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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration


11/14/2023 (Permalink)

What are the common causes of water damage?

The most common causes of water damage we respond to are plumbing leaks, sump pump failures, drain backups, roof leaks, and storm-related damage.

Will my insurance pay for the damage?

Most homeowners’ insurance policies provide coverage in the event of sudden and accidental water damage.  Depending on the language in your insurance policy, most water damage is considered a covered peril.

How do I know if my insurance will not pay for the damage?

In the event of any property damage, contact your insurance agent right away.  Your agent should have the resources to advise you on the specifics of your policy.  The most common cause of water damage that we see not covered by homeowners’ insurance is water infiltration through a foundation and/or window well.

Who is responsible for payment?

Ultimately, you, the homeowner are responsible for payment.  We ask that you sign a work authorization permitting us to begin work mitigating the damage.  This form allows your insurance carrier to work directly with SERVPRO throughout the process.  For covered damages, your insurance carrier will either make a payment directly to SERVPRO or make a payment directly to the homeowner in the form of a two-party check with SERVPRO listed as a payee. 

How will my insurance know what needs to be replaced and what can be restored?

The insurance carrier should assign a field adjuster or adjusting firm to schedule an onsite inspection to assess the damage.  This typically occurs after the initial drying services, but not always.  Ultimately, they lean on SERVPRO’s documentation and our experts in the field to determine restorability. 

How does SERVPRO document the damages?

SERVPRO documents each visit to our customers’ homes.  When drying is complete, we provide your insurance carrier with a written estimate for our services, photos from before, during, and after the work is completed, and a comprehensive drying report detailing the data collected during our daily monitoring checks. 

What is monitoring?

After the initial emergency services, SERVPRO will be back daily to monitor and document the dry-out until the drying is complete.  We utilize both invasive and noninvasive moisture meters, thermal imaging cameras, and hygrometers to measure the moisture content within the materials we are drying, as well as the atmospheric readings of the environment.  The data collected is entered into a system that generates a report for your insurance carrier showing daily progress. 

How long will it take to dry out my home?

While there is no standard drying time, we typically see our drying goals achieved within 3-5 days after our equipment is placed.  Many variables factor into the rate of drying, such as humidity and temperature both inside and outside the home, the amount of time that passed before the damage was discovered, and the amount of water that ultimately infiltrated the affected areas. 

What can I do to help speed up the process?

Relax, and let us do the work.  The most common issues we run into that slow the rate of drying are customers shutting down our equipment overnight and/or customers opening windows to get some fresh cool air.  While it may be noisy and hot, and the air may begin to feel very dry, these are signs that the moisture in your home is starting to evaporate.  By shutting down equipment and or opening windows, the hard work the equipment has done to regulate the temperature and humidity of the environment comes to a screeching halt, and so does the dry-out. 

What if it is not feasible to occupy the home during restoration? What can I do?

Ask your agent and adjuster about your ALE (alternative living expense) coverage.  Your policy may allow you to stay at a hotel, among other benefits, during the restoration process if warranted.

What kind of equipment will you be using?

SERVPRO uses industrial-strength dehumidifiers, air movers, air filters, and various specialty drying equipment as needed based on the specifics of each job. 

Is the equipment safe?

In short, yes.  Our equipment has built-in GFI outlets, so it will shut down automatically as a safety precaution in the event of an overload.  While our equipment is running, there will be extension cords, power cords, and drain lines, amongst other things, that pose a tripping hazard to both workers and occupants.  SERVPRO will do its best to contain the work areas; however, it is up to you, the homeowner, to take the appropriate precautions if entering the area where equipment is running.  It is best practice to keep pets and children away from these areas until repairs are complete.

Will my electric bill go up?

Depending on the amount of equipment used and the time on site, there is a chance for a utility usage spike on your next month's statement.  We recommend checking with your insurance carrier on what your policy allows for reimbursement of increased utility costs due to a covered peril.

What about my furniture and belongings?

SERVPRO will manipulate and protect your personal property to complete mitigation services.  A supervisor or crew lead will evaluate your furniture during our initial inspection and recommend how to proceed with any non-salvageable items.

What if SERVPRO recommends pack-out services?

Pack out is an industry term encompassing anything relating to the move-out, cleaning, inventory, storage, and move-back of personal property in a property damage claim. This is not uncommon as sometimes, due to the project's specifics, it may be simpler and easier to address the personal property damages at a SERVPRO facility while freeing up the space in your property for the necessary repairs. A pack-out requires approval from your insurance carrier.  SERVPRO will work with you and your insurance to determine the best course of action specific to your situation.

Where would my furniture go?

Your furniture will go to either a storage pod on your property or SERVPRO’s warehouse.  SERVPRO’s warehouse is completely climate-controlled, with all new security cameras and alarm systems.  Arrangements can be made ahead of time if there is an item in storage you wish to gain access to. 

Who puts my house back together after mitigation is complete?

SERVPRO of Wausau, Stevens Point, and Marshfield proudly boasts full-service restoration services.  With over 100 combined years of experience in remodeling and new home construction, we are confident we can find a solution that works for you. We are happy to provide you and your insurance carrier with an estimate for the repair work.  While the initial work authorization to start mitigation covers drying services and opens the door for SERVPRO and your insurance to work together, you, the homeowner, are ultimately responsible for choosing a contractor or general contractor to complete the repairs.  If you decide to hire SERVPRO to complete the repairs, a reconstruction estimator will contact you to discuss the next steps. 

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