The moment you discover water damage to your home it is important that you act quickly to prevent further damage. If you have never had a home insurance claim, you may not know what steps you should take. We hope to offer you some helpful advice on how to approach a water damage restoration claim. Now every claim will be slightly different, and will be handled slightly differently, but in general the order of steps are as follows:
Each of these steps will need to be addressed, and the quicker the first two steps are taken care of, the better. This is because unusually high moisture levels in your home can quickly increase the amount of damage to the building materials of your house like flooring, drywall, insulation, cabinets, etc. To stop the damage, the home needs to be completely dried out (this is not quite factually correct, you really are wanting to get the moisture level of your home back to its regular levels before the water damage occurred). It is highly recommended that you have a professional water damage restoration company or emergency water removal company handle this step as they have will have all the appropriate equipment to extract water, detect hidden moisture, monitor the drying process, and prepare the home for the repair process.
Having water damage or flood damage to your home is a stressful, overwhelming, and disruptive experience. Sometimes you need a more experienced voice to guide you through the process. For that reason you shouldn’t hesitate or be afraid to contact your insurance agent. They will have experience with water damage claims and can help guide you to reputable companies and contractors, as well as answer any questions you may have.
You may also call an expert directly. Most water damage restoration companies will be happy to answer your questions and offer advice on how to proceed. If this is your first claim, you may not know of a water damage restoration company. In general your agent can refer you to one, or a quick look on the internet for water damage restoration companies or browsing some companies on Yelp! can give you a couple of options to choose from. Make sure the company seems willing to answer your questions, and if you find that they are pushing too hard for a sale or you find them unhelpful, don’t hesitate to move on to the next one. You want someone that is going to help you through this process, not create more stress for you.
Upon arrival at the residence, the emergency water restoration crew will briefly explain the standard procedures in a situation of this type. The water damage restoration company works for you, not the insurance company, and their top priority is your health and safety, and the preservation of your homes value. If there are certain materials of your home that have to be removed, it is because they are damaged beyond repair or pose a risk to your health.
The water damage restoration company should check the home for wet overhead building materials, slipping and tripping hazards, and electrical shock hazards.
They should protect carpet from furniture stains by moving furniture to dry areas of the house or by placing protective tabs or blocks under legs or bases. This will also protect the furniture from moisture absorption. Carpet exposed to moisture for even just a few hours can begin to delaminate, which is where the adhesive holding the primary and secondary backing of the carpet has weakened due to exposure to water and releases. If this occurs it may be necessary to remove the carpet, however, the adhesive regains it’s strength if dried and handled properly.
Any excess water should be extracted to prevent it spreading to other areas of the home. This also keeps the water from buckling wood floors and migrating up baseboards and sheetrock walls. Any delay in the removal of water from these areas can result in the need to have the materials themselves removed.
The flooring here had to be removed as the water had sat to long and the flooring was unrepairable
The water damage restoration company should examine the carpet, pad, and subfloor to determine the best way to salvage these items if possible. If handled quickly, most carpet and padding is salvageable.
Drying equipment should be installed to dry the structure and contents as quickly as possible. The quicker the structure is dried, the less chance for permanent damage, excessive odor, and prolonged inconvenience to the insured. The equipment is carefully monitored each day until the moisture readings show that moisture levels have returned to a normal state in the home.
In certain cases, it may be advisable to apply an antimicrobial to help prevent microbial growth. This will be dependent on the amount of time that has passed before the water and excess moisture has been removed and dried, as well as the type and source of the water damage (i.e. clean, gray, or black water).
The emergency water mitigation company is only there to perform the absolutely necessary emergency services on the initial call. These services are meant to preserve, protect and secure the property from further damage, as well as protect your health. Once the drying out process is completed, the repair process can begin. In some instances this process can be done by the company that completed the drying or mitigation. In other cases you will need to find a company that specializes in water damage restoration repairs. Again, your agent can help you find a company for this process as well.
For many home water damage scenarios, the damage is covered by your insurance, however every policy is different, so it is always a good idea to discuss with your agent your policy and what is covered. Remember, your agent is there to help you and can make the claims process easier if it is determined that the water damage is covered.
This article is meant to be informative. Every instance of water damage to a home is different, and will therefore be addressed differently. It is strongly advised that you seek expert advice before making any decisions regarding your home and your policy.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule a tour of the facility, contact us!Contact via email