“Hurricane season brings a humbling reminder that, despite our technologies, most of nature remains unpredictable” quotes Diane Ackerman, one of the best American poets and naturalists. We all are aware that nature is quite volatile and predictions are just predictions. Hence, one must have plans to save oneself from the wrath of nature. If you are not prepared when hurricane strikes, it can lead to irreplaceable loss of life.
Hurricane can cause severe damage to the property depending upon its intensity. It also comes along with a lot of floods and rains. The houses affected by hurricane often require help from water damage restoration professionals after its effect dies down. But before it strikes, you can take certain steps to prevent your property and surroundings. Take a look at some of them.
Secure your property
Storm shutters are a good investment for hurricane prone areas. They also protect your windows from breaking. Don’t waste your time sticking tapes around windows as they won’t be enough to protect them from breaking. You can board up your windows with 5/8” marine plywood which can be made by you or bought from outside.
Prevent the roof structure
Roof inspection and prevention might take a few hours of your time. If you are petrified of heights, make sure you hire a professional. Once you are up on your roof, search for damaged or curled roof tiles. Inspect the edges of the roof because that’s where the winds enter from and lead the other roof shingles to loosen. You can also set up robust straps around your roof structure to counterbalance the hurricane effect.
Plan an evacuation
People who reside along sea coasts are used to evacuation due to hurricanes every year. So they are well-aware of the steps to take during evacuation. If you are not used to evacuations, keep the track of all the information provided by the government authorities through media. You can also inquire with the local authorities about evacuation maps and routes.
Keep disaster supply kits handy
Start preparing your disaster supply kit. It must contain the following items:
A couple of days before hurricane strikes, you should check the gas levels in your car and keep its tank filled with gas. This is because the gas stations mostly remain closed during emergencies. Speak to your neighbours and friends to make transportation arrangements if you do not have a car. During extreme floods, owning a boat and securing it near your house can also help.
Before you leave
At the time of leaving, make sure you are carrying your necessities and emergency kits. Wear hurricane protective attire which includes long-sleeve shirt, cap and long pants. Check if all the electrical equipment like radio, tv, microwave, fridge etc are unplugged. Stay with your family and let the people around you know about where you are going. If you are scared to venture out, stay in a lower level room which is safe to reside in.
People residing in the area close to where hurricane has stricken might suffer due to the damage caused by flooding. During such times, they can approach hurricane damage repair professionals. The above steps will ensure your safety when the hurricane hits. Keep safe!
Water is considered as a magical resource which is necessary for the survival of everything around. But sometimes, it can be destructive to a great extent. Under unfavourable circumstances, it can even damage the foundation of your house. So it becomes necessary to keep a check and make necessary amendments on time to stop further damage that can permanently affect your home. In this blog, we have discussed the 5 most common ways water can damage your house. Make sure your home is safe from all of these. And if in spite of all your precautions your house does get managed by flooding or other ways of water looging, get in touch with water damage restoration professionals in your area.
Water leakage is one the most common causes of damage to our houses. It usually occurs in the form of leakage from defective joint fittings in water pipe lines, sanitary fitments or drainage pipes. Imagine a good house that has a concealed pipeline, water will seep through the walls, making it damp, cold and prone to fungal growth on the walls or susceptible places. It is very difficult to trace the leakage and repair work but you need to be alert as these can cause harm to you through your immediate environment.
Uncontrolled rains can cause the maximum damage to your homes. There are different outlets through which rain water might seep in into the house including your basement walls, doors and windows, roof leaks, and others. If you live in a place which often witnesses abundance of rains, make sure your windows (when closed) do not allow water to seep in, do not keep valuables and electronic equipments in the basement, and follow other preventive measures to be safe. If for some reason your house is affected, immediately call expert services to restore your house and normal life.
Soil quality and saturation
Soil quality on which the house is built determines the stability of the house. A porous soil with granite and sand does not retain water. So when a good compaction is done a solid foundation is laid. If your house is built on clayey soil, water saturation can cause major damages to your house through displacement and distortion of wet soil especially in the rainy season.
Washing Machines & Dishwashers
Carelessness with electrical instruments may become huge risk factors especially when they have something to do with water. Malfunctioning machines or electrical gadgets like geysers becoming wet due to leakages may lead to short circuits and house fires that have the potential to cause disastrous damage to your homes. You should also keep a check on where the water is going from your dishwashers and washing machines. Proper handling of water related electrical devices is mandatory to ensure safety of your home and family members.
Choked toilets and sanitary outlets can be a reason why your walls are getting soggy and prone to fungus. Overflowing of toilets either inside or outside the house is detrimental to your overall health and hygiene. House interiors may suffer permanent damage due to wet surface and at the same time make it difficult to survive there because of the stinking and detrimental hygiene conditions for a long time. If you notice any such indications at your home contact experts and get the renovations done before it gets worse.
Losing your home or belongings to a fire is upsetting and distressing to levels unfathomable. But still, you need to move on with life and get settled with things as early as possible. Filing an Insurance claim is one of the first thing you need to do after a house fire. You may also work with a professional fire damage restoration service provider who will not only help you in restoration and cleanup but will also help you with filing your insurance claim.
