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Water damage doesn’t happen when it’s convenient for you. In fact, most of the time water damage seems to happen when it is the least convenient time of all, in the middle of the night. At Stretch Cleaning & Restoration we’ve spent many hours removing water from Long Beach Island homes in the middle of the night. It can be a traumatic experience, especially when you are still wiping the sleep from your eyes. In case you get into a situation like this, or worse, it is a good idea to have a game plan for your water damage cleanup in the middle of the night.
Turn Off Utilities
Not every situation will warrant that you turn off all of your utilities, including water, gas, and electricity, but some will and you should be prepared. If it is night time, it will obviously be dark, so you should be prepared with some kind of flashlight and batteries in a known location to everyone in the household. If you have to turn off the electricity, a flashlight will be very useful. You can, of course, use the light on your phone, but if your electricity is out and your phone is draining the battery, that could put you in a worse situation where you wouldn’t be able to contact anyone.
Utilities should be shut off if there is a danger of flood water coming in contact with electrical outlets or there is a large amount of standing water in your home. Electrical breakers are very easy to turn off, but gas and water might be a little more tricky to locate and know how to turn off. Each home can be different, so you should research what you have in your own home and figure out how to turn them on and off before an emergency situation occurs.
Call a Professional
The most important thing to do after you shut your utilities off is to call a water damage cleanup specialist. Even if it is the middle of the night, you can call for emergency water damage services. The longer you wait to have a professional take care of the issue, the worse the damage will be and more widespread, so it is important that you don’t wait hours until morning during the normal hours of operation.
If you have a claim you are going to file with your homeowner’s insurance company then you should make sure you have the correct documentation. Most water damage cleanup companies, like Stretch Cleaning & Restoration in Long Beach Island, can help you during this process. However, it is important that you take pictures of all the damage that you expect the claim to cover. Document well by doing more than just a wide angle shot of the room. Take photos of technology that was affected or wood flooring that may need to be taken up. Make sure you take as many pictures as possible so that you can accurately file the claim. Also, make sure you don’t throw anything away until the water damage cleanup professional has taken a look, because there are some things that look damaged that can actually be restored.