Policyholders don’t want hassles. We’ll make sure you get the coverage you paid for, remove the headache of having to work with your insurance company, and streamline the entire process. You have enough to worry about; we’ll work with your insurance company to achieve your complete satisfaction. In fact, we’ll usually do a survey with the insurance companies to make certain each and every policyholder gets everything they are entitled to get.
In addition to the obvious damage it does to upholstery and carpeting, floodwater is a corrosive and abrasive mixture of water and dirt that works its way into every seam and crevice of a vehicle. Sewage and chemical contaminants may also be present in floodwater, and in coastal areas salt water from ocean storm surges can increase the possibility of vehicle damage and costly auto repairs. Even if a car is mechanically safe to drive, sanitary concerns could make it unwise for you to do so.
Keep the basement dry as it's the most common place to find damage. Flooding, burst pipes, and even clogged gutters can cause leaks. Pitching the landscape, cleaning the gutters, and installing downspout extensions are simple outdoor fixes. From the inside, install a sump pump and water alarm. Have the basement inspected for waterproofing or have some installed.
Even if the water in your home is clear, it could be contaminated by sewage or household chemicals. Ramirez recommends wearing waders, hip- or waist-high waterproof boots. In addition, wear rubber gloves to remove water-damaged possessions and to avoid contaminants, Ramirez notes. Be sure to throw out any food that may have come into contact with flood waters. FEMA recommends boiling water until authorities declare the water supply is safe.
Your insurance company will only pay for additional living expenses up to your policy's ALE dollar limits. Because repairs on your home can sometimes take months, monitor your expenses carefully to make sure you have enough ALE to cover the entire time you’ll be out of your home. If you reach your policy's ALE dollar limits before your home is fully repaired, you’ll have to pay the rest of the expenses out of your own pocket.
When you’re sure the mold has been eliminated, seal the wood surfaces with pigmented shellac like BIN or an oil-based primer like KILZ. Repaint cleaned wall surfaces with a regular latex paint that contains a mildewcide to help stop future mold growth. Then install new insulation and drywall and nail the trim back on. And keep in mind that if the moisture returns, mold will return.
Mold growth can be controlled on surfaces by cleaning with a non-ammonia detergent or pine oil cleaner and disinfecting with a 10% bleach solution. (Caution: Never mix ammonia and bleach products, as the resulting fumes can be highly toxic.) Always test this solution on a small area of the item or area you’re cleaning to be sure it doesn’t cause staining or fading.
Steven Johnson worked as a toolmaker for 26 years, rebuilding and repairing multicavity molds for Calmar Inc. and then as mold-maintenance engineer for Hospira Inc., a medical device manufacturer. Today, he is the maintenance systems manager for Progressive Components and has his own business, MoldTrax in Ashland, Ohio, which designs and sells software for managing mold maintenance (www.moldtrax.com). He can be reached at [email protected] or (419) 289-0281.
Since you should notify your insurer soon as possible after the flood, it’s a good idea to keep your insurance company and local agent’s phone number in your always-ready emergency bag. (Note that the NFIP works through private insurance companies, so you contact your insurer just as you would for any other type of claim). In cases where a flood has affected a region or community, your agent may be busy handling his or her own flood issues. In that case, contact the insurance company’s headquarters.
All water damage restoration jobs are unique and the amount of work required for each depends on a variety of factors such as the amount of area in the home that’s been damaged and how long the water has been present. Once a professional water damage cleanup vendor arrives and has a chance to inspect the home, they’ll be able to put together a detailed project timeline specific to your job. In the meantime, we’ve listed the eight common phases that occur during the water damage restoration process and what happens in each, so you’ll know what to expect.
Accurate and efficient troubleshooting of past and current defects is based on a repair technician’s ability to understand and relate existing processing and production conditions (as revealed by tooling wear marks and residue characteristics) to historical data. Issues should be segregated (long gates, specific flash etc.), analyzed, and then corrected one at a time.
If you can already see it, you usually do NOT need to spend money on pre-testing mold. Plain and simple: you just need to remove it. Since no visible mold growth belongs in a healthy home (no matter what the type) and all mold should be removed the same way, there is usually no need to identify what types and concentrations of mold you have via testing.
A critical part of any mold maintenance plan is to provide the technicians a historical summary of past issues and corrective actions so they may be aware of longstanding or unresolved issues during repairs. Unfortunately, some technicians skip this first stage until after they get a mold disassembled—and then they stop to research a problem whenever they see or feel something they don’t like.
Structure is a word I don’t care for, but it seems to be required in most everything we do. In mold design, mold building, molding parts, and, yes, in mold repair. As a kid, my dad used to “structure” any rebuilding work on 19th-century gasoline engines that my brothers and I did. Coming home one day to find his super-organized shop littered with pistons, flywheels, crankshafts, and other miscellaneous engine parts and tools, he “structured” an immediate change in our work habits. After that painful experience, we did not have the freedom to just tear into the old engines without first clearing with him our plan for the day—which meant we would always be tested as to what we thought a good rebuilding sequence should be, based on what we know about a particular engine. It took a few rebuilds to appreciate the value of a structured sequence.
If left untreated, water can be a destructive force to any residential or commercial property. It can lead to mold growth, stains, and can jeopardize the integrity of the building. Our restoration specialists can carefully inspect your property to determine the extent of the damage and can create customized solutions for you. With our 24/7 emergency services, you can rest assured you have a trusted team ready to help you.
Before any mold is released for production (“blue-tagged”), it is imperative to put the mold through a series of final-check bench procedures to verify “All Systems Go” and minimize any opportunities for the mold to be stopped and returned to the shop for something that should have been caught before it was released. Water leaks, heater problems, etc., can be avoided with a final-check procedure.
A flood-damaged car that has been totaled should have a “salvage” title, but some sellers use lax registration procedures in certain states to “launder” titles and eliminate the salvage branding. Buyers should also know that flood-damaged vehicles can be shipped anywhere for resale, and continue to appear in the marketplace for many months following major floods.