Water intrusions, flood and excess moisture each have the power to cause minor damage or wreak havoc on an indoor environment such as your home or office. As the planet is over 70% water and composed of microbial elements, the conditions needed to trigger and support mold growth are always present. All that that is needed to destroy this delicate balance is the introduction of excess moisture. Whenever moisture content and humidity levels become abnormally high, microorganisms such as mold will naturally begin to multiply exponentially. This rapid increase of mold growth can lead to structural deterioration, odors and has the real potential to create serious health issues for building occupants.
When a water damage occurs, the single most critical factor of estimating the potential damage is the amount of time the structure has been wet and how long the structure remains abnormally wet. This fundamental principle is the reason why the most critical course of action of a water damage restoration professional is to respond quickly and begin the water removal process as soon as possible. All other actions taken during a water mitigation project pivot around this very important principle.
Water Damage Mitigation and Restorative Drying
The restorative the drying process consists of 4 basic tenants:
Each water damage project consists of “standards” and “variables” which make the mitigation project unique. Though the standards are numbered and remain constant, the variables of water damage remain without number. Due to the fluctuating nature of water damage mitigation, the professional must, like water, remain flexible in their approach.
Water damage restoration professional must rely on the science of phychrometrics and the atmospheric reading of their tools throughout the drying process. Anyone engaging in the business of water damage mitigation should follow the standards of care established by the restoration industry known as the IICRC S500 standard and reference guide for professional water damage restoration. Our goal as mitigation/restoration professionals is to reverse the damage caused to an indoor structure by water intrusion into an environment of equal or greater condition and cleanliness than before the water damage occurred. Additionally, the ethics of water damage dictates that we provide such rescue in the most economical and efficient means possible.
A water damage restoration professional begins this process by identifying all affected areas and materials. Water must be tracked from its source and followed in every direction to establish an accurate parameter of the flood damage. What results from this documentation is known as a moisture map. Additional information included with the moisture map includes material types affected and their location relative to the map. Materials noted will include items such as: type of flooring, baseboards, walls, furniture and even structures such as a fireplace or HVAC unit.
Affected materials are evaluated against three criteria to determine if they should be restored or replaced. The three criteria are:
degree of contamination
Identifying which “contents and materials” are salvageable and which should be replaced, is at the root of all structural drying strategy. When dealing with high value structure materials such as cabinets and wood floors, the attempt to salvage and restore is always made before these items are removed. This is a technical process and is primarily done to document that an attempt was made so that adjustor is able to justify the “payout” related to your water damage claim. Contents of high sentimental value such as wedding dresses, collectibles, career memorabilia and should also never be discarded without the homeowners’ permission.
Water Damage Demolition And Dry Out
Water Damaged materials which have been determined to be “unsalvageable” according to IICRC S500 standards and are of relatively low value should be removed or manipulated to the to facilitate drying restoration. The method of restoration used to remove water damaged materials is known as “disruptive drying” and may include the removal of finish materials such as drywall, baseboards, carpet, pad, and other cellulose based materials.
All materials that have been determined to be “restorable” are relocated on or off-site for treatment. The amount of moisture absorbed by a material is measured and documented as the moisture content level of a mitigation report. Moisture content levels are crucial to the drying process for two reasons:
This information influences the amount of equipment used.
Provides observable measurements used to determine if the drying process is working.
The drying process of a water damage mitigation project is monitored with equipment and or regular on-site visits. A water damage restoration professional can compare moisture readings from the previous day to measure progress. If materials are found to have made sufficient progress in the initial 24 hours then drying continues, and no major changes are made to the strategy. If materials are not drying, then it becomes clear that the current approach is not working. In this case, the water damage restoration professional must the change his or her approach and may employ additional measures to balance the concern of mold growth and contamination.
