Tips and Frequently Asked Questions
Water Damage … The Don’ts
DIY: Do not try and dry the structure on your own, it is unlikely that you will be able to do an effective job using towels and household tools and appliances. If you wait to call when you realize it is more than you can handle or when the structure begins to smell of mold and mildew the damage will be much more extensive and expensive to restore.
Electric: Do not operate any electrical appliance while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially concrete floors. There is a high risk of electrical shock that could cause serious injury or death.
Heat: Do not use heat to dry out a closed building. This could cause damage from mildew and expanded moisture.
Clothes: Do not leave wet fabric in place; space them apart and try as soon as possible.
Call: Contact us as soon as possible, (1-866-247-3786) so we can begin drying the structure, to prevent injury and minimize the damage.
Water Supply: Locate your water cut off, if the home is not equipped with a cut off, go to the street and find the water meter. You should be able to turn it off using a crescent wrench or pliers.
Electric: You will need to locate your breaker box and shut off the electricity to the affected parts of the structure. Once you are certain that the power is off you can then remove electrical appliances such as lamps telephones etc. from the affected area.
Ventilate: You need to Ventilate the wet areas if possible. In the summer you can turn on the air conditioner, although this may seem counter intuitive the air conditioner will attract moisture and help to dry the air and in turn begin to dry the structure. In the winter you can alternate between opening windows and using your heater.
Avoid: Stay out of rooms that have damaged ceilings as dry wall becomes very heavy and unstable when it becomes wet and could fall and cause injury.
Cabinetry: If there is water under cabinets, open drawers and cabinet doors to begin interior drying, do not force open.
Documents: Freeze valuable books and documents to keep out mildew growth until proper drying can be done.
Pets: Remove any household pets to a safer environment.
Enter: Never enter a burning, smoldering or structurally compromised structure.
Furniture: Do not use upholstered furniture that has smoke damage.
Electronics: Do not use electronics, computers or other electrical appliances, until properly cleaned and inspected by a professional.
Clean: Do not, attempt to clean, wipe or wash fire or smoke residue from walls, ceilings or fabrics.
Food: Do Not consume and food that has been subjected to high temperatures.
Protect: When possible, board up windows or roofs to prevent further damage.
Perishables: If power has been shut off to the structure you will need to empty your refrigerators and freezers and prop the doors open to allow air to circulate.
Air: Turn off your air conditioner or heater and replace the filter before turning back on.
Pets: Remove any household pets to a safer environment.
Ventilate: When possible you need to open windows to allow ventilation.
Structural Integrity: Never walk on a roof that has been structurally compromised. Damaged framing and decking could collapse. If possible, it is best to have a professional inspect the damage beforehand.
Wind Damage: Wind damaged roofs will often have loose shingles. These shingles can give way at any second and can cause you to slip and fall off of the roof.
Hail Damage: Hail damage can cause the aggregate to become loose on the facings of composite shingles. This can cause the roof to become very slippery and can cause you to slip and fall.
Backwards: Never take a step backwards on a roof… as it could be you last.
My Home is now dry…now what?
To help your restoration process go smoothly and as quickly as possible here are some things you can do to help.
- Carpet- Depending on the coverage provided by your insurance policy and the amount of damage sustained, you will need to decide whether or not to clean and keep your existing carpet or have it replaced. If it is to be replaced, you will need to pick out a new carpet
- Wood Flooring- Depending on the type of wood flooring you have installed in your home. It may be necessary to replace it, as depending on the age it may not be able to be matched. If that is the case you will need to pick out your new floor.
Did someone say shopping!?! Yes, this is the breally one of the few bright sides of having to have your home or business restored. You get to go an pick out new things! However, there are some things to you should bear in mind first.
- Coverage- It is important to understand your coverage and how your claim is being paid. Homeowners policies are designed to bring your home back to it’s pre-loss condition, it will not cover new items that are unnecessary to do this or better items than were previously installed. This is important to know when you begin shopping for new items for your home.
- Example- If your ceiling fan was damaged by a covered loss and a similar one costs $50.00, but you want it replaced by one that costs $100.00, you would be out of pocket the additional $50.00. What you need to bear
Habitable- You and your insurance Adjuster will need to determine if the home is habitable. This means will you and your family be able to safely stay there, throughout the restoration process. If it is determined that you cannot, you may have coverage under your Homeowners policy to provide additional living expenses for temporary housing.
Paint Colors- In the event that the damage to your home or business will require repainting. It will be necessary for you to determine the color of the paint and/or if you want it matched to the current color. It is important to note that insurance coverage typically only applies from either edge to edge or line of sight. Meaning, if you have damage to one area that will require painting but you have a door way or other line of sight barrier it will not cover to paint the are beyond that.
Should I contact my insurance provider and file a claim?
In the event of damage to your property it may be necessary to file a claim with your insurance provider. However, we recommend you contact us first so we can help you determine if it will be necessary. We have experienced professionals on staff with years of experience in the insurance industry as both agents and adjusters. There are many benefits to contacting us prior to filing a claim. It is possible your claim will not exceed your deductible. With recent changes in the insurance industry, insurance providers have increased deductibles in order to lower their risk as well as keep premiums affordable. If you have a high deductible the damages may not exceed this threshold. You do not want to file a claim, if it is not necessary. Once a claim is filed it will likely stay on your report, even if you decide to withdraw the claim later, because it is below the deductible or if you change your mind. Filing a claim can also adversely effect your rates, your underwriting eligibility to switch carriers later. There is even the possibility of your policy being cancelled, if too many claims are filed within certain time limits. There is also an opportunity for inadvertent commentary that could result in your claim being denied altogether. We can help you make the best decision possible for you and your family in regards to the steps you need to take to properly file a claim, if necessary, with your insurance provider.