power to affected rooms of the property. Never operate your TV or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to speed up drying during the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Remove 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: Move wet items to dry places. Do not allow draperies to stay in contact with wet floors or carpeting.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpeting. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of bigger furniture. Wipe any extra 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 tips to help handle with the situation:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the home 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 water used to put out 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 are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short time, entry by a person can cause more 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 TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been inspected 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 walking or tracking on carpet if possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Don’t wipe or attempt to wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close all doors in affected rooms to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume any 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 property has been restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Rinse plants with mild soap and water, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your business or home is damaged by fire, storm, water, mold or other disaster, Call Paul!