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Water Damage Drying Cycle
The cycle of evaluation and reevaluation must continue throughout the restoration process the. Also, it is critical that the drying process to allowed to continue without interruption. If the drying process is not working the water damage professional must modify the drying environment by adding or subtracting equipment or possibly removing wet non salvageable materials. Water mitigation professional should strive to provide the most economical and effective methods for mitigating water damage and project cost.
Throughout the water mitigation drying process, a professional must constantly ask “is this drying properly”? This means to restorer must also know their “dry goal”. A dry goal is determined by measuring non affected materials to get an environmental standard. Armed with this knowledge a water damage mitigation professional knows how to calculate to create the necessary changes to realize a “dry” indoor environment.
The water damage mitigation drying standard was designed to ensure that each water damage restoration project can be done properly, according to scientific method. It is important that all water damage restoration industry processes and procedures are carefully followed. Our tactically approaches should also be specific and flexible just like the water damage itself. Being able to employ both tactic and strategy ensures not only the successful completion of a mitigation, but also translates to significant time, stress and financial savings.
If you or anyone you know needs water damage mitigation, restoration or mold remediation services, “Choose Metrix over the Matter, because the Power to Change the matter is in the Metrix”.
Responsible homeowners have the most to gain from the experience of a water damage emergency in their home or office due to homeowners’ insurance. This coverage is key; however, most homeowners are unclear about the inclusions and exclusions of their policy. Additionally, most policy holders don’t know how to use their insurance nor do they know what to expect from filing a claim. Everyone knows that coverage is a necessity, but no one ever wants to imagine having to actually use their policy. Its understandable how nobody wants to imagine their house flooding or a pipe busting to cause major water damage. Most homeowners purchase insurance simply because it’s a requirement from the bank and so that we have the financial backing we need to get us back on our feet in case of a flood or water damage emergency.
You would think that having coverage would be enough to keep people at ease, but from my experience, it’s really not. According to Metrix research, we discovered that although a person may have homeowners’ insurance, most are people are scared of using their insurance for fear that their premiums might increase, that they may get dropped, or that insurance may not cover the damages. This fear holds many people back from actually claiming the benefit they pay into month after month.
Two Sides To Water Damage
There are two sides to every coin, heads and a tails. In this example, let’s say they say that tales represents the unknown and inherent stress of a water damage and that heads represents the satisfaction of responsibly mitigating a water damage claim and all that is inherent to that. One coin but it’s got two sides. Most people will discover a basement flood or water damage and will enter the dark side of this this coin, the tail side. This is the phase of panic, stress, fear and uncertainty. Most people don’t know who to call in cases of a flood or an emergency water damage and because they don’t have a relationship with a contractor that specializes in this unique type of endeavor, they scramble in a panic to find help. Most people will contact their insurance company to report damage and expect the insurance company to take care of everything. Unfortunately, this not the way that it works, and the homeowner soon discovers the weight of their responsibility to take care of their own property.
Once you file a claim with your insurance company, you’ve given them notice of damage and they can often refer you to one of their program vendors. Insurance companies love to use their own “program vendors” because these contractors agree to provide the insurance network/TPA at least a 25% discount, but this discount can be up to and in excess of 50%. An insurance company is a business and they want to save money however possible and practical.
Choose Flood Metrix Over The Matter
The Power To Change The Matter
Is In The Metrix
Water Damage Pricing Is Standardized By Xactimate
Xactimate is a program we use in the water damage and damage restoration industry to standardize pricing based on zip code. The IICRC and Insurance Industry use Xactimate as a “fair pricing standard” for all flood, water and damage restoration projects. Most water damage project are paid by insurance and contractors who provide water damage restoration services are getting through insurance whether they or program vendors or not. Your insurance company will even tell you that you can hire any qualified contractor you see fit. As long as a project is properly documented and the insurance company is obligated to pay the Xactimate value of a line item, but not more.