It is a well known fact that insurance companies would follow their terms and conditions meticulously just to find a loophole in your claim so that they don’t have to pay up. To avoid such situation, you need to be completely well versed with the insurance claim procedure and all the terms and conditions of your policy well in advance so that when the need actually arises (unfortunately) you are well prepared and don’t do anything that may jeopardise your claim approval chances.
Here are some tips which will come handy to you, when required.
File for an advance against your final insurance claim
If you have to abandon your home under unavoidable circumstances, you can file for an advance from your insurance company to buy essentials you might not have been able to pack up while evacuating. Keep a check on your expenses and make sure you only spend on necessities.
File your claim at the earliest
File your claim as early as possible, it gets easier on both ends then. Keep a track of your communications with the insurance company and keep a copy of all required documents. Include all important required to file your claim to quicken the process.
Mitigate further damage
The insurance company expects you to take good care of your belongings or they can just deny compensation on the grounds of carelessness. Mitigate the damage to the best way possible and protect your belongings from further damage to ensure them that you aren’t at fault.
Make a list and don’t throw away thing just yet
Start making a list of things you’ve lost in the fire. You will require every home member’s output and this and can miss out on something, so its better you keep it prepared beforehand. Also, don’t throw away the damaged goods, the insurance agent might deny to compensate if you just throw them away.
Don’t close it immediately
Last but one of the most important points to take care of. Your insurance company will try to close your case as soon as possible. Don’t fall into the trap. House fire is a big thing and amidst the chaos you might just forget mentioning or claiming for some important thing damaged in the fire. So, do not close your claim just yet. To make sure, read and sign every document by the company very carefully. They aren’t going to be very open about it.
Fire in your home or office can be life threatening aside from the fact that it causes damage to your property. So if you ever have to bear the brunt of fire, you should always contact fire damage restoration service providers in your area.
However prevention is always better than cure. Something like a fire accident is mostly because of the lack of proper precautionary measures. Be it your home or office, you remain vulnerable to fire accidents. Though you cannot always control if there is a fire at the site, you can always take some precautionary measures to prevent fire damage and to control the fire to spread further. Here are some tips you should consider to prevent your home or office from getting damaged in fire.
Install smoke detectors
It’s almost a rule now and you should abide by it to ensure your own safety. Install smoke detectors at multiple places at your home and office to be certain that if for any reason a fire is ignited, you immediately get informed by the alarm. Early detection can help you prevent major fire accidents.
Ensure electrical safety
A significant number of home and office fires are caused due to electrical faults. For maximum safety, employ a well maintained electrical system. Overloading of electrical outlets is a ‘No’. Equipment like coffeemakers, photocopy machines, computers, etc. should only be sourced from approved suppliers. Heat generating equipments should be kept away from goods that might catch fire easily.
Smoke detectors just help you know that there’s fire in the building. You need to find the quickest rescue after that. Calling fire personnel take time and might not be needed if you already have fire extinguishers installed which can help you put off the fire before it spreads.
Keep a check on your storage habits
Install smoke detectors in your storage rooms where paper and other easily flammable items are stored. Don’t stack too many bundles of paper together as it can spread the fire easily. If you can, avoid keeping papers, files and folders as much as you can be it your office or home. Keep a digital record of all your papers and files and not only make more space but you keep your property less vulnerable to fire.
Draw escape plans with the help of experts and inform all your house/office mates about the same. Emergency exits should be highlighted and the plan should be pasted on each floor to make sure everybody has access to it. Organize a small talk in your office and teach everyone how to escape in case of any fire. Using fire extinguishers should also be known by all.
Flooding is more common than you may want to accept and most areas near water bodies face the danger of flooding. If you ever face the prospect of your property getting flooded with water, the first thing you should do after the water recedes is to contact your local water damage restoration experts.
But there are quite a few things you can do before a flood occurs. Though it’s difficult and almost impossible to predict all natural calamities, flood is something you can prepare for beforehand. If your area is counted among the flood prone areas, you should always be ready to protect yourself when the need arises. You can’t control floods, but you can minimize the damage from floods. Here we will talk about 5 ways which can help you prevent damage from flooding.
Safeguard all electrical appliances
Your electrical appliances are most prone to damage by flood water. You should take special care of the electrical system of your house if you reside in a flood prone area. Raise the switches, sockets, and wiring at a safe distance from the expected flood level of your area. In case of flood warnings, move all your electrical appliances from the basement and switch off the main current supplier till it’s safe to use it again.
Manage outdoor equipments
Outdoor equipments like air conditioning units, generators, and fuel tanks should be raised above the expected water level. Never keep them on the ground under any circumstances. Fuel tanks can break up and mix up with the flood water which can cause scores of further troubles.
Save all important numbers
Remember that you are stuck in a calamity; you might need outside forces to help you out in worst conditions. Keep all important numbers handy. From radio station to rescue team, keep contact numbers of all for emergency situations. Family and friends should also be in touch to help if the need arises.
