The aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your property can often be a traumatic situation that is filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis offers the following tips and information that will help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Obviously, it’s extremely important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget your pets) are unharmed 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 household goods or personal belongings you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur in protecting your property.
- Are you sure your house is safe? Depending on the amount of damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the cleanup and repairs are complete. (Notify your insurance company if this is the case.)
Water Damage Tips
You’ve suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for us to arrive, listed below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present several possible 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 perform 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 the water meter.
- Electrical: Turn off all power to affected areas of the house. Do not operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to speed up drying in the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Don’t use a 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: Relocate wet items to dry places. Do not allow draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- 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’ve suffered a fire loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are some tips to help handle with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the property safe. Even after 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 cuts and scrapes from exposed, sharp edges are real. Only perform tasks that can be done completely safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short period of time, entry by a person can cause additional damage. Enter ONLY if emergency personnel have cleared the property and deemed it safe to enter and only if absolutely necessary.
- Appliances/Electronics: Don’t any TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been inspected by a professional. If the electricity is turned off, empty your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open using a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking on carpet if at all possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Don’t attempt to wipe or wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close doors in affected areas to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t eat 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 double pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Move all pets to a safe environment until your house has been completely restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Wash 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 fire, storm, water, mold or other disaster, Call Paul!