Homeowners must understand how to use their insurance coverage so that they can receive the full benefits thereof. Often homeowners fear that if they use their insurance policy it will cause their insurance premiums to raise or cause their insurance company to drop them. This thinking is rooted in fear and uncertainty and couldn’t be further from the truth. The moment you file a flood or water damage claim with your insurance company, they are required by law to set aside funds to satisfy your claim. They are also required by law to pay out at least the Xactimate value of a line item.
IICRC And Water Damage Claims
Stop here and let the above paragraph sink in. It is important for a water damage contractor to understand insurance billing because Xactimate is the “pricing standard” that the IICRC and Insurance Industry uses to standardize pricing for emergency restoration services such as water damage, flood, fire, storm damage, mold remediation and the like. Pricing for these services standardized by the Xactimate software to keep pricing fair and to prevent price gauging.
Insurance companies want water damage mitigation contractors to use Xactimate but does not always want to pay the Xactimate value of a flood or water damage project. However, this is simply the process of submitting a bill and working with the insurance company. They are obligated to satisfy any legitimate invoice submitted related to your claim as long as every line item billed has been documented. Adjustors are accustomed to working with program vendors to and good independent contractors to negotiate better pricing. Its not that they won’t pay, its simply that they want to get a deal also.
Non-Program Water Damage Contractors
It is unreasonable to expect a vendor who does not constantly receive program work from an insurance company to offer the same price discount as if they were. It’s a lot easier for a water damage contractor to give an insurance company a discount on services, when the insurance company is sending them 1 or 2 jobs a month. Discounts on services are for the people who own homes not for businesses such as insurance companies.
A major part of our duty in the water damage restoration industry is to simply educate the general public on the subject. We find that by providing educational resources to our customers it helps to eliminate and alleviate a lot of the stress inherent to water damage restoration. Again, most people start on the “dark side” of the coin when they discover a flooded basement, that their water heater or water pipe has busted. However, after a person chooses Flood Metrix over the matter, we take immediate action to carry that customer away from their current state of confusion and panic. We begin moving them from stress to satisfaction which is ultimately what our mission is all about.
A major key to accomplishing our mission educating the customer about the water damage restoration process, what they should expect and demand from their insurance provider. When a person starts to understand their insurance coverage, they can also they start to see the light. They realize that although their basement flooded or there was water damage in some part of the home, they also have insurance. Having the proper coverage means that all damages will be addressed, resulting in equal or greater final results, and that is worthy of celebration.
Choose Flood Metrix For Water Damage Restoration
When a person chooses Metrics over the Matter for water damage restoration, it turns out becoming one of the best experiences they will ever have with a contractor. The satisfactions of their mitigation experience is greater than their initial jolt of stress and shock. We get onsite there and begin the water damage restoration process. We do the water removal, mold remediation and dry out everything that’s wet. Then we set our customers up for reconstruction and get them connected with the right remodelers. The happiness and contentment which is a result of working with true professionals in the industry floods out and overshadows any stress or discontentment that the customer may have initially experienced. This is the Metrix Mission, to move our customers from stress to satisfaction, and to help them both know and understand their rights and responsibilities as a policy holder.
Sometimes customer feel anxiety dealing with a “direct to consumer” water damage restoration provider because they believe they will get stuck with a bill if insurance doesn’t pay. Again, this is why a customer needs to understand how pricing and billing works in the water damage restoration industry. No contractor wants to get a reputation of being unable to settle invoices with an insurance company, because many field adjustors work the same geographical area. All we want is to get paid for our work after we have mitigated the water damage problem with complications and doing a bad job/not doing it properly is causes complications.
Best Customer Service In Water Damage Restoration
Some customers are just used to dealing with businesses and contractors who only care about money, they really don’t have the customer’s best interest at heart and who really don’t care to understand what it is that this person is going through. It’s all about their bottom line and from the Metrix perspective, this is short sighted, and is not a good way to do business. At Metrix next restoration we seek to empower our customers. We seek to provide them with the details of their situation and to give them as much insight about their project as possible. We do not want our customers to be blindsided with details that should have been brought to their attention from day one.
