Tips on Flood Restoration
Disaster damage is always a traumatic event. When you sustain this type of damage, it may feel like everything is out of control, but there are some things you can do to protect your property before the professionals arrive to fix the damage.
Here are a few helpful tips shared from years of experience with damage restoration work.
Seek professional cleaning assistance within 24 hours of damage. Remove furniture and other items from the water as soon as possible. Remove metal items from wet carpets and furniture as soon as possible.
Never wipe or rub smoke-damaged walls, ceilings or appliances. Do not allow children, the elderly or those with allergies or asthma in rooms where carpets have been damaged by water. Never assume that a water-damaged carpet or area rug is safe from toxins just because it has dried. Don’t assume that an item cannot be cleaned. You would be surprised at how many things can be saved.
Inspect and Protect
Avoid downed or exposed utility lines. Check your water heater and major appliances for damage. Check with a flashlight, not a candle or matches. If you smell gas, open the windows and turn off the main valve. Call the gas company and emergency authorities immediately. Don’t turn on lights or appliances until the gas has dissipated and the system has been checked. If the electric wires are shorting out, turn off the power and call the electric company.
Use your emergency water or boil tap water before drinking until you’re told the water supply is safe. Check refrigerated food for spoilage. Make a list of spoiled food and save the list for your insurance claim representative. Damaged food may be covered by your insurance policy. Look for damage, including roof damage, that could allow rain into the house. Do not climb on your roof.
Report and prevent
Inspect and report your damage to your agent. Take reasonable steps and make emergency repairs to protect your home from further damage. This may include temporary roof repair, window glass replacement, boarding up holes with plywood, and removing water from saturated carpet, if possible. Protect your personal property from further damage. Keep an accurate record of your repair expenditures. Report your claim only once.
Make an inventory, room by room, giving complete descriptions of the damaged property. The description should include brand names, model numbers, age, purchase price and place of purchase. For future protection, a detailed inventory of all your personal belongings is a good idea. A photographic record of items is helpful.
Select a Contractor
Your claim representative will estimate damages. Contractors and engineers may also inspect the damage. A good home inspector may be a tremendous help in this process, because they are not contractors looking for problems that they can also repair, avoiding conflicts of interest. Select contractors experienced in repair work, not just new construction. Make sure that the company you select has specific training and certification in all areas of the work they perform. Select a company that does quality work at competitive rates in a prompt, timely manner.