If you have water damage such as a burst pipe, leaky roof or flooding, call in a water damage specialist. Water damage, regardless of the source, needs to be addressed as quickly as possible. Depending on the extent of the damage, one of your first calls should be to a water damage restoration specialist. They are generally available 24/7 and will assist in the entire process until you are back in your home and can often prevent additional costly damage. They will identify and contain the source of the leak or excess moisture, assess the damage, including any hidden structural damage, remove wet furniture, carpet and belongings from the area. They will then set up commercial fans to dry the area, clean and disinfect all affected areas, and then do whatever is required to repair the damaged area. They will sometimes bring in other contractors or structural engineers.
A fire damage restoration specialist will clean up the mess caused by the fire and restore your home to its previous state. They are on call 24/7 to respond to your emergency. They will send a technician out to assess the extent of the damage. They do inspections and tests to help evaluate the damage and create a plan of action to remediate and restore your home. In some cases windows, doors and roofs can be damaged leaving you open to additional problems. They will board these up and tarp areas as necessary. Most importantly, they will take care of the clean up and odor removal. Many fire damage restoration companies also offer full restoration services including minor repairs like replacing drywall or carpet, to major repairs like reconstruction of certain areas.
A qualified mold remediation company will understand the various types of mold and mold growth, and will focus on assessing the problem, creating a plan, repairing your water problem, isolating the contaminated area, removing contaminated items, cleaning and disinfecting, drying the area, and replacing all the materials that were removed and cleaned.
A professional mold inspector can tell you if your home has an unhealthy level of mold. Remember, mold can be found everywhere, so be sure you understand before testing what they consider abnormal. Test for mold if you notice a musty smell, or see evidence of water damage.
They will have the right equipment to stop the spread of mold and thoroughly clean your home.
If you suspect structural damage, the only way to be certain is to have a structural survey or structural inspection by a structural engineer. This will tell you if your walls, chimney, foundation, floors or roof have been compromised. Home inspectors are not qualified to assess structural problems. Be sure your structural engineer is licensed and qualified.
While some water damage specialists, fire damage or mold remediation specialists will handle some restoration of your property, your damage may be more extensive. In this instance, a licensed and insured building contractor would need to be called in to complete this more extensive work of rebuilding and restoring your property.
One of your first calls during a home emergency should be to your insurance company. Your home is one of your largest investments and contains many of your memories and prized possessions. Be sure you are adequately covered for an unexpected peril that may damage your home. Your basic coverage comes from a homeowners policy, but depending upon where you live, you may need the additional coverage of a windstorm or flood policy. Also, the values of our homes change over the years. Don’t be surprised and disappointed when you suffer damage to your home to find you are under-insured. Make an appointment with your insurance agent to review your coverage, and to understand any limits or exclusions.
A property damage attorney specializes in helping homeowners whose claims have been either denied or are of an unsatisfactory amount. They help homeowners get the maximum amount on their claim. They do charge a percentage of the settlement so should only be needed if you are not happy with the claim results. Be sure you understand their terms.