When a customer really begins to understand their responsibility as a policy holder, the fear of dealing with their insurance company also begins to dissipate. Having a water damage with insurance and not filling a claim is like winning the lottery and not claiming your prize. Sometimes there are mitigating circumstances around water damage restoration projects that insurance companies don’t always like to pay for, but they will pay for them if the policy holder is aware of their rights and how to negotiation their benefit.
Commonly customers are just too tired and overwhelmed to make their insurance company do what they are supposed to do. Or they don’t want to get into it with their insurance company because they don’t know what they are required to do by law. Many times, homeowners might see an invoice $15,000 or $20,000 or $40,000 or more for water damage mitigation and to the homeowner that seems like a lot of money.
However, they are thinking in terms of their own income, not in terms of the assets which are held by the insurance company. Insurance carriers have millions and of dollars set aside to handle water damage claims. When you’re working with that kind of a budget, a $20,000 or $50,000 invoice truly only a drop in the bucket in comparison to what these insurance networks actually have on hand and are actually generating.
Water Damage Industry Standards
Sometimes people fear that their one claim is going to bankrupt the insurance company or that their $30,000 claim is going to make the insurance company all of a sudden not want to do business with them anymore. However, homeowners should realize that paying claims is the nature of the insurance industry. This is why policies are written in different ways to include and exclude certain aspects of damages. Where the confusion comes in with homeowner is that they really don’t know what is included in their policy and they really don’t know what is excluded in their policy.
For the record, there are generals standard which are included in most policies. These general coverage standards are based on the IICRC S500 water damage and S520 mold remediation standards. Such general coverage includes specifics line such as water removal and extraction, structural drying, pack outs and content manipulation, demo and reconstruction. Likewise, the general exclusions are based on sudden and accidental damage. If damage is due to lack of maintenance of behalf of the homeowner, insurance companies are not likely to get involved.
Overcoming The Panic Of Water Damage
This is what this is what scares a lot of homeowners, they don’t know if the water damage will be considered sudden or accidental and so it paralyzes them. This fear rapids turns a $1000 water damage deductible into a $12,000 personal bill. This article was written to educate and encourage insurance policy holders to use your insurance. The reason we buy insurance is to use it when its needed. If an insurance company gives you a difficult time after when you have only done what a responsible homeowner should do, you should drop them and find a new carrier. You would need to file multiple claims in a short period of time in order for your insurance company to be able to justify dropping you. Again, there are laws preventing the insurance carriers from dropping the homeowners just because they use their coverage.
Homeowners must get over this fear because every month you are paying into this insurance and it’s generating money for the insurance company. The insurance company is making money off of those monthly payments and trust me, they’re making a lot more money than what they pay out of any claim, that’s just the way the system works. We have to remind ourselves of this so that we can act in surety and confidence when we approach the insurance company.
One thing for certain and two things for sure, the insurance company will try to shortchange your claim but there are methods for handling your insurance carrier such as going through the appeals process, hiring a public adjustor, or suing the insurance company for not paying the bill. Many times an insurance company will shortchange a claim on purpose just because they can, it’s almost standard operating procedure. Insurance companies operate for their own best interest and will use your ignorance to their benefit.
This is what this article is written, to help empower the homeowner. We want to help you get everything you are entitled to, every single time, and we’re going to help direct you to get the satisfaction you deserve.
Flood Metrix Over The Matter
The Metrix customer is a mind over matter type of individual. The metrics customer wants to look at the bright side, wants to focus on the benefit, wants to focus on the solution and not the problem. We want to remind our customers that although your home be in a wreck today, when we get finished it will be in an even better position than it was before. That is the reminder we want to put into the consciousness of our customers so that they are not afraid and know how to proceed even in the chaos and the stress of a flood or water damage.
If your or someone you know needs help with a water damage problem, choose Metrix over the Matter, because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.
