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Salvaging Belongings After a Hurricane Has Destroyed Your Home

Posted on March 14, 2018 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

A hurricane can be a very devastating experience for those involved. The moments after the hurricane can be very confusing and hectic. When one is faced with water intrusion in your home for any reason, and especially from hurricane, most people do not know if their belongings can be saved and fear that they may have lost their lifelong treasures.

The first call you should make should be to your insurance company, they will be able to guide you through your personal options based on coverage and circustance.

Fortunately, there are restoration companies that cater to salvaging belongings after a hurricane. Whether you acquire this service through your insurance ocmpany or hire them directly, these companies can help walk you through the process,  but it is best that you understand some basic instructions for yourself to make the process much smoother. 

Examine the Condition of Your Belongings

Firstly, you should find out what kind of water touched your belongings. The kind of water that touched your belongings will determine if they are worth salvaging. There are instances where your items may have been submerged in contaminated water, which will mean that you should not salvage those items. Although these types of items may appear to be salvageable, they may have become home to a variety of harmful organisms and toxins.  If you have any doubt, it is highly recomened your err on the side of caution and/or consult a professional.

Next, you should examine your belongings for damage and discoloration. Items that are badly damaged may not be worth salvaging and may even sustain more damage during the restoration process. For example, a torn pillow may completely shred during chemical treatment.

Saving Items

Chances are, you may not be able to clean your belongings right away. After losing your home, you may be staying with a relative or in rented housing, but it’s unlikely that you’ll want a pile of wet, dirty things (even if they’re yours) in your living space. Storing them temporarily in a storage unit can help keep them safe until you’re ready to start cleaning, and then until you have a place of your own again. Depending on how much you have been able to salvage, you are likely to need a unit between 100 and 200 sq ft, an investment about about $100-$200/month (Aurora Self Storage). 

You should make every attempt to dry out your belongings before moving them to a storage unit.  Keep in mind that it is crucial to be delicate with wet items, as they can disintegrate very easily. Hang, or lay out, all of the items that need to be dried; it will be best to dry them using air rather than heat or other traumatic methods.

If you are not able to dry out your belogins prior to storage be sure to use a climate controlled unit so that you can avoid adding a moldy situation.

Once dry, it’s time to start cleaning. You will need a small toothbrush, mildly hot water, laundry detergent, and a damp cloth; again, be delicate when cleaning your items. You may also wish to use a disinfectant such as bleach solution.

Finally, leave your items to dry again. If there are items that you personally cannot, or couldn't, clean, contact a restoration company to take care of the job for you. These companies specialize in fixing badly damaged items, and they have the proper tools for the job.

At the end of the day...

It is best to take a calm approach to restoring your items. After going through such a devastating experience, it is easy to want to rush everything to get back on your feet and return to normal. But a little bit of patience and care will take you a long way on your road back to recovery.

5 Updates Your Home Needs Before Spring

Posted on January 25, 2018 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Many people consider spring to be the best time of year. Living in Florida we don't get the coldest winter, but it is still nice when the weather begins to turn and it is still cool enough that we aren't dealing with the overwhelming heat that comes with summer. There is new growth and warmth, but these things can bring a host of problems for your home if you aren’t properly prepared. Making these repairs now also means that you will be prepared when the next hurricane season rolls around. Here are a few things you should look into before spring or as it starts to get warmer.

Roof Repair

For homes that experience snow and ice, the severity of the winter can affect your roofs condition, but even for homes in Florida the spring is a great time to check your roof for any damages before the the next hurricane season. There is no way to know if there is damages without inspecting it. Any loose shingles need to be replaced, and cracks need to be sealed. Just because you don’t have winter storms doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about leaks. The spring and summer will bring plenty of rain and you want to be sure you are prepared before potential water damage becomes an issue.  You should hire a professional to inspect and repair your roof since they have the tools needed to find the little things that haven’t become problems yet. This is also a good time to clean your shingles and remove any moss or stains left from algae.

Pest Control

The winter may have brought relief from pests, but they are about to make a comeback. The best way to avoid this? Get on your pest control ahead of time. This is particularly important if you live in a warm and humid climate because this is where pests thrive. Get your home inspected to make sure you don’t already have a problem and that you are taking the proper precautions.

New Insulation

You may begin using your air conditioner once the temperatures rise, so you want to make sure that you aren’t spending a ton of money trying to cool the outside. Check your insulation, especially in areas like the attic, to make sure you aren’t letting all the cool air escape out of your house.  If you haven't already done one, this is also a good time to get an energy audit from you power provider.  The audit may also offer some discounts for home upgrades like new insulation or windows.  Check with you local power company to see what they offer.

Add a Shed

While not a complete necessity, if you don’t have a lot of space in your garage, but you do have some extra yard space, adding a shed can be a great investment. This will allow you to free up some space in your home and garage by storing any tools and equipment in the shed. This will make your tools more accessible and prevent frustration from overcrowding. You can build a simple shed from a kit or from scratch if you are handy with tools.

New Siding

Just as your roof may take a beating during the winter, you should inspect your siding to confirm it is still in good condition. If it is damaged or broken, you need to repair it quickly. The siding can often suffer from damage due to heavy winds, rain, and snow during the winter months, making it necessary to replace the materials if they've worn down. Not only does your siding keep your house looking good, but it also protects the house from damage, so don’t neglect this.

It's important to take good care of your home so you can enjoy it for many years. By performing a few updates before the spring season, you can get more use out of the space and ensure that you don’t have any massive problems that you could have prevented.

At J&M Home Management, we are happy to facilitate any and all of these projects for our clients.  If you are interested in setting up a FREE walk though of your home to discuss our home watch services, please contact us at 727-368-6589.

Florida Home Care Resources

Posted on July 5, 2015 at 5:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Thanks for visiting the J&M Home Management Website.  We hope you will find these resources helpful in caring for your home and planning for your time away.

National Home Watch Association

Tampa Bay Hurricane Preparedness Guide - Tampa Bay Times - Your comprehensive guide to the Snowbird Lifestyle

Guide to Mold, Moistuer & your Home - EPA