Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your property can be stressful and often, traumatic. Paul Davis offers the following tips and information that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is always important to make 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 safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as you can.
- Keep a listing of any household goods or personal belongings you have discarded and receipts for any expenses you incur in protecting your property.
- Are you sure your house is safe? Depending on the extent of the damage, you may need to relocate temporarily until the repairs and cleanup 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 helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present many possible safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are real. Also, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only perform tasks that can be done so safely.
- Water Source: It is 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 areas of the home. Don’t operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to speed up drying in the summer or in more humid regions.
- Floors: Get rid of as much standing water as possible, using towels or a mop. (Do not use the 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: Relocate wet items to a dry area. Do not allow draperies to stay in contact with wet floors or carpeting.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces away from the carpet. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap beneath the legs of large 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 helpful tips to help deal with the situation:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the property 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 that was used to extinguish the fire, and cuts and scrapes from exposed, sharp edges are real. Only perform tasks that can be completed safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage are measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a small amount 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.
- Electronics/Appliances: Do not use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been inspected 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 at all possible. Do not use ”DIY” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not wipe or attempt to wash ceilings or other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close all doors in affected areas to limit smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Do not consume 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 double pieces of cheesecloth over air registers with masking tape.
- Pets: Relocate any and all pets to a clean environment until your home has been completely restored and cleaned.
- 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 has been damaged by storm, fire, mold, water or other disaster, Call Paul!