The homeowners guide to basement flood damage restoration produced by Flood Metrix is our attempt to educate the public about water damage restoration. We believe that education is a main factor in accomplishing our mission, which is to move a customer from stress to satisfaction. Having a plan of action in case of a flooded basement really helps a customer to rest at ease during a time that is naturally stressful.
Many homeowners don’t know what their insurance company will or will not cover. This article is going to include some standard procedures for basement flooding so that homeowners can better understand what to expect.
We should begin with what is considered basement flooding
First, let’s break the subject down into three parts:
Basement Water Damage
Basement leaks can originate from a crack in the foundation, failed plumbing or plumbing related appliances. Leaks originating outside the home are not typically covered by standard homeowners’ insurance, an additional policy for a flood protection is usually needed. I recommend reading your policy and contacting your agent to discuss any question before they arise.
Basement Floods Water Proofing
It is always a good idea to have a water proofing expert make suggestions about the best water proofing options for your basement. An expert will be able to let your know if installing some a simple water barrier is enough for your project or if you need greater support. It all depends on the location of your home, and the condition of the basement, and your goals as the homeowner as to what maybe considered the best course of action for preventing a basement flood in your home.
When To Call A Water Damage Professional
Homeowners should call a professional whenever there is more than 10 gallons and or sewer water involved. Basement flooding typically involves multiple areas of a basement or over 60% of a basement. Anytime you experience a basement flood, the first step is to contact an IICRC certified water damage professional. It is better to call an experienced water damage professional, because most plumbers do not understand the insurance process of basement flood claims.
If you are unable to stop the water flow, then definitely call the plumber first. But if you can, call the water damage restoration professional first they can explain to you your options with filing a claim. Homeowner really need to understand that the inspection report is the document they need to support their damage claim.
The very first step to a basement flood damage mitigation is to choose a qualified and reputable water damage restoration professional. If you are able to stop the leak yourself, you do not need to call the plumber first, you need to call a water damage restoration professional, even before you call your insurance company to make your claim.
Flooded Basement Service Agreement
Most companies require that you sign a service agreement. Signing a water damage service agreement is important because not only does it protect the water damage restoration company, but it also protects the homeowner. Both parties become protected from no fault damages.
Initial Water Damage Report
Most homeowner are not experts at making damage reports for official basement flood coverage. One advantage of hiring a water mitigation company first is the additional help you have with properly filing your basement flood insurance claim. After you’ve chosen a qualified water damage mitigation professional, the next order of business is to inspect for primary, as well as secondary damages. We want to document both what is and what is not affected at the time of arrival. Videos, photos, written notes, diagrams, measurements, along with psychometric analysis are all use to create basement flood damage reports to be shared with the homeowner and insurance adjustor.
Your basement flood damage project manager should be able to answer questions related to and provide help with filing your water damage mitigation claim. Information such as: how to report a water damage mitigation claim and your rights and responsibilities when filing a water mitigation claim. The initial report usually takes an hour to create and with today’s technology can be completed onsite.
Step2: Basement Flood Water Removal
After the paperwork is taken care of, the water extraction can begin. The water removal method depends on how much water is in the basement. If there is less than more than six inches of standing water in the basement pumps will be used to quickly remove standing water from the basement. If there is less 6 inches of water, portable extraction equipment will be used to remove standing water from the basement.
What to do if basement flood water becomes frozen?
If you come across a case where the basement has flooded, and the water has frozen. The only way to proceed would be to restore power, either through the electrical system or by generators to warm up the house. Then the water can melt and then be pumped out of the house so that the mitigation process can proceed.
A Pack Out Is Standard Basement Flood Mitigation Procedure
A flood damage pack out is considered a specialty skill and even has its own IICRC certification. Pack outs are typically necessary when dealing with basement floods because contents must be removed from the affected area during water damage mitigation. Pack outs are the process of moving a customers’ items for storage and must be done in an organized fashion. Homeowners’ contents are labeled and can be always tract during the mitigation and reconstruction portion of a basement flood damage restoration project. Compare this to content manipulation, which is relocating affected items on site. Often a pack outs are the preferred course of action for all parties involved, including insurance companies.
