Thursday, December 22, 2016

Water-Related Disaster? Safety First

When it comes to emergency water removal, mold removal, and flood damage restoration, leave it to the pros. Your professional disaster restoration specialist has the industry knowledge, experience, and credentials to guide you and your family through the entire process. The appropriate treatment depends on the specific nature of the damage in your home and will be tailored to meet your specific needs.

But homeowners, often feeling helpless in these situations, may ask what they can do to help during this time. The answer is simple but important: safety. Taking measures to ensure the safety of your family and your home is advice to heed. Let's take a look at some safety do's and don'ts.

Is The Home Safe?

Determine whether the house is structurally safe to enter or live in; professionals may refer to the structural integrity of the home. If you're unsure, don't enter the house and make arrangements for shelter with the help of local agencies, neighbors, and friends. Contact your insurance company, too.

If it's determined that the home is safe to enter, turn off the power by disabling the main circuit breaker; turn off the main water supply as well. A flooded basement could damage your furnace if the water reaches a dangerously high level. If you have a natural gas supply line, turn that off also; better still, leave that for a professional.

Of course, keep children and pets away from flooded areas; you don't want accidents from slippery, wet floors.

Don't operate televisions, computers, vacuums or other electrical appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially concrete surfaces.

Be sure your valuables are safe. If you will not be living in the house due to the unsafe conditions, remove your valuables including documents and treasured items such as photographs and other keepsakes; store them with a trusted friend or relative. If you are able to stay in your home, move valuables to a dry, safe location.

Is There Mold?

Mold growth is often one of the ensuing problems created by flood damage. The damp conditions in your home after a flood are an ideal breeding ground for these microscopic organisms that spread by producing airborne spores. Those mix with the air inside your house and can lead to health and safety concerns for you and your family. Typical symptoms resulting from mold exposure include everything from respiratory problems and nasal and sinus congestion, to skin, eye, nose and throat irritation.

(Be on the lookout for signs of mold. They vary considerably but may include a smelly odor, a white and thread-like growth, clusters of small black spots; mold can be grayish-brown, grayish-green or white in color.)

Do treat all flood water as contaminated. The water and water-impacted surfaces may not be contaminated but until determined by a professional, don't take chances. Don't track contaminated materials and items into undamaged areas. Do keep children and pets, who are especially vulnerable, out of suspect areas. Absorbent materials such as carpeting and drywall may be unsalvageable after contaminated.

Implementing these tips will put you into action mode versus feeling helpless. More importantly, it will ensure the safety of your family and your home.

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