The aftermath of any disaster that has directly affected your house is most often a traumatic situation filled with uncertainty and stress. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it’s always important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are safe and that you contact your relatives and friends to let them know you are all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Keep a listing of any household goods or personal belongings 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 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 some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: A water event can present a lot of potential safety hazards to residents. The potential for electric shock and slips and falls are real. Keep in mind, 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 the power to affected rooms of the property. Do not operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to speed updrying in summertime or in humid areas of the country.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Never 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: Move wet items to a dry area. Do not allow draperies to remain 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 bigger furniture. Wipe any extra water off of the furniture.
Fire Damage Tips
You have suffered a fire loss. While you are waiting for a member of the Paul Davis team to arrive, below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the property safe. Even when the fire is out, there are potential safety hazards to be aware of. The potential for slips and falls from the water used to put out the fire, and scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are real. Only perform tasks that can be completely safely.
- Going Back Inside: The effects of fire damage are 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: Do not use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been inspected 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 walking on carpet if possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Don’t wipe or attempt to wash ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut all doors in affected rooms to contain smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Never consume food items exposed to smoke or 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 any and all pets to a safe environment until your property has been fully restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Clean plants with water and mild soap, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your home or business has been damaged by mold, storm, water, fire or other disaster, Call Paul!