Help! The Storm in Medford Froze My Pipes! My Home is Flooded! What Do I Do?

18699282_sThe big snow storm in December caused broken pipes, flooding, and a big headache for homeowners and businesses – just as the Christmas holidays were closing in on us! Schools and offices shut down, meetings were cancelled, and the Medford/Ashland area had a number of fine “snow days.” During that time, though, some of us were busy! Here at Rug Busters, we saw a lot of business, unfortunately, that doesn’t happen too often here in Southern Oregon – homes and offices flooded because of broken pipes! Many times people called our office in a panic, unsure of what they should do until we could get there. So – while it may be a case of hindsight is 20/20 –we thought we should put together a short list of what generalized measures you can take when a disaster – in the form of water – strikes!
• Find the main water valve and shut it off. (this was sometimes difficult; for future reference – make sure you know where your main water valve is!)
• Turn off the lights, etc. in the affected area; if necessary, shut off electricity.
• Before anything is moved/removed, make sure that you take plenty of pictures for your insurance company. Also, notify your insurance company before removing or moving items; sometimes that can affect your coverage too.
• Move the most critical items out of harm’s way. (file cabinets with important paperwork, etc.)
• If there isn’t a great deal of water, use a sump pump (available at most big box stores) to remove water yourself.
• Open windows and doors to allow fresh air to circulate.
• Know that mold can develop within 24 to 48 hours, so it’s crucial to act quickly. Mold growth on surfaces can be contained by cleaning with a non-ammonia detergent or a pine oil cleaner, and then disinfected with a 10% bleach solution. (Remember – never mix ammonia and bleach – the fumes are toxic!) Afterwards, keep fans going to circulate air and dry things out.
While these are steps that can be taken when damage is fairly minimal, if your carpeting, rugs, furniture, drywall, floors, or ceilings have been saturated – you will need to call a water restoration company – AKA – Rug Buster’s! We will get your home – and your life – back on track!

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