Our Water Damage Process
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Q: I Have Water Damage In My Home. Now What?
A: A home or business overwhelmed with water can be very devastating and can cause major hardship to a family or business just as much as a fire. Water damage can be caused by many factors. Anything in your home or business that has a water supply can cause unbelievable damage in a very short period of time if not caught quickly. When a water loss in your home is not dried properly and quickly or not taken seriously, bigger problems will occur and damage can literally grow in the form of bacteria and then into mold.
However, just like any difficult time there is a way to handle the hardship to minimize the difficulties going forward. Making the right decisions on hiring your contractors and understanding the process at this point is mission critical and will dictate the process going forward. The following steps can assist you in making the right moves from the start of a water loss. Please understand that every situation is different and will require special instructions based on your personal situation.
Q:What are the 6 steps to deal with water damage in your home or business?
A:1. Secure an emergency services contractor – A work authorization will need to be signed for emergency services. This is a standard requirement that all contractors will need to have to start work on your project and adjusters will ask for it in order for the contractor to be considered an agent for the homeowner.
- Stop the leak!! – No matter the water loss shut water off at the main water meter of the home first to stop the leak.
- Call a plumber – Have the problem determined and repaired as soon as possible, and save the broken parts for the insurance adjuster.
2. Make a claim – If you have a relationship with your insurance agent contact them first if during business hours. If no relationship exists or after hours call the 800 number from your insurance policy and make a claim to obtain a claim number.
3. Hire an emergency services water mitigation company – Another work authorization will need to be signed for content, electronic and dry cleaning services if the contractor is different from above. It is not uncommon to have one company hire multiple subcontractors to handle the contents, electronic and dry cleaning services.
- It is imperative to have a water mitigation company out to the home or business within a few hours of the loss. If you have any personal items that were affected by the loss move them out of the water to prevent further damage. Only touch items if water is fresh or gray. Do not attempt to move items from black water losses. You run the risk of getting sick from the bacteria in the water.
4. An insurance adjuster will be assigned to your water loss within 24hrs of making a claim – Depending on the size of the loss you may meet multiple insurance adjusters in the process. Typically you will have an adjuster for the structure, another for contents, and another for loss of business. Many insurance companies may invite a contractor they have used in the past if you do not have a company secured. It is YOUR CHOICE who you decide to handle your contents or rebuild of your home or business.
5. If necessary, secure content, electronic and dry cleaning mitigation specialists – Another work authorization will need to be signed for content, electronic and dry cleaning services if the contractor is different from above. It is not uncommon to have one company hire multiple subcontractors to handle the contents, electronic and dry cleaning services.
- Furniture, appliances, electronics and household items, food, clothing and anything not attached to the home is considered a content. A typical insurance policy contains a section and a dollar amount for contents aside from your structure amount.
- At this point the level of severity will determine next steps with the adjuster and the contractor, all contents will either need to be cleaned on or offsite, electronics and appliances cleaned on or offsite. Clothing will always be cleaned off site and emergency clothes can be cleaned and returned within 24 hours.
- If it is necessary for contents, electronics and appliances to be stored off site the contents contractor will be required to make a complete inventory of items that will be boxed, cleaned and stored, THIS MEANS EVERY SINGLE ITEM. This can be a large undertaking and can be very overwhelming. All questions are good questions at this point and should be asked of your contractor.
6. If necessary, secure a building contractor to make repairs – Another work authorization will need to be signed for reconstruction services if the contractor is different from above. It is not uncommon to have two different companies handle the contents and rebuilding.
- It is suggested at this point that an insurance restoration contractor who has the experience of mitigating a water loss is hired. Many mistakes have been made at this point and contractors have been hired with no experience to remove wet drywall, plaster, insulation. IF NOT MITIGATED AND DRIED CORRECTLY YOU COULD RUN THE RISK OF BAD SMELLS IN YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS AND A FORM OF BACTERIA COULD BE GROWING IN WALLS AND FLOORS IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
- During the time it takes to determine the loss of contents and pack out of contents. Your building contractor will have been working with your adjuster to determine items that will be replaced during reconstruction. It is not uncommon for the contractor and the adjustor to each write their own scope of work for the reconstruction.
