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Water damage restoration-The 30,000 ft view

If you have suffered a water damage in in Boise, Twin Falls, Hailey or somewhere nearby in southern Idaho there are a number of considerations to make in dealing with the water damage restoration.

These include whether to turn in the  water damage claim with your insurance company.   The decision to make a water damage insurance claim will depend on factors including how severe is the water damage, whether it is a business water damage or a residential water damage and your ability or willingness to take on a DIY water damage repair. This may depend on the coverage of your water damage policy and the size of your insurance deductible.

The first step is to determine the type and the extent and of the water intrusion.

Source matters. Is the water damage from a clean water source ( e.g. broken water supply line or leaking ice maker) ? Is it a sewer backup or other sewage damage cleanup that needs to be restored? Sewage damage presents additional health risks not present in a clean water source. Is there water in the crawlspace? Is the water damage from a leaking roof or leaking foundation? All of these present more or less complicated emergency response.

Is the whole house flooded or is it a basement flood? Is it catastrophic flooding or a minor leaking toilet supply? Are there damaged ceilings? Is there only a little wet carpet, or are there water damaged hardwood floors and wet insulation? Of major concern is whether you have the ability to identify the true extent of the water migration. Is there hidden water damage in walls, water damage in the ceiling or water damage in the floor assembly?

Understanding the type and extent of a water damage  affects how to deal with the flooded carpet, damaged sheet rock and other water damage. You must decide if you have the ability to stop water damage  from getting worse. Water extraction from flooded buildings may be as simple as a mop and a shop vac or may require a professional emergency response to properly complete the flood cleanup and mitigation of water damage in addition to the need for water damage repair or water damage restoration.

A basement flood resulting in water in the basement or a basement water damage  is just as serious or may be more serious that a water damage floor upstairs or water damaged ceiling repair. If they are not addressed quickly and appropriately the danger exists that long term damage to paint, damage to sheetrock or damage to insulation can develop. Then there is always the threat of mold damage or mold growth from water damage that requires professional mold remediation to limit possible unwanted health effects from mold.

If you decide that you cannot successfully carry out a water damage emergency service, a water damage mitigation, mold remediation and a water damage repair or water damage restoration, at REE-Construction/First General Idaho we have 24/7 emergency water damage service to water damage in Idaho that you might encounter.

 

Call Us Now for immediate response if you need a professional damage restoration company to respond to your emergency water damage event.

Category of water damage

Water damage comes in various forms and the water may only be part of the problem

 

Damage Restoration, Tricks and TPA’s

As 2015 dawns, changes in the water damage and fire damage restoration industries continues to unfold.  We can chalk this up to simple maturity of a relationship between insurance companies and restoration contractors.  Some of the changes are a result of abuses by less than scrupulous contractors and some of it may be looked at as insurance companies looking for ways to  modify their business model as factors such a lower interest rates on investments, translating into lower ROI on those investment, make such a change necessary.

The damage restoration industry enjoyed a long run a loose controls and the opportunity for truly significant margins for a lot of years in the last quarter of the 20th century.  This isn’t unusual for a immature industry.  It takes time for a wide audience to identify the opportunity and competition to begin to flood into the market.  The damage restoration industry was, not that long ago, an almost secret society, with closely held secret formulas and techniques to accomplish the task if restoring damaged property.  The dawn of the internet saw the increasingly free exchange of information about “how to” work the  magic spells of removing odor and restoring damaged material.  Actually the exchange wasn’t necessarily free as aging restorers saw an opportunity to quit responding to difficult situations 24 hours a day and offered education (for a price) in the sorcerer’s ways.

For many years insurers were more than willing to trade premium and claim dollars as their ability to invest andgain substantial returns made the claim dollars a means to an end  rather than a end in and of itself.  .The despicable acts of 9/11 resulted in a rapid change of that model as insurers saw reserves dwindle as the many of costs of the damage to the economy were reimbursed by insurers as a result of coverages that had never really been exploited.

Smoke damaged House

residential Fire damage restoration Project

The trend continued well beyond the immediate affects of 9/11 had diminished as insures saw claims dollars as an opportunity to increase margins with management of those costs.  This shift lead the birth of TPA’s or third party administrators that managed the property claims process for a fee.  This “new” industry has grown by fits and starts as new players enter, each offering to lower costs and provide relief from abuses, both real and perceived, that may occur in the restoration industry.  Their share of the market has increased slowly, but steadily over the past several years and it is believed they control somewhere around 20% of the claims market at this writing.

The relationships between the insurers, the TPA’s and restoration contractors are tense at times as some restorers believe they are on the receiving end of abuses of unfair price control and improper scoping of damage.

 

These relationships will continue to mature as less efficient players are forced out of the restoration marketboth on the restorers side and the TPA side.  The ride is a little bumpy at time presently, but repairs, restoration, damage mitigation and require the ability to respond to and adjust to changing condition to be successful.  That hasn’t gone away, just the face of the industry is evolving to meet the current challenges of the market.

Water damaged commercial space

Water damages a school i Hagerman Idaho

 

Scoping the Damage

When a home or business is damaged as the result of uncontrolled release of water, a smoke damage or a damage from a fire, the first step is to control the loss.  This is typically accomplished by the intervention of a property damage restoration contracting company that will remove excess water, begin restorative drying and address smoke or fire residues before they cause irreparable damage to things like electronic components or finishes.

Roof Work after Fire

Work is completed on a fire damaged chimney by REE-Construction

Once the conditions that allow continued ill affects to property and contents are completed, a systematic and thorough appraisal of the work required to bring the property back to its pre-loss condition can be completed.

The process that is typically followed to establish the scope of work and arrive at an agreed upon price for completing that work is generally  pretty straightforward.  The insurance company assigned an adjuster to the loss, the homeowner hires a restoration contractor to help them establish what has been damaged and the degree of that damage.  The adjuster may write a preliminary scope of work and place a value on that work, but usually there is an interaction between the contractor chosen by the property owner and the insurer to verify the details of what needs to be done and exactly what the value of the work described will be.

Hiring a competent contractor to act as the trusted advisor during the claims process can help make that process go more smoothly and assure that the full extent of the damage is identified and included in the scope of work that will be undertaken to bring the property back to pre-loss condition.  This isn’t a matter of an adversarial relationship, but a combined effort to make sure that all the damage is identified and a reasonable or appropriate value is placed on the work required to complete those repairs, replacement or restoration.

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