helpfultips

Helpful Tips for Water & Fire Damage

WHEN DISASTER STRIKES

First, contact a professional that is certified in restorations. Neumann Construction LLC’s experienced professionals are certified and will know how to handle the job properly, from start to finish.

WATER

EMERGENCY LEAKS

When an emergency leak happens, it’s important to call a qualified professional plumber immediately. As a homeowner, your biggest priority is preventing damage. Here are some tips for how to handle an emergency water leak, and what to do while you wait for the plumber to arrive.

  • Find the shut off valve and shut off the water.
  • Turn off nearby electrical appliances.
  • Clean up as much water as you can.
  • Use a fan or dehumidifier.

FLOODS

Floods are among the Most frequent and costly natural disasters in terms of human hardship and economic loss. When your house floods, the water can wreak havoc on the structure of the house, your personal belongings, and the health of the inside environment.

  • Shovel out as much mud as possible, then use a garden sprayer or hose to wash away mud from hard surfaces.
  • Clean and disinfect every surface, inside and out.
  • Mattresses should be thrown away.
  • Solid wood furniture can usually be restored, unless damage is severe.
  • Photographs, books and important papers can be frozen and cleaned later. They should be dried carefully and slowly. Wash the mud off and store the articles in plastic bags and put them in a frost-free freezer to protect from mildew and further damage until you have time to thaw and clean them or take them to a professional.
  • Electrical systems must be shut off and repaired and inspected by an electrician before they can be turned back on.
  • Professional cleaning is recommended for electronics, TVs and radios, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, and vacuum cleaners.
  • Heating and cooling systems and ducts will need inspection and cleaning.
  • Refrain from handling contents in a black water loss. Relocation of these items from an affected area into an unaffected area causes cross contamination. This turns the unaffected area into an affected area which makes the loss bigger than what it would have been.

FIRE

There is nothing worse than a house fire. Not only are your house and belongings damaged but also there is often a risk to you and your family. Common problems include smoke, soot and cleaning up the water and the chemicals that were used by firefighters. In the wake of a fire that has covered homes with smoke and ash, it’s important to begin clean up as soon as possible in order to prevent permanent damage or discoloration from soot residue.

  • Practice safety first. Use a dust mask (like painters use) and gloves as you work.
  • Ventilate the home. Place a box fan in an open window to draw the air and dust out.
  • Clean from top to bottom. Start with the ceilings, walls and fixtures, and work your way down to the contents of the room, then to the floor.
  • Vacuum floors and upholstery. Make sure your vacuum cleaner has a high efficiency filter. Otherwise, you risk blowing soot back into the air.
  • Some draperies, clothing and machine-washable items may be laundered. Use a mild alkaline cleaner to neutralize the acid in the soot. Fine clothing should be dry cleaned.

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Most contents can be salvaged if taken care of within 48 hours after water or smoke damage (e.g., clothing, leather goods, upholstery, etc.).
  • Dehumidification takes water out of the air using commercial dehumidifiers that can remove up to 30 gallons of water each day. This process usually takes no more than three days.
  • Extraction from the carpet and pad may be necessary. Did you know that one square foot of carpet and pad can retain up to one gallon of water. Deep water extraction may be needed to speed up the drying process.

Contacting a professional in the emergency restoration industry is pertinent to prevent further damage to your property. Some damage can’t be seen by the naked eye and takes special equipment to detect things like humidity in the air and walls, and smoke damage that isn’t visible. Long term issues, such as mold and odor, can result if the problem isn’t thoroughly taken care of.