By leadamigo / Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Water damage in your home can be hectic and not something that happens often. Because of the rarity of this terrible event, homeowners usually aren’t sure what to do next when filing a water damage insurance claim.

This is especially true for homeowners who are experiencing water damage for the first time.

What You Need To Know About Your Water Damage Claim

  • Not all types of water damage are covered. The good news is – most are.
  • Insurance will pay for all damages covered by the water damage as stated in your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  • You need to notify your insurance company IMMEDIATELY after you notice that damage has occurred.
  • Do not attempt to make repairs before you contact your insurance company. They will walk you through what to do next.
  • A certified restoration contractor can help you dry your home and repair damage after you consult your insurance company.

You’ve Noticed Water Damage: What’s Next?

  • Try to turn off the source of the water.
  • Remove all electrical and turn off corresponding power to the affected area.
  • If possible, try to remove furniture or items in your home that would be further damaged by staying in the water.

Informing yourself about filing a water damage insurance claim and knowing quickly what important steps to take will help you, your family and your home in the long run. Don’t worry too much. Your home can be dried and repaired so that you can get on with your life.

1. Consult your insurance company

The Complete Guide To Water Damage Insurance Claims - Water Damage Restoration

Be prepared to provide documentation. You will need the following items to get the process started:
  • Name and contact information of your insurance company.
  • Your homeowners insurance policy number.
  • The source of the leak that caused the water damage.

Do a quick Google search for your insurance company + claims if you need to find the correct phone number.

2. Document your water damage with photos and video

After your water damage claim is settled, your insurance will want to pay you for the damage in your home and to your items. To make sure you get the appropriate amount of coverage, make sure to take as many photos of the damage as possible. A video will work even better.

Photo & Video Documentation Tips:

  • Take as many as possible.
  • Try to use good lighting.
  • Create a dedicated folder on your computer where you can keep all photos and videos together, or use a storage service like Google Drive.

3. Review Your Insurance Policy

If you do not have a physical copy of your insurance policy you can usually access it online. You want to look for guidelines related to flooding and water damage. There’s a difference between the two.

Verbiage regarding coverage amount, what items are covered and related terminology should be found in your policy.

4. Make an inventory of all damaged possessions

Your insurance company is likely to pay for repairs to your home AS WELL AS items that were damaged. It’s a good idea to begin a word document or spreadsheet that lists the items you believe to be damaged.

  • If you have receipts, keep them and list the amount you paid for the item or product.
  • If you do not have receipts, try to find the exact model of that item online and list the current selling price.
  • Search your bank account and credit card history online to find the price of an item at the time you bought it.

The Complete Guide To Water Damage Insurance Claims - Water Damage Restoration

TIP: You can download home inventory checklists or purchase software that speeds up the process of identifying what valuable items you have in your home.

It’s likely you don’t have receipts from a couch or tv that you bought 6 years ago. If you list “TV” as a need to be replaced item, your insurance company will find the lowest cost television and try to reimburse you that amount. Try to find and list the EXACT model of whatever item was damaged in your home.

5. Beware of water damage involvement by others

In some cases, the water damage you experience will not be your fault. It could be a plumber, an appliance installer or even an electrician. Regardless, if you suspect the fault is someone elses make sure you follow these steps:

  1. Contact the service provider you believe might have caused the damage. Usually, they can file the claim on their own insurance instead of yours.
  2. Document the contact information of those involved.

6. Get multiple estimates from water damage restoration companies

After the damage is done, you need to find someone to fix it. Calling a water damage restoration company is your next step. These companies are certified in mitigating water damage in your home. They will extract water, dry and repair any damages you have.

Getting multiple water damage quotes

  • Your insurance company will usually have a suggested water damage repair company. You DO NOT have to use this company.
  • Try to get at least 3 competing quotes. Let these companies know you are pricing competitors and they can usually match – or beat a competitors price.
  • Rely on Google and Yelp reviews to make a decision.
  • Companies can usually provide estimates 24/7.

 

Get multiple water damage quotes
Make to get at least 3 different water damage restoration quotes.