Homeowners are hesitant when they don’t know if insurance is going to pay for certain costs, however, a pack out is standard basement flood damage mitigation procedure. It is recognized by insurance carriers, and they even have a special billing for this service which includes storage.
Step 3: Water Damage Demolition
Homeowners tend to worry about the cost of water damage restoration, but the truth is that it may not even cost you anything out of pocket. If your insurance deductible is $1000 then that is your total out of pocket expense for a new basement. In most cases, especially when you’re dealing with a good water damage restoration contractor and a flooded basement you should be able to defer your deductible to avoid any out-of-pocket emergency expenses.
The commitment of an insurance carrier is to bring you back to a pre lost condition. When dealing with water damage restoration projects and flooded basements oftentimes there are many damaged materials that need to be removed. This is the 3rd step to water damage mitigation. During the demolition portion of your project all unsalvable materials throughout the flooded basement will be removed for disposal. area after the demolition is complete and all wet and affected materials have been removed will then move on to step 4.
Step 4: Decontamination
During the decontamination phase, any exposed structural frame of the home be cleaned and decontaminated along with the walls and floors. This process includes HEPA extraction and the application of antimicrobial. In some case this also includes the HVAC.
Step 5: Water Damage Structural Drying
Once the demo phase is complete your water damage project moves into the dry out phase. OK The dry out phase includes of a lot of air movers to manipulate the air flow and dehumidifiers to pull excess water from structural materials and other contents in the area. This help to prevent further secondary damages including microbial growth. When the dry out phase is complete your water damage mitigation project is complete.
At the end of a water damage mitigation a customer will be given a final walkthrough. They will be allowed to inspect and will be asked to sign a certificate of completion. The insurance company will be sent an invoice which is normally paid 30 days. The average time frame for a water mitigation to be complete is about three to five days. However, water damage reconstruction can take a lot longer due its nature. It’s a good idea for a water damage restoration contractor to closely network with a basement remodeling company to better assist their customers in these situations.
4 Hidden Causes of Flooded Basements:
The natural position of your home or office relative to its natural environment is a major factor when considering the possibility of future water damage or basement flooding. Understanding where your house is built in relation to land elevation & sloop is important when planning to prevent basement flooding. Low quality materials and poor craftmanship is a dangerous mix and is more susceptible to water damage causing basement flooding.
Water Drainage System
Improper installation of underground drainage system by your home builder can cause many complications and are not likely to be discovered until a basement flood damage occurs. However, you can do your part to prevent a basement flood. Proper maintenance of your sump pump includes having a back up power source. Even this precaution will fail if the builder makes a mistake.
French drain installation can be a great defense against basement flooding. If you live in the Northern VA or Southern MD area and plan to use your basement as living space, then French Drain Installation is highly recommended as a defense against water damage.
Gutter maintenance and water diversion is important to the overall water damage protection of your home. Clogged gutters can cause ceiling to wall water damage. When gutter water is not diverted away from the home, water pressure increases around basement perimeters. This makes basement water damage and basement flooding more likely.
Foundation Cracks & Leaks
Foundation cracks can be tiny but turn into a major water damage cleanup. High humidity levels are the result of leaky pipes, water intrusion, foundation cracks and many other water damage issues. Mold growth is a secondary damage caused by water, in gas or liquid form. Foundation cracks become weaker by poor drainage. As the ground becomes over saturated, the pressure per square inch increases as does the chance for basement flooding and basement water damage.
Making additions to your home must be carefully planned. Increased water pressure around a basement perimeter is almost a certainty when additions do not align with precision. The risk of basement flooding is higher when water pressure around a basement foundation is multiplied.
The last thing you want to do is panic if your insurance company denies your flood or water damage claim. Flood Metrix will not complete a water damage restoration project with the intent to bill insurance if the source of your water damage or flood is not typically covered by insurance.