- Once the scope of work is determined each estimate will be reviewed and agreed upon with the owner, contractor and the adjuster and work will then commence.
There are many things to consider and many more steps to the process at this point. Hiring the right company can make this difficult situation a smooth and seamless process with no hassles.
Q. What are the different types of water
A:Fresh Water Category 1 - Comes from a source of fresh water pipes in the home or business.
Gray Water Category 2 – Comes from a storm water or backup from a sump pump.
Black Water Category 3 – Sewer backup and can be very dangerous, stay away from the water.
Note: If fresh or gray water has been sitting for more than 72 hours bacteria will start to grow and it may be considered black water. It may need to be treated as sewer water.
Q: What are the different types of water losses
A: Broken pipes – This type of loss is typically covered under your whole house policy. Check with your insurance agent and read your insurance policy for correct wording and coverage.
Back-up – This type of loss is covered under a back up policy which is usually limited in dollar amounts. This type occurs when water from your sewer or sump pump backs up into your home or business. Check with your insurance agent and read your insurance policy for insurance correct wording and coverage.
Roof Leak – If your roof leaks from damage caused by a storm or ice dams. Check with your insurance agent and read your insurance policy for correct wording and coverage.
What They're Saying
I felt totally at ease
I just wanted to tell you how happy I am with your company. From the moment my Allstate agent got in touch with Joe, you guys made me feel totally at ease. Being across the country and hearing you have a pipe burst in your home, I felt very overwhelmed. Your team was in my home within the hour...
Rachel Taylor | Royal Oak, MIRead Full Review >
I just wanted to tell you how happy I am with your company. From the moment my Allstate agent got in touch with Joe, you guys made me feel totally at ease. Being across the country and hearing you have a pipe burst in your home, I felt very overwhelmed. Your team was in my home within the hour, kept in touch with me throughout the entire process, gave me honest advice and answered all of my questions.
Mike, you went above and beyond for me. You will never know how much this was appreciated. Knowing I could count on you, made this so much easier for me.
You and your team were amazing!
Thank you for your help.
I felt well informed
"They quickly identified the source of the leak... They also coordinated with my insurance company to ensure that I would be covered for all costs. There really wasn't much for me to do... I will be hiring Constructeam in the future for any insurance or home improvement job I need done."
Brian Prost | Royal Oak, MI
"I hired Constructeam after I learned of a waste water leak in a rental unit of mine. I felt well informed as to what I could expect and how the process worked. They identified the extent of the mold damage which was much less than first thought. They sealed off the area then thoroughly cleaned out all mold.
Afterwards they quickly identified the cause of the leak and within 1 day had the broken pipe replaced with minimal cost to me. They also coordinated with my insurance company to ensure that I would be covered for all costs. There really wasn't much for me to do.
The next step was reconstruction of the back bedroom and closet. I was truly surprised by the job they did. The building is a little older and doesn't have baseboards on the floor or casings around the closet. Not only did they make and install new baseboards but also made and installed new casing which made the area look much better than before the incident.
Finally, after the reconstruction I went by to check things out and there seemed to be some drywall compound on the walkway to the front door. Nothing outrageous and I just figured it would be cleaned up when finished. When the team manager arrived that was the first thing he noticed and immediately rolled up his sleeves and began cleaning it on his own. Afterwards he apologized to me profusely. I told him that I didn't think it was a big deal and that it was just a consequence of the work. He then told me that although it may not be a big deal to me, it was unacceptable to him and his company.
He went on to further explain that when I hire Constructeam I can rest assured that I will be receiving the most professional, timely experience and for a very fair price. There is no doubt in my mind that the people at Constructeam are very passionate about what they do and are experts in their field.
I will be hiring Constructeam in the future for any insurance or home improvement job I need done."
"I was impressed with the three sparkling clean service vans that arrived. The team of employees immediately took photos, gathered their equipment, found the source of the leak, stopped the leak before more damage could be incurred..."
Beline O. | Grosse Pointe Woods, MI