The aftermath of a disaster that has affected your house is most often stressful and traumatic. Paul Davis provides the following tips and information that will help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Obviously, it is extremely important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are safe and that you contact your relatives and friends to assure them that you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Keep a listing of any household goods or personal belongings that you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your home.
- Are you sure your house is safe? Depending on the amount of 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 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 occupants. 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 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: Turn off all power to affected rooms of the home. Do not operate your television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to speed up drying in summertime or in more humid regions.
- 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 all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transport wet items to a dry area. Do not allow draperies to stay in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpet. Place plastic wrap or plastic bags beneath the legs of bigger furniture. Wipe any extra 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 suggestions to help handle with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the home 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 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 can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short time, entry by a person can create more damage. Enter ONLY if emergency personnel have cleared the property and deemed it safe to enter and only if absolutely necessary.
- Electronics/Appliances: Do not use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been checked by a professional. If the electricity is 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: Don’t attempt to wipe or wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut doors in affected rooms to limit smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t eat food items exposed to smoke or canned items that have been exposed 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: Move any and all pets to a clean environment until your home has been completely 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 home or business is damaged by water, mold, fire, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!