7. Don’t throw anything away

Although it may be gross, wet and stinky – try not to throw anything away. Your insurance company as well as restoration companies can use these items to identify multiple important facts about your situation. These include:

  • Your insurance company will usually have a suggested water damage repair company. You DO NOT have to use this company.
  • Try to get at least 3 competing quotes. Let these companies know you are pricing competitors and they can usually match – or beat a competitors price.
  • Rely on Google and Yelp reviews to make a decision.
  • Companies can usually provide estimates 24/7.


By leadamigo / Water Restoration / 0 Comments

As the old adage goes, “You can’t build a strong home on a weak foundation”, and it’s true. Foundation water damage weakens the structure of your home, causes cracks, bowed walls– and in some extreme cases– causes the home to collapse.

Here’s how to identify the early warning signs of foundation water damage problems and address them before they turn into expensive home repair bills.

Warning Signs of Foundation Water Damage & What To Do Next (Updated 2018) - Water Damage Restoration

As the old adage goes, “You can’t build a strong home on a weak foundation”, and it’s true. Foundation water damage weakens the structure of your home, causes cracks, bowed walls– and in some extreme cases– causes the home to collapse.

Here’s how to identify the early warning signs of foundation water damage problems and address them before they turn into expensive home repair bills.


Warning Sign #1: Cracks

Cracks are a tell-tale sign of foundation water problems, and can occur both outside and inside the home.

Because they’re exposed to the outside elements, cracks in concrete foundations aren’t rare and  few hairline cracks aren’t normally a concern. However, horizontal cracks and stair-step cracks in block walls or corners could indicate serious structural damage. You should consult a professional to determine whether any of these warning signs indicate normal settling or structural damage.

When foundation water damage finds its way indoors, you’ll start to see cracks over doorways, window seals, or where walls meet ceilings. Make sure to pay attention to areas that gather outside water, like window seals and door panes. If there are cracks in those areas, make sure you properly seal them to prevent moisture from leaking into your home and causing further water damage.


Warning Sign #2: Standing Water in a Basement or Crawlspace

Water in a basement or crawlspace could be a plumbing issue, like broken pipes or appliances, or it could be caused by water seeping in through cracks in the foundation or gutter runoff.

If you find water in your basement or crawl space time and time again after heavy rains, it’s most likely the latter two options. This seepage can lead to mold growth and weaken wooden support structures, making it critical to address. Check to see if your gutters are properly installed and cleaned.  

You should also consult a professional to identify if cracks in the foundation are the true source.

Warning Signs of Foundation Water Damage & What To Do Next (Updated 2018) - Water Damage Restoration


Warning Sign #3: Jammed Windows & Doors

If you find that your doors or windows are getting stuck or won’t open or close properly, it could be an indication of foundation water damage. Excess water absorption causes windows and door frames to warp, which likely means you have a basement or crawlspace waterproofing problem. Excess outside moisture also can cause your foundation to shift, knocking doors and windows off their alignment. In this scenario, you might have a larger foundation problem that needs to be addressed.

Whatever the case, it’s important to make sure doors and windows are properly sealed and closing. If not, the result is water damage, mold, and potentially, even more structural damage.


Warning Sign #4: Mold Patches or Rotted Wood

Mold patches are a major sign of water damage, and if you don’t spot them, you’ll definitely be able to recognize that distinct mildew smell. This could be caused be a crack or opening in the foundation that’s allowing water to seep in.

Mold needs two things to grow: a moisture source and organic material. You might find it on interior walls or on exterior wooden support beams. Damp, moldy, or rotted wood is another clear sign of water damage, and one that needs immediate attention, as it could lead to an unstable structure.

 

Warning Sign #5: Flooded Soil

Go outside and take a look at the soil surrounding your house. If you find that it’s excessively damp or water pools in it, this could be a catalyst for foundation problems. Excessively wet soil increases the likelihood that water will penetrate the foundation of your home and cause future headaches.

This could be a natural problem with the soil itself and it’s water retention qualities. This could also be human error cause by improper water drainage or landscaping. When gutters or other drainage systems aren’t properly installed or regularly maintained, it can cause water to redirect back to your foundation instead of away from your house. The sloping of your land should also allow for water to flow away from your home.

Make sure to regularly do your chores and make sure gutters aren’t broken or clogged with debris.