Winter is fast approaching. Along with it comes the cold winds, bitter cold, and blistering snow. Oftentimes, your home ends up taking a beating along the way. Many homeowners end up finding themselves stuck having to pay for added repairs due to the damage left from the wake of the storm. While homes are generally able to withstand quite a lot, there are certain things that you just cannot predict are going to happen. Here are three common areas of concern homeowners might have to deal with following a winter storm.
Roofs, Porches, Carports and Outbuildings
While an inch or two of snow might look pretty on the ground, 10–15 inches of snow can end up taking their toll on your property. Your roof, carport, porches and outbuildings aren’t built to withstand all the added weight of the snow. Because of this, your structure could end up having the roof collapsing and falling down inside of your property. When that happens, all of the snow is going to come barreling down with it. In turn, you end up with water damage and a whole host of other problems.
Windows and Doors
High winds can cause tree branches to end up breaking off and being thrown through the air all over the place. As those tree branches come whipping through the air, they can crash right into your windows and doors and leave them broken and shattered. Not only do you have to replace the windows and doors, but you have to hope that there isn’t a bunch of water damage as well from the snow coming inside your home.
While this might not relate to the structure of your home, many homeowners end up having to deal with a bunch of spoiled food from the power being out. Most of the time, the refrigerator will be fine when the power resumes, but all of the food inside isn’t going to be if the power was out for a few days. Depending on how bad it was, you might end up having to replace the refrigerator because the smell from the spoiled food is just too much to try and clean from the appliance.
Thankfully, you won’t have to worry about spending a fortune out of your own pocket when you have insurance in place to protect your home. Discuss the specifics of what you are covered for and what you are going to have to pay out of your own pocket. This way you are prepared for the blistering, cold winters that lie ahead. For more information, talk to an insurance company like Nordic Services Inc.
When a basement becomes flooded it is important to remove the water as soon as possible. The longer flood water remains inside a basement, the more likely it is that harmful mold will begin to grow. The flooded area also needs to be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly to prevent the growth of bacteria that could be a health hazard to you and your family. These are the steps to take to clean your basement properly after water damage has occurred.
Removing the Water
Before removing the water from a flooded basement, it is very important to turn off all the electrical power that is running to it. You may need to throw your main breaker to ensure that all the power is off in the area you will be removing the water from.
Use a sump pump connected to an outside water hose to remove the water from your basement. If you have a shop vac that can be plugged into an outlet in a dry area, this can also be used to remove the water on the floors. After the water is removed, shovel out any mud that remains on the floor. Discard any items that have been damaged by flood water.
Cleaning and Sanitizing
Once the water and mud has been removed, fill a bucket with warm water and enough liquid dish soap to make the water soapy. Scrub the floors, walls and any washable areas with a brush broom and then rinse thoroughly with a water hose.
After cleaning, it is time to sanitize the water damaged area. Fill a bucket with warm water and add powdered oxygen bleach. Using the brush broom again, scrub the same areas that were cleaned to sanitize the area. Chlorine bleach can be used, but oxygen bleach is a safer alternative that will not be harmful to breathe while sanitizing. Rinse the area again with a water hose.
Drying the Area
If your basement has a built-in drain, use the brush broom to force as much of the water down it as possible. Then you can use fans that are blowing directly into the basement to help dry the area.
You can also use a shop vac to suck up any remaining water. Running a humidifier in the basement for the next several days will also remove moisture from the air and help prevent mold from growing.
Cleaning your basement properly after water damage has occurred is the most important step in preventing the growth of mold and bacteria in your home. Once the flooded area is clean, sanitized and dry again, there are no worries that your home may become an unhealthy environment to live in. Contact a water damage restoration specialist if you need help.
Whether your home was flooded as a result of a natural disaster or because one of your pipes burst, it’s important to properly care for your property while you wait for a flood restoration team to arrive. Although the experts will certainly have a number of tools at their disposal to help you preserve your home and belongings, there are things you can do in the mean time that can go a long way toward keeping your valuables intact. Use this information to learn more about what you should do while you wait for the flood damage restoration professionals to arrive.
Use Aluminum Foil As A Barrier
While it is certainly a good idea to remove your furniture and other belongings away from sections of your home that have been flooded out, you may not have the space in other areas of your house to place the items. If this is the case, consider using aluminum foil as a barrier.
Aluminum foil is water insoluble, meaning that water cannot seep through it. You can place it beneath the legs of the tables, sofas and chairs in your home. You can also lay a solid sheet of foil down beneath items such as bookshelves or stereo systems. This helps to prevent contact between wet surfaces and your goods so that you can protect the items from further water damage. If you find that you need even more protection, use bricks or square stones to prop up your furniture.
Crank Up Your Heating Or Air Conditioning Unit
Another thing that helps after water damage is a steady stream of air. Although it is certainly ideal if you happen to have large, commercial fans to do the trick, you can also use your basic heating and air conditioning unit to dry out wet carpeting or upholstery.
Set your unit to ‘high’, and be sure that your thermostat is not on automatic. You want to make sure that it is set to ‘on’ so that the air continuously blows out throughout the day. Regardless of whether the air coming from your vents is hot or cold, it will start to dry the wet materials in your house right away.
Taking these measures even before the water damage restoration squad arrives means that you are doing your part to preserve what you have. The next time your home is flooded, start using these tips immediately for a satisfactory result.