Water Damage Mitigation claims in Fairfax County VA.

When water damage restoration projects have “specialty aspects” the difficulty level, liability & value of the project is automatically increased.  This often raises the question “will my insurance cover all my water damage restoration expenses?”  The answer to this question entirely depends on your water damage insurance policy, and the exclusions of coverage.

“For the most part, your homeowner’s insurance will cover all aspects of damage restoration included in the IICRC S500 & S520.”

It is a good idea to speak with your insurance agent and ask about coverage for “special circumstances” and “add on policies” such as mold remediation coverage, temporary housing coverage, personal property coverage, trauma scene coverage and other such circumstances.  Your project manager will be able to advise you per industry standards regarding the best way to handle your water damage claim.

Water Extraction Fairfax County VA

Early one Sunday morning a customer called from Fairfax, VA.  From their description, it seemed like an ordinary basement flood due to sump pump failure.  My customer was very concerned about water damage and for good reason.  After inheriting a home left to him by his father in Fairfax, VA, my customer was experiencing one unexpected home expense after another, not including the flooded basement he called me about.

Unfortunately, my customer had been burned by other Fairfax County, VA contractors and was very on edge about the water damage restoration process ahead.  Like many customers, he was unfamiliar with his homeowner’s policy and did not know if insurance would cover.  I patiently explained to my customer the insurance claims process:

“I can’t tell you what your insurance company will or won’t do, but I can tell you that sump pump failures are typically covered in Fairfax County, VA.”

 My advice to homeowners is do not short yourself when it comes to your homeowner’s insurance policy.  A small flood can easily add up to thousands of dollars in water damage, especially living in Fairfax County, VA.  With low water damage insurance caps, under 20k, a customer can quickly find themselves running out of money in their water damage policy, especially if specially services such as contents pack out and contents restoration are needed.

Fairfax County VA Water Damage Restoration

Fairfax County VA Water Damage Mitigation and Content Manipulation

The first specialty aspect for review on this project has to deal with content manipulation.  In mold and water damage restoration, content manipulation is moving property from one place to another and then back to its original position.  Content manipulation is an official Xactimate line item and is used in over 95% of damage restoration projects.

Any item moved in the execution of a water damage restoration project is invoiced as part of content manipulation.  However, not all contents are manipulated during the water removal phase of a water damage restoration project.

 Many inexperienced contractors can find themselves liable for damages when attempting to move customer property.   For example, a water damage contractor should never attempt to move a slate pool table, no matter many people are able to lend a hand.  The slate can actually break, and the contractor can be held responsible in Fairfax, VA.  This is true even if you have a clause in your service agreement about damages that may occur during the course of water damage restoration.

As with other industry caveats, your liability starts when the danger is identified.  Entertainment centers, bars, gym equipment, aquariums, grandfather clocks, bookshelves may also require expert moving and disassembly.

Fairfax County VA Water Damage Contents Pack out and Pack Back

Many times, the contents of a flooded area need to be completely removed from a home.  This may take place for several reasons.  One reason is to clean, deodorize and restore water damaged furniture.  Another reason is to clear space for reconstruction efforts such as installing carpet or other flooring.

 “If your water damage contractor does not have the IICRC CPT Certification, they should sub-contract that portion to a professional moving company or a water damage company with the cert.”

 Contents pack out is a specialty service not all water damage restoration companies provide.  The reason is because it is not a requirement for water running a water damage restoration company.  Damage restoration companies offering pack out/ pack back services should have a temperature-controlled storage facility, be able to catalog the property moved, and carry special property damage liability insurance.

At the time of this writing, Flood Metrix does not provide contents pack out and pack back services directly and contract with PSI Cleaning and Restoration or another reputable pack out company for these services.

Fairfax County VA Contents Restoration

Sometimes furniture and clothes can be damage by water, smoke and mold.  This damage isn’t only restricted to material degradation, but also includes smoke and mold odors.  Contents restoration also includes cleaning water damaged designer shoes, handbags, furs, and similar high-ticket items.  Electronics are also included in contents restoration.

IICRC CPT Certification

“The IICRC Contents Processing Technician certification is designed to demonstrate a technician’s expertise in the practice of contents recovery and processing procedures.  This certification covers the best practices of contents processing based on available technology and resources.  Topics include restoration of contents subjected to various sources of contamination as well as inspection, inventorying, wrapping, packing, transport, cleaning science, deodorizing, post-cleaning evaluation, storage, and pack back principles (chain of custody).”

Fairfax County VA Basement Flood Restoration

 This Fairfax County basement flood contained each of these specialty aspects, which were treated by specialists.  Most Fairfax County water damage restoration contractors do not provide all aspects of restoration directly in house and every insurance company is aware of this industry norm.  With insurance billing your mitigation contractor may add on a “sub-contractors fee,” as this is business standard.  However, Flood Metrix DOES NOT make this fee standard operating procedure for residential self-pay customers.

State Farm Covers Major Basement Flood In Fairfax County, VA

 The insurance adjuster who handled this claim was an inexperienced water damage claims adjustor, which made it easy to explain how the insured was hesitant to proceed with certain aspects of mitigation, because he was not sure what would be covered.  In the end, all of my customers’ concerns were settled and the customer ended up with ZERO out of pocket expenses for a Fairfax VA basement.  Choose Metrix over the Matter, Because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.

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