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 provides the following tips and information that should help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Of course, it’s 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 all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as it is possible.
- Keep a listing of any and all 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 cleanup and repairs are done. (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, below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present many possible safety hazards to residents. The potential for electric shock and slips and falls are very real. Keep in mind, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only handle tasks that can be done so 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 the water meter.
- Electrical: Be sure to turn off all power to affected areas of the home. Never operate the television or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to assist drying in the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Dispose of as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Never 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: Relocate wet items to a dry place. Don’t let draperies to stay in contact with wet floors or carpeting.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpet. Place plastic wrap or plastic bags under the legs of large 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 suggestions 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 the water that was used to extinguish the fire, and scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be completed safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short 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 TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been inspected by a professional. If the electricity is off, empty the contents of your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open using a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid walking on carpet when possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Don’t attempt to wash or wipe ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut all doors in affected areas to contain smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Never consume any food exposed to smoke or canned items that have been subjected 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: Transfer any pets to a safe environment until your home has been fully cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Clean plants with water and mild soap, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your business or home is damaged by water, fire, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!