The aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your residence can often be stressful and traumatic. Paul Davis offers the following tips and information that should help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Of course, it is always important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget your 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 thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur in protecting your home.
- Are you sure your house is safe? Depending on the extent of the 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 have suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present several potential 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 complete tasks that can be done so safely.
- Water Source: It is very 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 rooms of the property. Do not operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to speed updrying during the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Dispose of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Never use the 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: Transport wet items to dry places. Do not let draperies to stay in contact with wet floors or carpeting.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap beneath the legs of larger furniture. Wipe any residual 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 helpful tips to help handle with the situation:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the home until fire officials have deemed the property 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 that was used to put out the fire, as well as scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be done 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 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: Don’t use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been checked 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 being on carpet when possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not attempt to wipe or wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut doors in affected rooms to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Never 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: Transfer all pets to a safe environment until your property has been fully cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Clean plants with mild soap and water, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your home or business has been damaged by fire, water, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!