The aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your home can often be a traumatic situation that is filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Of course, it’s extremely important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are unharmed and that you contact your friends and relatives to assure them that you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as it is possible.
- Keep a listing of all household personal belongings or goods that you have discarded 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 complete. (Notify your insurance company if this is the case.)
Water Damage Tips
You’ve suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are helpful 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 slips and falls and electric shock are very real. Remember, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only handle tasks that can be done so 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 property. Don’t operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to aid in drying during the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Do not use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpet with clean, white towels. Remove all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Move wet items to a dry place. Do not let draperies to stay in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- 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’ve 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 situation:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the home until fire officials have deemed the scene completely 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 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 completed safely.
- Going Back Inside: The effects of fire damage can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a small amount of 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.
- Appliances/Electronics: Never use any TV, stereo or electronic 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 walking on carpet if possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Don’t attempt to wash or wipe ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close all doors in affected areas to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Do not consume food exposed to smoke or any canned items 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: Transfer any and all pets to a safe environment until your property has been restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Rinse plants with mild soap and water, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: Open windows to ventilate the area when possible.
If your business or home has been damaged by fire, water, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!