Dealing with the aftermath of a disaster that has directly affected your residence can be a traumatic situation filled with stress and uncertainty. Paul Davis shares the following tips and information that can help the recovery process go smoother.
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- Of course, it is extremely important to be 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 all safe.
- Report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible.
- Keep a listing of any 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 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: A water event can present a lot of possible safety hazards to occupants. 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 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: Turn off the power to affected rooms of the house. Don’t operate your TV or other electrical appliances while standing on wet floors or carpets.
- Air Conditioning: Turn on your air conditioner to assist with drying during the summer or in humid areas of the country.
- Floors: Remove as much standing water as possible, using a mop or towels. (Don’t use a vacuum cleaner.)
- Carpeting: Blot wet carpeting with clean, white towels. Remove all colored rugs or Oriental rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpet.
- Clothing/Fabrics: Transport wet items to a dry place. 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 large 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 handle with the situation:
- Be Safe: Never reenter affected areas of the house until fire officials have deemed the home 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 diffuse the fire, as well as scrapes and cuts 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 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.
- Electronics/Appliances: Do not use any stereo, TV or other electrical appliances until they have been inspected by a technician. 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 walking on carpet if at all possible. Do not use “do-it-yourself” home carpet cleaners.
- Ceilings/Walls: Do not attempt to wash or wipe ceilings and other absorbent surfaces.
- Doors: Close all doors in affected rooms to localize smoke odors as much as possible.
- Food Items: Don’t eat food items exposed to smoke or canned goods that have been subjected 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 pets to a clean environment until your house has been completely restored and cleaned.
- Plants: Clean plants with mild soap and water, cleaning both sides of the leaves.
- Windows: Open windows to ventilate the area when possible.
If your home or business has been damaged by storm, fire, mold, water or other disaster, Call Paul!