9 Steps every Homeowner needs to take After a Natural Disaster

By August 29, 2017Uncategorized

Call your mortgage company, car loan company, student loan & credit card companies. Ask for a 3-month reprieve from payments. There should be no late fees assessed. They will work with you. You may need the money to get back on your feet.

Take lots of photos. Call the insurance company asap. Get them to start your claim now. Anything under water is covered. Exception would be items that can be washed or stone counter tops. But laminate counters can be claimed because they are wood.

USE A LOCAL CONTRACTOR!!! Lots of con-artists will try to take advantage. Get written estimates from a contractor for repairs and ask for a W9 and their Insurance, so you know they're professional.

The contractor you use for a bid doesn’t have to the final decision you make, but you will need the proposal because the home owner insurance company needs them. If your proposal bid is higher, the better.

If it has a plug or an outlet and it was under water, DO NOT USE IT. Water and electricity do not mesh. Those outlets will corrode over time and house fires start - even in the future. Especially if this was salt or brackish water. Salt will corrode the wiring and outlets faster.

Wear an N-95 mask anytime you are indoors in a house that was flooded. People could contract bacterial and fungal pneumonia, and you could potentially be in the hospital for a few weeks to a month.

Empty your home quickly of items that are destroyed. If it has a plug, it is toast. If it runs on gas or electricity and was under water, it is trash. Cut drywall to 4' (the width of drywall.). It saves time and money when you are replacing it. Don't do it like on HGTV. No sledge hammers needed. Draw a line 4' above the floor. Cut with a razor blade. Put one hole in the wall and grab and pull.

Hopefully you have drywall nails in there and not screws. Remove insulation from that same area. Feel above for dampened insulation. If it is damp, go 2′ more up. Once you are sure you have all the wetness gone and are down to the studs, spray with bleach. You don’t want mold to grow. Make sure your windows are open.

Solid wood furniture? Spray with bleach or Wet and Forget from Home Depot type stores. Bleach is less expensive.

Everything will mold or mildew if not treated. It is not worth your health in the long run.

Expect that this will take 3 months on average to fix. From the time you begin tossing things out to the final paint coat.

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