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February 2016

How to deal with property damage ?

Property damage can stir up a range of emotions, be it anger, stress, sadness or worry. And the overwhelming task of clean up and repair will only add to this psychological strain. A crisis like this isn’t a good time to sulk, or worse, panic and make a bad decision.
Here’s a quick checklist for dealing with property damage. It’s a great tool to help you be proactive and get out of a messy situation!

Water damage

  • Be careful: water and electricity don’t mix!
  • If the damage was caused by a leak, turn off your home’s water main.
  • Watch out for electric shock. If you can, cut off the power supply in affected areas.
  • Elevate furniture on wet floors or carpets with wooden blocks.
  • Move light objects and furniture to dry areas.
  • Don’t turn on any wet electric or digital devices. They can often be repaired by professionals.
  • If you plan on making any insurance claims, be sure not to throw anything out before an inspection. In case of any unpleasant odours, leave damaged items outside.
  • Try to photograph the affected areas at the time of the event that caused the damage.
  • Avoid walking on wet carpet.
  • Beware of electric shock if you’re using a Shop-Vac-style vacuum cleaner. Plug it into a splash-proof socket (the kind you’ll find in up-to-date bathrooms).
  • Did any of your valuable documents or books get soaked? Don’t panic! Put them in the freezer until a professional can take care of it.
  • If your clothes got wet, sort them by colour to keep dyes from running from dark to light fabrics.

Lastly, if there has been significant damage and a number of structural elements have been affected, it is critical to take care of the situation quickly to restore your home’s normal level of humidity. You will need to hire a professional to avoid any additional problems.


Fire damage

  • Listen to the pros! Only firefighters can allow you on the premises after a fire to ensure that it is no longer dangerous and that the air is safe to breathe.
  • Long after the fire has been put out, smoke and irritating fumes can linger. Wear a mask – you can never be too careful.
  • Watch where you step! It’s all too common to step on a sharp nail after a fire.
  • Air out the premises as much as possible.
  • Board up the house to secure the site after workers have left the premises.
  • If the roof caved in, make sure there are no leaks in case of rain.
  • If the heat has been shut off in the winter, install a back-up heat source. You’ll also have to turn off the water main, drain the wastewater and put antifreeze in the waste pipes.
  • If there is only minor damage, you may want to do the work yourself. Just keep in mind that soot gets in every nook and cranny, so the job might take longer than you think.
  • For moderate to major damage with odour problems, it is best to hire a professional.
  • Avoid walking on carpet and keep off upholstered furniture – you’ll never get the soot out!
  • Fire damage is often accompanied by water damage. Visit our website for more information.


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