Whether your water heater fell over, the kids forgot to turn off the bathtub faucet, the normally serene river down the road has burst its bank, or a 24-foot storm surge in Bell has wiped out your home, Water Damage happens. In fact, that’s why many homeowners carry insurance – to protect their homes from unpredictable catastrophes.
Unfortunately, one man’s catastrophe is another man’s problem. This is true especially when dealing with your insurance company over Water Damage Restoration claims. Is it a catastrophe or is it your problem? Is the flood event covered or not?
Most homeowners in Bell insurance policies exclude certain types of flooding so it’s useful to review your policy before and during the water restoration claims process. If you have National Flood Insurance, you should be prepared with that information as well.
Water damage and restoration claims are subject to all kinds of rules and loopholes and your insurance company knows exactly what they are doing – do you? If you’re getting the runaround from your insurance about a restoration claim, don’t take their word for it. Read your insurance policy and find out exactly what is covered. You pay your premiums for the service that the insurer provides. When it’s time for restoration for a covered loss, you don’t deserve to be short changed.
While many water claims are specifically excluded from an insurance policy, not all are. During hurricanes and major storms, some water damage is specifically excluded such as water damage from a storm surge. However, if your roof blows off and the rain damages the interior of your home, then the water restoration would likely be covered. Beware of the insurance agent that wants to classify damage as something other than it is. For example, if the agent claims the water damage is due to storm surge when it’s clear that the reason the home is water damaged is because the roof blew off, then stick up for yourself and demand that the adjuster look at the obvious.
In these cases, restoration compensation could be less than what’s needed thanks to an insurance adjuster whose eyes are on the bottom line, not what you are entitled to under the terms of your policy. Get a professional involved if you need help. Public insurance adjusters can act on your behalf and get a better settlement offer while specific contractors, such as roofers and rebuilders, can document the damage, make reasonable efforts, and back you up when you’re filing a restoration claim.
Your insurance company wants to save a few bucks while you want to make sure that you can restore your property. You are at odds with each other even though you are business partners. Get a third party involved and ensure that your restoration goes the way it should.
Water damage cleaning involves numerous considerations. One of the most important considerations involved in repairing damage is that of restorative drying. Restorative drying incorporates four general principles: water removal (extraction), evaporation, dehumidification and temperature control. Understanding these water damage principles will help you ensure that your property is restored to its pre-loss condition properly and with the least amount of risk to your health, structure and belongings.
Drying requires that the affected property be brought back into a proper balance. This requires that water damage restoration professionals monitor and adjust air flow, humidity and temperature properly over time. The first principle of effective damage restoration involves water removal (extraction). You would be surprised how much water wet drywall, carpet and carpet pad can hold. These materials can soak up vast amounts of water. It is essential that as much water as possible be removed from these materials to facilitate the rest of the water damage cleaning process.
The second principle is evaporation. Evaporation is the wicking of water out of saturated materials. Rapid air movement is needed to maximize the evaporative process. Carpet water damage can be mitigated by first extracting as much water as possible, removing and discarding wet pad underneath, then using commercial air movers to facilitate rapid evaporation. The third principle of water-related restoration is dehumidification. This can be accomplished using natural or mechanical techniques. Humidity reduction reduces the risk of secondary damage to materials and contents in a property. Air with high relative humidity is more likely to reach a saturation point where water will form on surfaces, which may lead to microbial growth, mold and other bacterial contamination.
The fourth and final principle of flood water damage restoration and drying is temperature control. Warmer air can hold more water vapor and will better facilitate evaporation in a closed environment. It is generally recommended that water damage repair environments be maintained at approximately 80 degrees Fahrenheit, whenever possible, to optimize temperature-controlled evaporation. Applying these principles to your home or business restoration job will help facilitate the proper restoration of your structure and contents to their pre-loss condition. Failing to apply these principles may result in mold growth and contamination. Black mold removal can be very time-consuming, costly and even hazardous to your health if not done properly. Always consult with a professional water damage restoration professional when attempting conduct water removal or mold removal in a home.
Hiring a Restoration Company
Getting Water Damage Invoices Past Insurance Adjusters
Sources state that the estimated lifespan of any given common household storage water heater is anywhere from five to fifteen years. Per these assumptions, one could reasonably expect to incur 2 to 6 water heater related issues or replacements within the 30 year lifespan of a typical mortgage. Obviously, this a real yet commonly underestimated potential source of significant water damage.
Aging water heaters will rust and leak. If the property owner catches it in time then the potential for damage is minimal but if the property owner not discover the damage in time, the resulting damage can be substantial. In Florida, due to the high water table, basements are a rarity so heaters are typically located on the same floor as the living area thus maximizing the need to regularly inspect the water heater for wear and rust and resulting damage should a leak or breakage occur. Similarly, apartment and condominium dwellers, depending on the size of the unit, may have the water heater located in an area that is central to the unit thus maximizing the radius of the potential damage.
There are various things you can do the reduce this potential water damage risk. Common wisdom includes regular inspection for any water leakage, regular inspection for rust, turning off the main water source if you are going to be away from your property for an extended period of time, and having a relief valve installed on the water heater - assuming you do not already have one - in order to regularly remove the bottom sediment which promotes deterioration and oxidation. Before you embark on the later, however, and you do so at your own risk, be careful NOT to splash yourself with the potentially scalding water that is coming from the water heater and, similarly, be sure to have a pail stable enough to handle the hot water and hot sediment without breaching. Better yet, have a professional check it out for you.
In a perfect world water heaters never leak and all damage is caught in time or is minimal; unfortunately, in the real world, when the water heater breaks, it is reasonably sudden and the damage is extensive. Since most people do not turn off the water lead in when the leave, as it is not a common consideration most people would do on a regular basis, once breached, the water heater not only dumps the contents of its storage tank but the water continues to flow due to the open water line contributing to extensive water damage. Should this occur, then you owe it to yourself to hire an independent and customer focused water damage restoration company. Only an independent water damage restoration company focuses its interest on customer service and customer satisfaction so that your restoration is its interest and such company will do whatever it takes to restore your asset to its preloss condition.
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