Having to deal with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your house can be stressful and often, traumatic. Paul Davis shares the following information and tips that should help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Obviously, it is extremely important to make sure you and your family (and don’t forget your 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 it is possible.
- Keep a listing of all household personal belongings or goods 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 have suffered a water loss. While you are waiting for help to arrive, below are helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: Water events can present a lot of possible safety hazards to residents. The potential for slips and falls and electric shock are very real. Also, items soaked with water can be very heavy. Only perform tasks that can be done so 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 all power to affected areas of the property. Do not operate the television or other electrical appliances while standing on wet flooring.
- Air Conditioning: Turn your air conditioner on to speed up drying during the summer or in regions with more humidity.
- Floors: Remove 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 Oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transfer wet items to dry places. Do not let draperies to remain in contact with wet carpeting or floors.
- Furniture: Move lighter pieces off of the carpeting. Place plastic bags or plastic wrap beneath the legs of bigger furniture. Wipe any excess 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 helpful tips to help deal with the damage:
- Be Safe: You should never reenter affected areas of the home until fire officials have deemed the property 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, as well as scrapes and cuts from exposed, sharp edges are very real. Only perform tasks that can be done completely safely.
- Going Back Inside: The aftermath of fire damage can be measured down to microscopic levels. Even for a short period of time, entry by a person can cause 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 off, empty the contents of your refrigerator/freezer completely and prop the doors open with a rolled towel.
- Carpets: Avoid being on carpet if 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 limit smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Do not eat any food exposed to smoke or canned products 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 all pets to a clean environment until your property 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 home or business has been damaged by fire, storm, water, mold or other disaster, Call Paul!