Monday, Sep 26, 2016
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Homes

Minimize Weather-Related Disaster Damage

A home purchase is one of the largest financial investments a person can make. Therefore, most people take great care to maintain their homes, showing pride in their belongings.

When natural disasters, namely weather-related events like hurricanes, flash flooding, tornadoes or fire threaten your home when you least expect it, you can feel overwhelmed. These incidents may damage your personal property and leave a mess in their wake. Yet, with proper cleanup procedures, you can minimize the damage to your belongings.

Here are some tips for water and fire cleanup, courtesy of SERVPRO(R), a national cleaning and restoration company.

Water damage

There are certain procedures you should follow when cleaning up water damage:

* Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting. Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.

* Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying. Check for bleeding of color.

* Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in the summer; open windows to speed drying in winter.

* Remove oriental rugs or other colored rugs from wet wall-to-wall carpeting.

* Open drawers and cabinet doors for complete drying -- do not force them.

* Punch small holes in sagging ceilings to relieve trapped water. Don't forget to place pans underneath! If possible, stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

* Do not use your household vacuum to remove water.

* Do not turn on electrical appliances, like TVs, while standing on wet carpets and floors -- especially concrete.

Fire damage

Though fire damage is less common than water damage, here are some cleanup tips. Only follow them after your home is deemed structurally safe by fire professionals.

* Limit movement in the structure to prevent soot from becoming embedded in the upholstery and carpets.

* Blow off or brush-vacuum loose soot particles from upholstery, drapes and carpets.

* Clean and protect the chrome on kitchen and bathroom faucets, trims and appliances with a light coating of petroleum jelly or oil.

* Pour antifreeze solution in sinks, toilet bowls and tubs if the heat was off during cold weather.

* Tape double layers of cheesecloth over air vents.

* Do not attempt to wash any walls or painted surfaces without first contacting a professional restoration service.

* Do not attempt to shampoo carpet or upholstered furniture.

* Do not use any canned or packaged food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat or water -- they may be contaminated.

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