The Importance of a Fast Disaster Response

If you have experienced damage to your property, you know that a fast response is vital to the restoration of your belongings. There are many emergencies that can threaten the safety of you and your loved ones, including water, fire, and smoke. When a disaster strikes, it's best to know the appropriate response. There are many issues that will need to be addressed. 

Water Damage

When there's water damage to your property, the water will continue to seek dry ground. Gravity takes moisture down to levels and materials below the visible surface. 

- If possible, stop the water flow.
- Remove excess water.
- If water has not entered your air ducts, turn on your HVAC systems to clear the moisture.
- Pin up draperies and upholstery to prevent water staining.
- Towel dry easily damaged furniture, such as wood.
- Relocate any damageable items to a dry place. Any large furniture that cannot be relocated, place wax paper or wood blocks beneath the furniture. 

- Go near sewer water. 
- Use electrical appliances or outlets in damaged area.
- Use your vacuum to extract water.
- If water has entered your air ducts, do not turn on your HVAC systems to clear the moisture. 
- Enter the room if the ceiling is wet or sagging.
- Let children or the elderly enter the affected area.
- Put wet furniture on dry flooring.

Fire and Smoke Damage 

After a fire, there is a small window of time to prevent secondary damage from the acidic residue from the smoke. The longer materials (such as metals and glass) are exposed to smoke and contaminated, the greater the damage to the contents. 

- Be sure the fire department and your utility providers have determined it is safe to reconnect you water, electrical setup, and gas. 
- Open all windows in the affected area for proper ventilation. 
- Contain the damage by shutting all doors in the affected area. Place towels under the doors to trap airborne contaminants from spreading to the rest of the property.
- Move slowly throughout the affected area as best as possible. Try not to inhale the soot. We suggest purchasing a respirator.
- Take an inventory and photos of all damaged goods before throwing anything away. Your insurance adjuster should see any non-salvageable items before disposal.
- Look for structural damage. Areas to focus on include roofs, ceilings, and walls that are subject to collapse. 
- Wipe off any household appliances and pipe fixtures with a light coating of cooking spray or Vaseline. This prevention method will protect the surfaces from further acidic damage.

- Consume any food, beverages, or medicines that were in the affected areas. Whether canned or packaged, these substances are contaminated due to the high level of heat, smoke, and soot of the fire.
- Attempt to wash the structure of your property. Roofs, ceilings, and walls in the affected area have the ability to collapse.
- Turn on any ceiling fixtures.
- Use any electrical appliances until they have been thoroughly cleaned.
- Take damaged belongings to a dry cleaning service. Rather, these products require special equipment and procedures in order to be fully recovered.

The damage dos and don'ts do not apply to every water and fire damage situation. For the most appropriate precautions after disaster strikes your home, contact Superior Cleaning & Restoration today.

Superior Cleaning & Coit Cleaning and Restoration in Woodinville, WA holds a Construction Contractor, General license (SUPERI 973KR).

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