What are the best steps to take after water damage in my home?
- Right after a calamity, SAFETY is your number one priority. A water pipe break can soak electric lines and receptacles. A toilet overflow or sewer backup spews material containing bacteria.
- Make sure children, anyone with a compromised immune system and pets stay away from the affected areas of your property.
- If you know where the main valve to your water supply is located and can safely reach it, shut it off as quickly as possible.
- If the water is wall to wall, do not enter the affected area. Even a few inches of water can damage the electric and natural gas components of equipment, such as furnaces and water heaters.
- After the clean-up, a qualified technician can assess any damage to your home’s equipment and appliances.
My basement has water damage. Am I covered?
Your policy will spell out the specifics of your homeowners insurance coverage. Most insurance policies require an extra rider to cover water damage that is related to flooding. Water damage from a broken pipe within the house should be covered in a basic policy.
I don’t want to file an insurance claim, is this ok?
We will work with you or your insurance company at your discretion. We offer competitive pricing on all of our restoration projects.
If not restored, what effects can water damage have?
- Furniture in direct contact with moisture delaminates, cracks and swells
- Drywall begins to swell
- Wallpaper adhesives fail
In A Few Days
- Mold will begin to appear
- Metal surfaces begin to corrode
- Wood materials begin to swell and split
- Fabric dyes discolor and bleed
- People affected by mold allergies can begin to have reactions
Over A Week
- Mold destroys organic materials like paper coverings, wood, drywall, and paneling
- Wood components split and warp
- Insurance claim costs can increase
- Health problems can become an issue
I have a flooding problem. What should I do, and what should I not do?
- Call a contractor to eliminate the water source.
- Small items should be removed from wet areas to prevent rust and stains.
- Aluminum foil can be placed under furniture legs.
- Lift draperies to eliminate staining.
- Remove plants, books and other items from wet carpet areas.
- Do not use a regular vacuum on wet carpet.
- Do not place newspaper on carpet, staining may occur.
- Don’t walk on wet carpet any more than necessary.
- Do not use your central air or heating system to avoid spreading contamination.
Will you work with my insurance company? If not, what should I know before speaking to an insurance adjuster?
Yes, we will absolutely work with your insurance company. We have over 25 years of experience dealing with insurance companies. We will work in your best interest to ensure proper coverage.
If you do have to speak with an insurance adjuster, there are some terms/phrases you should know:
Actual cash value: Insurance where a policyholder gets an amount equal to the replacement value of damaged property minus depreciation. (see replacement cost below)
Appraisal: A claims adjuster estimates the amount of damage to property and the cost to repair or the determination of a complete loss.
Endorsements: Attached to an insurance policy, an extra clause that changes the policy’s coverage, terms or conditions. (usually provides additional coverage)
Exclusions: Attached to an insurance policy, an extra clause that excludes coverage of certain perils (like floods), persons, property or locations.
Loss of use insurance: Compensation paid to a policyholder who has lost the use of their property.
Mediation: Nonbinding process where a third party tries to resolve a conflict between two other parties. Most states allow mediation between a policyholder and their insurance company if there is disagreement over coverage in a claim.
Personal article floater: A policy or addition, used to cover expensive personal items, such as computers and jewelry.
Public adjuster: An independent adjuster who represents property owners during a claim. They typically work to increase the initial offered amount, and provide representation for a percentage of the final payout.
Replacement cost: The cost of replacing property without a reduction for depreciation. Damages for a claim are the amount needed to replace the property using new materials.
Subrogation: When an insurance company, after paying a loss, tries to recover the money from another party who is legally liable. This can happen when public utilities are at fault for damage.