The aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your residence can be a traumatic situation that is filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is always important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are secure and that you contact your friends and relatives to assure them that you are all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as 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 home.
- Is your house 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’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: A water event can present many potential safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips, falls and electric shock are very real. Also, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only complete 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. Don’t operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to aid in drying during the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Dispose of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (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 area. Don’t allow draperies to stay in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpeting. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of large furniture. Wipe any extra water off of the furniture.
Fire Damage Tips
You’ve suffered a fire loss. While you are waiting for us to arrive, below are some suggestions to help handle with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the home 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 extinguish the fire, and scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very 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 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: Never use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been checked by a technician. If the electricity is 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 attempt to wash or wipe ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close doors in affected areas to focus smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume food exposed to smoke or any canned items that have been subjected to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape two pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Relocate any and all pets to a clean environment until your home has been cleaned and restored.
- 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 has been damaged by water, fire, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!