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What To Do After Water Damage

Leaking Ceiling Water Damage
May 19 2021 3 min read

Thank you to Andrew Jackson from ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara for the great information found in this article.

A common nuisance for property owners is the threat of water damage. When water finds its way into your property, either by a slow leak or an acute disaster, the impacts can be immediate and long lasting.

WHAT CAUSES WATER DAMAGE?
Water damage in your home or business can be caused by many problems including but not limited to:

• roof leaks
• pipe bursts
• supply line malfunctions
• toilet overflows
• toilet bowl or tank cracks
• sink drain disconnections
• bathtub overflows
• drain backups
• dishwasher leaks
• washing machine leaks
• hot water tank leaks/bursts.

home insurance

HOW TO DEAL WITH WATER DAMAGE
Discovering water damage in your home or business can be an overwhelming experience due to the fear of the unknown.

• How bad is it?
• How far did the water travel?
• Is there mould?
• How did it happen?
• Where do I even start?

There are many understandable questions after sudden or accidental water damage.

First, make sure there are no immediate hazards to you, your family and/or your staff by addressing all potential electrical hazards.

If the water is coming from above and light fixtures are full of water, go turn off the breakers of the affected areas. Be careful of falling drywall/plaster ceilings and falling ceiling tiles.

If your basement has water in it, avoid walking in the water since it could be electrified.

After all safety issues have been thoroughly addressed, the issue can be dealt with.

1. Call a local restoration company.
They can dispatch their on call team to your property for an assessment of the cause of damages and to start the mitigation process. The restoration company should be an IICRC certified firm (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification).

2. Call your insurance company.
Immediately after calling a restoration company, your insurance company should be your next call. Even if you are unsure you want to make a claim, you should still call to report the water damage and let them know that you have a professional restoration company coming to assess the damage and provide emergency services. Your insurance company will like to know that you are taking the proper steps to mitigate the damage whether you’re making a claim or not, you’re protecting your asset.

3. Initial Assessment.
The restoration contractor will do the initial inspection and report back to you on immediate recommendations along with the proposed scope of emergency services. This is usually when you will decide if you will want to put a claim through.

4. Emergency services are under way.
Trades have been contacted to inspect your electrical, HVAC and appliances. Water is getting extracted, non-salvageable building materials will be removed and salvageable ones will be attempted to be dried and your furniture will be put on foam blocks to prevent further damage.

By the end of day 1, there will be no standing water, all affected areas will be disinfected and drying equipment will be set up including dehumidifiers, air movers & air scrubbers.

5. Situation Monitored.
Over the next 3 days the restoration contractor will be monitoring the drying process to see what is responding / what can be saved and to see if there has to be further removals. If you’ve decided to make an insurance claim the restoration contractor will able to deal directly with your insurance company.

ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara specializes in insurance claims and deals with insurance companies daily.

ServiceMaster restore is a full service restoration contractor and will have certified content technicians go through all of your affected possessions to see what is salvageable, cleanable and what has to be documented as non-restorable. They will not dispose of any items until you and your insurance company approve.

6. Complete Remediation.
Your restoration contractor will look after all of the packing & moving and storage arrangements needed to complete the emergency and remediation work.

7. Insurance Claim.
Insurance claims are usually done in two phases. Once the removals are done and the structure is dry that will mark the completion of phase one emergency services. The restoration contractor will then submit an estimate to your insurance company for the repairs needed. This starts phase two.

8. Repairs.
The repair estimate will include everything needed to get your property back to pre-claim condition. Repairs may be subject to approval by your insurer and should be submitted to your claims adjuster without delay. At times, a second estimate by another party could be required by the insurer before approving either company to proceed.

ServiceMaster Restore of Niagara is a full service restoration contractor who has in house repair technicians and carpenters so we are fully geared towards looking after the entire claim process from emergency, tear out, content handling, cleaning and repairs.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.

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