If you have a replacement cost policy, most insurance companies pay claims with two checks. The insurance company will give you the first check after the adjuster has reviewed your damage. This check will be for the estimated cost of repairs, minus depreciation and your deductible. A deductible is the amount of the claim that you're responsible for paying yourself. Review your policy or ask your agent or adjuster if you don't know how much your deductible is.
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.
Appliance hoses. Broken hoses are among the most common causes of water damage. Regularly inspect hoses and hose fittings on washing machines, icemakers, and dishwashers for kinks, cracks, bulges, or deterioration. Replace standard rubber washing machine hoses every two to five years or more often if they are showing signs of wear. Consider using steel-reinforced hoses for longer life.
Roofs. Keep roofs free of debris that can damage roofing and allow water to seep in. Trim tree branches to prevent them from rubbing and damaging the roof. Repair missing or damaged shingles. Properly seal any cracks around chimneys, skylights, and vents. Check metal flashing for holes, cracks, or other damage. Replace flashing or use silicone caulk to seal any openings.
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.
If you’ve recently experienced a flood or pipe burst and have water damage in your home, you’re probably wondering “what happens now?” The first, and most important, step when dealing with water or flood damage is to stop any active leaks in the home. This can be done by shutting off the home’s main water supply. If you don’t know how to shut off your home’s water supply, call a professional plumber or your local water supply company for assistance. Once any active leaks have been addressed and all water has been turned off, it’s imperative you call a professional to start the water damage cleanup process as quickly as possible to minimize damage.
Want to avoid large cleanup and repair bills? Preventative maintenance and cleaning up quickly after damage are critical to keeping costs down. How long moisture is left untreated increases the scope of the damage and allows mold to grow. Preventing damage by contacting professionals to diagnose causes and make small repairs can save thousands later. Regardless of cause or cost, always document the damage for insurance claims.
Most insurance policies will pay to remove mold only if it must be removed to repair or replace property that was damaged by a covered peril. You must report water damage that was hidden from view within 30 days of the date you first noticed it. Some companies provide a limited amount of mold remediation coverage, and other companies will allow you to buy additional coverage for mold remediation by endorsement.
This category contains contaminants that will cause serious health issues and possibly death. Only professionals should handle most large-scale black water accidents such as flooding. Some cleanup, like a backed-up toilet, can be handled by competent homeowners. This type of cleanup and repair is usually the most expensive, often requiring specialized equipment used by qualified mold and chemical remediation crews. It will often require replacement (not just cleaning) of the affected home materials.
To prevent water damage, you should replace your washing machine supply hose at least once every five years. Also, resist the temptation to overload your washing machine. Constantly stuffing too many clothes into your washing machine could loosen gaskets and valves or cause cracks. Take good care of your washing machine and your washing machine will take good care of you.
Inspect damaged materials for mold and mildew. Mold can start to grow in the right conditions in as little as 24 hours. For long-term issues, like mold caused by attic condensation, the mold may have started growing a long time ago. And if you find mold and mildew issues, you need to be very careful. Some mold is toxic to humans, and all mold is very damaging to the materials it infests. For small mold issues, cut out the material, bag it, and throw it away immediately. For serious mold issues, get out of the area, shut down any airflow (to avoid spore contamination) and call a professional. And keep in mind that mold can show up in hidden areas like inside walls or under floors, so this inspection and water damage repair will be ongoing.
Even a competent DIYer should have a qualified professional assess the damage first — making sure no part of the cleanup is missed. Before doing anything, check with your insurance company — they may require a licensed assessment. Don't wait. As soon as you detect any damage, call a professional. With time, each class and category quickly degrades into something worse.
At WaterBear, our water damage Hillsboro specialists understand that a flood in your home or business is emotionally devastating. It takes up valuable time and wreaks havoc on your day-to-day activities. That’s why we offer the best in drying technology, equipment and training to get you back to the life you’re used to as quickly as possible. Our proprietary Dry-In-Place technology places us among the nation’s leaders in Water Damage Mitigation. From our years of experience we have learned that a quick response is the key to limiting damage and potential mold growth in any water damage situation. We strive to get your life back to the way you want it as quickly as possible.
When the next water damage call comes in for a flood cleanup due to a broken water pipe or drain backup, make sure you have all the commercial restoration equipment on hand that you need to tackle the job in a moment’s notice. Events like floods, hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters can leave homes and businesses in peril and in need of professional restoration services.