No representative of Flood Metrix can state the fact of what your water damage insurance provider will or will not cover. Flood Metrix will perform an initial assessment and document all water damage discovered during the process. This information will be used to help your insurance company determine coverage.
Insurance companies are not always able to determine coverage over the phone. Water damage adjustors rely heavily on documentation provided by the water damage mitigation company, the plumbers report and your insurance coverage. Over 85% of the water damage claims handled by Water Damage, Mold & Flood Metrix LLC in 2021 were complete or in the drying phase before an insurance adjustor ever came on site.
We are trained for emergency response to Commercial & Residential Water Damage
The emergency part of flood & water damage restoration is executed with an “emergency response attitude” to stop/mitigate water damage. You and your insurance company want this immediate response, but the insurance adjustor also needs documented information. Flood Metrix aims to have an initial project report completed within 24-36 hours of responding to a flood damage or water removal project.
The Reason your Flood/Water Damage Claim Was Denied May Shock You.
Not all water damage claims are covered by insurance due to policy design or exclusions. You may think there wouldn’t be any other reason your water damage claim could be denied, but you would be mistaken.
Insurance is meant to cover “sudden or accidental” damages not “long term/lack of maintenance” damages. This is where the overwhelming majority coverage mistakes are made because making the determination of sudden vs maintenance issue is not always easy.
Review your homeowners’ policy for the appeals procedure
If you water damage claim is denied, then review your policy to better understand the appeals process. Many homeowners do not realize that many claims are covered after they have completed the water damage claim appeals process. The process can be long and stressful but well worth the reward.
Act within the allotted appeals time frame and be diligent. It is a good idea to start by sending an email to your insurance company notifying them of your intention to formally appeal the denial of your water damage claim.
Contact your Insurance Agent, they sold you the policy
The insurance agent who sold you your policy has a vested interest in keeping your policy open. They can be a valuable resource in helping you to navigate your water damage claim appeals process.
Your adjustor may be inexperienced and lack knowledge of advanced restoration industry details. Or they may be very experienced, but still not be an IICRC Certified flood or water damage expert.
Check the credentials of your insurance adjustor, they may not be IICRC certified, which means their opinion is not an “expert opinion on water damage restoration”. Your water damage service provider/company should have more IICRC certifications than your insurance adjustor.
Hire an IICRC Certified Water Damage Company
Always hire a water damage restoration company with IICRC certified technicians. If a portion or all of your water damage claim gets denied due to how your adjustor interprets information about the flood, the IICRC credentials of your water damage restoration contractor can easily help get your claim paid.
Why is this important?
Whoever has more water damage IICRC certifications also has the most authoritative opinion on water damage restoration. Flood Metrix has IICRC Certified Master water damage restoration professionals on staff.
Reports & Documentation
All lines items submitted for payment should be supported by an organized presentation of photos, videos reports and projects notes. A claim or portion thereof can easily be denied due to non-submittal of supporting documentation.
“Water Bills Don’t Lie”
Another key factor in proving your claim is by submitting copies of your water bills. This will show the sudden spike of water loss at the time of your flood.
Organize and submit evidence to rebut reason for denial. Be sure to inform your water damage service provider, they can provide IICRC citations to support your claim.
Highlight IICRC S500 & S520 Water Damage/Mold Remediation Standards
Your insurance company is obligated to pay flood and water damage restoration costs in accordance with IICRC standards.
You may have waived your right to sue your insurance company and may only have arbitration as your course of action. Most insurance companies have an “ombudsman” responsible for handling escalated appeals. It is their job to resolves such matters.
Contact A Public Adjuster, they don’t get paid until you do.
Public adjusters can also help apply pressure to your insurance company to pay your claim if it should be covered. Public adjusters work for you and not for the insurance company. You may find the services they provide invaluable to helping get a difficult water damage claim settled.