Last minute measures
If it’s about time you sense it would be too late to do anything after that, start with the last minute measures. Move the left out things to upper level places or to top floors, remove carpets, switch off electrical appliances, keep a stock of drinking water, etc. Don’t use flood water for any activity be it washing, cleaning, or bathing as it is full of impurities.
Make an escape plan
Be prepared for the worst of cases. If you think it’s no more safe to be there, evacuate immediately. Don’t risk your family’s lives over saving other things. Just lock your home properly and do the most to move your belongings to the highest place possible. You can carry important documents along, and don’t forget to keep emergency lights and kits with you as you might need them.
Even after all the precautions, you can’t help the water flooding your home. You might have moved most of your belongings but even the walls of your house can get damaged because of the flood. Don’t take it lightly and moreover don’t postpone the restoration. It can cause some serious health hazards. To keep your family and home safe from these agents, we recommended you to hire professionals for your property restoration. Being experts they can help you much more than anyone else and delaying it can further worsen your problems.
No doubt water is a boon and a life saving resource. But when nature goes wild, it can transform a blessing to curse. Flood is something you can’t control and it is bound to cause damage to a great extent. Your premises are the most affected during and after a flood. After the damage is done, you need to be careful with your next steps to ensure safety and quick restoration. Here’s a compact guide to help you on what to do and what not to do after flood damage.
What to do?
What not to do?
‘Fire’ is something that instantly reminds one of an emergency situation. When a house is on fire, it’s destructive and disparaging. Even when the fire is over, the situation is entirely messed up and the next step to be taken doesn’t strike immediately as you are emotionally exhausted as well. Here’s a brief instruction guide which will help you at the delicate moment of stress.
Get assured that the site is safe to enter
Don’t enter the site before you get a green signal from the fire personnel. It can be hazardous to do so. The fire causes the walls and ceilings to weaken and entry might be prohibited before proper restoration process. When you are allowed to go inside, immediately start the restoration work before the poisonous gas and elements hurt you and your family.
Ensure security of the site
After the fire is exhausted, don’t leave the site unattended. It might be at risk of theft, unfavorable weather conditions, or vandalism. Before you leave the site, make sure you get all the main doors and windows locked with the help of the firemen.
Call important / relevant people
Once the running around is done and the fire is off, you need to call your family members or fellow housemates and inform them about it. Call your insurance company at the earliest to avoid any inconvenience later. If you are a tenant, you immediately need to call the house owner as well.
Clean up the damaged property
If the fire had been controlled at the earliest, it is possible that your house isn’t destroyed totally but just went through some damages. Confirm it from the fire brigade and if it is only damaged, arrange for your clean up requirements. Even if it is not visible, the smoke and soot that is left behind can be harmful and should be dealt with as soon as possible. You can also take professional help and hire fire damage restoration services if you want to be sure everything’s normal again.
The above steps aren’t very complicated and easy to remember. And at the time of crisis, these are the very words of wisdom one might be looking for. Ensuring safety of your people and important belongings should be your first priority. If the site needs to be renovated before accommodation, it is better to shift to some temporary dwelling while the work is going on. It will save you from all the harmful particles that have infected your house and let the renovation work carry on swiftly. Make sure you inform all the concerned people about your change in address.
House fires are mentally exhausting and physically destructive. Not only does it result in loss of properly and unfortunate cases lives, recovering from a fire can also be difficult. And putting out the fire is only the beginning in the process of recovery. The real work starts after that. Living in a fire affected house without cleaning it up can prove to be hazardous. All the smoke and soot that is left behind can be harmful and should not be neglected at any cost. Below are some useful DIY tips to help you clean up your home from fire and smoke damage.
Cleaning Up The Walls
Clean all the loose soot and dust particles from the walls using a vacuum cleaner. Make a solution using one gallon of water and 1 tablespoon of Trisodium Phosphate (TSP), and use a sponge to wipe the wall surface with it. Dip some rags into warm water and use it to clean up the walls. Make sure you are wearing professional rubber gloves and safety goggles. You can then follow it up by priming and a fresh coat of paint.
Getting Rid of The Odor
The walls of your house can absorb smoke odor. You can use some household items to get rid of this smell. Either you can use soapy/detergent water to wash down your walls (if washable) or you can use white vinegar which also works for your floors and furniture. You can also consider other alternatives like baking soda, activated charcoal, etc. If the fire hadn’t been a minor one, the damage could be on molecular level. In that case, we recommend you to take professional help to steer clear of any health hazards.
Cleaning Up Fabrics
While you might require discarding a considerable part of your fabrics, you can still save some of them. Use a vacuum clear to get rid of all the soot which might stain your textiles further if not cleaned immediately. Deodorize the carpets, curtains and other fabrics using dishwashing detergent or if the fabrics are bleach friendly, you can use a solution of 4-6 tablespoons TSP and a cup of household bleach.
Though there are methods which enable you to clean up the mess yourself, it’s a daunting task. Just cleaning it up to make it showy again doesn’t count. The injurious particles can continue to harm you in spite of all the hard work on your part. If the fire had been intense and you can see soot and smoke everywhere, we suggest you to hire professional fire damage restoration services. Professionals can handle major fire damage much better than you can.