Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has affected your house can be a traumatic situation filled with uncertainty and stress. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that will help provide a smoother recovery process.
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- Of course, it’s extremely important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget your pets) are secure 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 any and all household personal belongings or goods you have thrown out and receipts for any expenses you incur while protecting your property.
- Are you sure your house is safe? Depending on the amount of damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the repairs and cleanup are finished. (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 helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present several possible safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips, falls and electric shock are very real. Remember, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only handle tasks that can be done 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 the power to affected rooms of the house. Don’t operate the TV or other electrical appliances while you are standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn the air conditioner on to speed updrying in summertime or in humid areas of the country.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Don’t use the 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: Transfer wet items to dry places. Don’t allow draperies to stay in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap under the legs of larger furniture. Wipe any excess 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 home 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 used to extinguish the fire, and cuts and scrapes from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be done safely.
- Going Back Inside: The effects of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short period of time, entry by a person can cause extra 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 walking on carpet when possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Walls/Ceilings: Do not attempt to wash or wipe ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Shut doors in affected rooms to restrict smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t consume food items exposed to smoke or canned items 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: Transport any pets to a clean environment until your house has been fully cleaned and restored.
- Plants: Rinse plants with water and mild soap, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: If possible, open windows to ventilate.
If your business or home is damaged by water, fire, mold, storm or other disaster, Call Paul!