Scott A. White is Commissioner of the Virginia Bureau of Insurance with the SCC//State Corporation Commission.
Frozen Pipes & Winter Water Damage by Metrix Restoration
Winter weather brings an added element of difficulty & danger to water damage restoration claims. We all can understand how each flood or water damage cleanup comes with both general & special needs.
In this article we will highlight how winter weather affects water damage restoration operations, the most common causes of winter water damage & what you can do to protect your home.
Making water pipe maintenance a priority this winter is a good idea, especially if the climate of your area sustains temperatures of freezing or below. Cracked & Busted Pipes due to freezing temperature is cited by most insurance adjustors and water damage restoration professionals as the #1 cause of residential water damage during winter, according to R. Noel, GM of Flood Metrix in Stafford, VA.
“Of course, roof leaks and ceiling damage caused by ice dams are also very common throughout the water damage industry in areas with longer winter seasons and heavy snow fall, but busted pipes still rank #1 in Northern VA, District of Columbia & Southern MD.”
How Frozen Pipes Cause Water Damage
The physical materials of your home are under constant “attack” by its surrounding environment. Most homeowners understand that weather in general can affect the structural integrity of their home, and still never consider how nature itself is a natural “stress factor” affecting their home on a day-to-day basis.
Temperature differentials in air currents, air pressure, convection are each invisible factors of winter water damage, unnoticeable to the naked eye.
During winter temperatures can remain at freezing or below for weeks and months at a time. In such climates freezing rains, icy wind chills and snow become like “military special force units” making structures more susceptible to flooding and water damage.
The good news is that keeping your home in good condition with up-to-date maintenance is the best defense against winter water damage. In fact, keeping your home reasonably heated is enough to prevent frozen pipes from busting & causing water damage/flooding.
Energy.gov recommends an average inside temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Unoccupied homes are much more susceptible to flooding due to frozen/busted pipes when compared to homes which are occupied with regular home maintenance. One reason for this is that unoccupied homes are also more likely to have colder inside temperatures.
Additionally, unoccupied homes are more likely to behind on routine maintenance. When you combine cold temperatures with points of direct exposure to water pipes, freezing becomes a scientific certainty.
Frozen water obstructs and water flow and multiplies pressure per square in throughout pipes until they crack or bust. The chances of this happening begin to increase exponentially when temperatures reach 20 degrees Fahrenheit and below.
Water damage restoration companies must then use additional specialty drying equipment including directed heat, adding to the financial costs of flood damage.
Melting Snow & Water Damage
Everyone loves the beauty of freshly fallen snow, but nobody loves the water damage melting snow can cause. Drain backup and overflows are common due to melting snow.
The ground becomes heavily saturated while sewer systems are flooded with melting snow on top of its normal capacity. For tips to help prevent water damage see our related article on water damage prevention.
Ice Dams and Roof Leaks
Busted pipes may be the most likely source of winter water damage, but there is a second most common source. This source doesn’t begin with rain, snow or cold but with cluttered gutters. When gutters are obstructed, water can’t drain off the roof of a house properly. During winter months, water trapped in gutters along with debris freeze and combine with icicles to create “ice dams”. Although ice dams are not typically responsible for flood damage, but slow leak water damage and mold are both closely related. Regular gutter maintenance can reduce the likeliness of ice dams forming and prevent any resulting water damage.
Outdoor Water Outlets
Outdoor water outlets aka “water spigots” should be insulated and secured during winter months. Corresponding hoses should be disconnected, drained & stored to prevent damage. As these outlets are connected to water pipes, the main & lower level of these homes are at higher risk to flooding, water & mold damage.
If you do experience water damage this winter, call the experts at Flood Metrix. Our professional water mitigation teams are here 24/7/365 to move you from Stress to Satisfaction after a flood or water damage. Choose Metrix over the Matter Because the Power to Change the Matter is in the Metrix.
Check out the top causes of busted pipes and tips to prevent water damage.