Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has affected your home can be traumatic and stressful. Paul Davis offers the following tips and information that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is extremely important to be sure you and your family (and don’t forget pets) are unharmed and that you contact your relatives and friends to inform them that you are safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Keep a listing of all household goods or personal belongings you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur while 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 completed. (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, listed below are some tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present a lot of possible safety hazards to occupants. The potential for electric shock and slips and falls are very real. Remember, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only complete tasks that can be done safely.
- Water Source: It is very 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 your water meter.
- Electrical: Be sure to turn off the power to affected areas of the house. Don’t operate your TV or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to assist with drying during the summer or in regions with more humidity.
- Floors: Get rid of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Do not use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot soaked carpeting 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 remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpeting. Place plastic wrap or plastic bags under the legs of larger furniture. Wipe any residual 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 damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the scene 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 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 effects of fire damage can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short time, entry by a person can lead to extra 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 TV, stereo or electronic appliances until they have been checked by a professional. If the electricity is turned 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 ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Don’t attempt to wash or wipe ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut all doors in affected areas to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Do not consume food items exposed to smoke or any canned goods that have been exposed to excessive heat.
- Furnace: Change the furnace or air conditioner filter if the blower is operating. Tape double pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Relocate any pets to a clean environment until your house has been cleaned and restored.
- 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 water, fire, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!