News-Antique.com - Nov 30,-0001 - August 31, 2005 -- Waco, TX) - Katrina has brought with her significant flood damage to our part of the country. Now that we've seen her impact, it's important for residents to know how to react in order to minimize subsequent problems, such as mold, electrical, carpet or structural damage.
"It's important for homeowners to know how to react in order to minimize problems," said Ed Jones, vice president of operations for Rainbow International® Restoration and Cleaning. "Home flooding problems need more than just a few towels. Excess water can cause electrical, carpet or even structural damage and need to be taken care of by a professional."
Rainbow International® offers six steps to home owners who find themselves (and their furniture) sitting in water:
STEP 1: Call Your Insurer Promptly. Give them an accurate description of the extent of damage. They will arrange for a claims adjustor to visit the site and assess the extent of your losses.
STEP 2: Document Your Claims. Do an inventory of every room. To receive full reimbursement for your losses, you need to document them systematically. Don't rely on memory alone - equip yourself with reporter's tools: pens, paper and a camera.
STEP 3: Get Your Home Ready. You can take a few measures on your own to help prevent further damage.
* If you can, turn off the electrical breaker to avoid electrical shock.
* Unplug and remove all small electrical devices that are in contact with wet carpet or tile.
* Move fragile items and valuables into a safe place.
* Move furniture and larger items to unaffected areas during the clean-up period (dry carpet, linoleum and garage). Place aluminum foil under legs of wood furniture that are in contact with carpet, especially antiques.
* Do not walk on carpet more than necessary.
* Empty the refrigerator and freezer and prop open the doors to help prevent odor.
* Elevate any drapes touching the floor. Coat hangers are an easy solution.
* Remove any books, shoes and paper goods, such as newspaper, to prevent stains.
* Do not use the vacuum cleaner.
STEP 4: Call for Help. Your insurer can provide some names, but as the homeowners, you have the right to choose whomever you want to repair the damage to your home. Look for a company that can handle all the surfaces in your house - from floors to walls - as well as carpeting and textiles. You need a company that has experts in water remediation. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification have established recognized standards for the restoration industry. For referrals to IICRC-approved companies, go to www.iicrc.org.
STEP 5: Get An Estimate. Don't let the need for speed prevent you from doing your research. Ask how long the company has been in business, and request proof that it carries the appropriate insurance. Ask for references too. If you don't like the answers you get, call someone else.