Storms can wreak havoc and impact almost everything in your house, including floors to the garage. Knowing the right steps to take post-storm damage can make a big difference in different aspects ranging from an insurance claim to assuring safety for yourself, your family member, and even your pets.
The recovery from a storm can be challenging and time-consuming, and the right knowledge can make this transition smooth and quicker while also preparing you for the next storm. Knowing what to and what not to do after storm damage can help you prevent risking your belongings and wallet.
Don’ts of Storm Damage Restoration
Vacuuming standing water: Most people are tempted to use vacuum cleaners to remove standing water. Be mindful that normal vacuum cleaners are not designed to clean up the water and other liquids. Trying to force this strategy could lead to electrocution and machine damage.
Do not inspect properties with structural damage: avoid entering rooms with cracks on the floors or with an unstable roof during your initial inspection.
Do not try to move heavy objects: people are tempted to move their belongings such as furniture to a much safer place once the storm is over. Avoid trying this at any cost as you need all such belongings professionally treated to be made useful again.
Do not try to clean sewage water: Waters from sewers or water containing grease, oil, urine, etc., are ideal examples of black water. Presumably, this water type hoards bacteria, viruses, and other toxic allergens, making it contagious.
The vulnerability of getting an infection or illness post direct or indirect exposure to black water is more than 90%. It is mandatory to exercise special caution when dealing with black water, and it is good to be knowledgeable about the different types of water damage and health risks associated.
Do not use electrical appliances: Using electrical appliances, including vacuums, humidifiers, and fans, should be avoided at any cost, especially if the floors and carpeting are still wet.
Storm Damage Restoration: Do’s
Inspect to assess the damage
Perform a post-storm review to find the extent of the damage. Bear in mind that not all damages will be immediately obvious, and a careful inspection might be needed. Ensure that you cut off the electrical supply to the property before the initial inspection and keep an eye out for slippery areas. An initial inspection and evidence collection can be a smart move to make before talking to your insurance agent. Consider these safety tips during the inspection:
- Check local news to confirm that your area is safe
- Be cautious of broken glass, exposed sharp objects, including broken branches, nails
- Watch out for trip hazards, including wires and other debris
- Schedule an inspection during the daytime
- Avoid using an open flame as a source of light to inspect crawl spaces
Take photos and videos as needed and make sure to capture even mild damages to your property.
Having a better understanding of your insurance policy before talking to an insurance agent can help you to avoid unnecessary negotiations. For example, you should know that even a simple leak from a thunderstorm is typically covered under the homeowner’s insurance policy. Also, look for exclusions in your policy.
Call certified restoration professionals
Storm damage can cause serious damage to your property, and the waste and chemical-dominated water have to be removed as soon as possible to prevent further damages. This is where you need to seek the help of certified restoration professionals with a considerable amount of experience handling storm damage restoration. Choosing a professional who can handle both restoration work and insurance claims for you could help you turn your property back to normal in no time.
People often underestimate the need for professional cleaning storm damage restoration. Mold & mildew growth are major concerns of storm damage that may arise only after a couple of months of carrying out the normal DIY storm damage strategies. Think smart and act quickly to make a big difference.