Nipomo Water Damage Specialists Releases Tips for Cleaning Up Older Houses
The sadness of losing parents and elderly relatives, or even moving them to retirement communities is often doubled by the task of having to go through the old family home, reliving memories, sorting through rooms, cabinets, closets, the garage and any other buildings on the property. SERVPRO Nipomo, the water damage and restoration specialists has prepared a list of tips to help families organize and get through the clean up with as little stress as possible.
Years of living in one place means an accumulation of personal items, much of which may not have been stored in the safest manner. And who knows what else might be lurking behind, in or between stacks of old cardboard boxes, especially in old sheds and barns. When someone has been living on a property for decades, the family can expect to find personal possessions, furniture, tools, boxes full of paperwork, old magazines and books, and an assortment of other things, including hazardous materials. The condition of parts of the house, the garage and other structures might seem overwhelming. “But,” said Mark Powers, franchise owner of SERVPRO, “There is a step-by-step method that can help make things a little easier.”
- Making sure that the buildings are structurally safe to enter. Old buildings can be expected to have deteriorating floors, walls and roofs. A structural evaluation before entering and starting to move, sort and pack items is a safety feature.
- Evaluate the non-structural condition of the property. How many buildings are there? What appears to be in each building? What has been stored outside? What can be salvaged? What kind of weed control needs to be done?
- Family heirlooms and memorabilia have both sentimental and monetary value. These items should be inventoried and moved to a safe and secure place as soon as possible. Items specified in a will or trust can either be given directly to the beneficiary, or stored in a secure place until they can be retrieved.
- Determine which personal and household items that can be sold in a yard sale, donated or given to a family member. These could include kitchen items, furniture, clothing, linens, home decor items, books, costume jewelry, and more. Ask family members for a list of items they would like to have.
- Identify items that can be thrown away. Sometimes it is safer to resist the urge to open every cardboard box, exposing yourself to allergens or contaminated dust. Most broken items can be added to the dumpster.
- Make a plan that includes a room-by-room sorting and clearing process, renting a dumpster, perhaps renting a storage unit, and organizing help for transporting items to storage or to a donation destination.
- Consult with SERVPRO for an initial walk-through and evaluation of the condition of the property. Professional restoration teams have the training and experience to assist with initial evaluation of the property, help create a clean up plan and coordinate the necessary repair and restoration processes that are needed to get everything cleared away, cleaned and repaired.
SERVPRO can help make sure buildings are structurally sound and:
- Remove water damage and mold
- Safely remove and dispose of any toxic or hazardous materials, even old household cleaners
- Safely remove stored items from sheds, garages, even closets and dispose of unwanted items, clean items that can be saved (even that classic old wingback with a tear in the upholstery)
- Help get the house and other buildings in enough order and cleanliness that the family can sort through belongings and needed repairs can be started.
1279 W. Stowell Road, Suite C
Santa Maria, CA 93458