Triage Tips to Save Contents
The main goal for protecting your home from water damage situations is to prepare and anticipate what can happen.
This means many things, such as keeping your sump pump in good working condition, repairing leaky pipes and dripping faucets, and ensuring that during cold weather your home is snug and tight against intruding freezing temperatures.
But things do happen. Pipes break, spewing water everywhere. Flood waters can enter your home and wreak havoc while you are away. Leaky plumbing fixtures can slowly cause damage and spawn mold growth.
When this occurs, it affects not only the building materials of your home, such as the walls, floors, and ceilings, but the contents as well. You know, the valuables you care so much about. These can be anything from stuffed animals to books to photographs to electronic equipment and more. Even mementos that just can’t be replaced.
If any of this occurs to you and your home, use these tips for best content triage strategies.
Before doing any type of work in your home after a water damage situation, make sure you are safe. This means your electricity and power sources are turned off (if appropriate and the damage warrants this), and water has been extracted or reduced to a minimum level.
Before starting work, and during the work process, take pictures of everything. What you can’t dry and save yourself will no doubt be replaced with insurance dollars. But without proof, you might have a fight on your hands with your insurance company.
When contents get wet, damage is minimal — for now. Get those valuables up off wet surfaces and do what you can to dry them out and set them where they won’t cause more damage and where they can dry. Depending on the items, move them out into the sun for faster drying. Documents, pictures, and other similar valuables will need careful handling and professional care.
There are some items more valuable to you than others, and emotions can get involved. Prioritize what you are going to save. Odd are, if you don’t call a professional restoration company right away, you aren’t going to be able to save everything. Electronics and other valuables may be beyond saving. Don’t waste time on what can’t be saved. That’s what insurance is for.
When you have any type of disaster situations at your home, whether from fire, smoke, floods, or water damage, do the right thing. Contact your favorite disaster restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Removing Blood and Biological Spots and Stains
It’s not a pleasant task, but it’s one that must be handled, and quickly.
Removing blood, vomit, urine, feces, and other biological spots and stains is a fairly easy chore if the issue is caught quickly. But allow the substance to dry, and your job becomes much more difficult.
What impacts the success of removal of blood and biological substance is what it is on. If on carpet or upholstery, the removal is much more challenging as flushing out the contaminant can actually cause irreversible damage to the fabric. But if on clothing or other washable material, the job can be handled easily.
Here are some tips to remove biological contaminants from clothing and other washable fabrics.
Once you discover there is a biological substance on the fabric, scrap away any excess you can and get it into the washing machine.
Remember, something fresh is probably just a “spot” — which is on the outside of the fiber. Give it time, or don’t remove all the substance when cleaning, and that spot becomes a “stain” — which is insidethe fiber, and very challenging to remove.
Pretreat the area
You do this all the time. Pretreating spots means easier removal during washing. For biological substances, this is important. A quality preconditioning product worked into the fabric, and allowed to dwell for several minutes, means the washing cycle will be more effective.
Control the temperature
You might have heard that hot water can “set the stain.” Not always true. The problem is using hot water opens up the fibers and allows staining substances to penetrate. Incomplete cleaning does this as well. To be safe, keep the temperature warm or cold when washing fabrics with biological spots or stains.
After washing, you may notice the spot or stain is gone. Don’t assume that is 100% true. When wet, the fabric may be hiding the spot or stain. Allow it to air dry. Do not put it into the drier. Hot air during the drying process can set any remaining spots or stains. Once dry, inspect carefully. If you see any remaining spots or stains, launder the item again.
As with all cleaning chores, there comes a time when it is time to throw in the towel and call the pros. Do the right thing and let your favorite cleaning company do the work for you. After all, it pays to call a pro!