If you have recently sustained a water disaster in your property, it is important to be prepared to deal with your insurance agent and your professional water mitigation technician. Understanding your insurance coverage and knowing what questions to ask your contractor is the key to protecting your home in this situation.
When you select a professional, make sure to ask these important questions:
– Is your company certified by the Clean Trust, or Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC)?
This is a nonprofit agency that services over 25 countries, and they set the standard for water damage restoration, while ensuring that the technicians that they certify are experienced and quality professionals.
– Are the technicians who are performing the work certified by the IICRC? Do they have mitigation certification cards to show me?
When you verify that the company has an IICRC certification, they provide the technicians with Clean Trust patches and ID Cards, this shows that they are experienced and well versed to identify moisture sources and mold, contain and remove damage, and dry any wet materials.
– What drying system do you use? On a clean water loss, does it dry the structure quickly enough to eliminate the need for replacement?
Making sure that the professionals address the issue quickly is vital to preventing any further damage from occurring, as well as water contamination.
– What type of vacuums and water extraction equipment do you use?
You want to employ a company that has the latest technology in extraction equipment and vacuums, as this will ensure a quick recovery of your property.
– On a clean water loss, how do you know the carpeting has been thoroughly extracted of water?
If the water is not extracted and the surface completely dried in 12 to 24 hours, mold could begin to grow.
– What kind of air movers and dehumidifiers do you use?
Make sure that the company is using professional, high grade equipment, as it is critical in preventing mold and microorganism growth.
– How do you know how much drying equipment to leave at the job site?
The technicians should be using specialized moisture meters to determine the necessary equipment that should be brought to dry out the property.
– What types of meters do you use to test moisture in carpeting, sub flooring, wood, tile, and drywall?
It is important to use the latest technology for the best possible results.
– What type of documentation do you give the homeowner to prove that you’ve dried out the structure and that mold will not grow?
They should provide you with detailed documentation of the equipment that was used, what jobs were performed, moisture readings, test results, and photos should also be included as proof that the property is at pre-loss condition.
– How do you keep the unaffected areas separate from the affected areas?
The affected area should always be isolated, as it speeds up the drying process and prevents the spread of mold to other areas of the property.
These are also good questions to ask:
– Is my loss going to be covered?
That is only determinable by your insurance company after thorough investigation.
– Is there a deductible?
Amounts for a deductible vary, and usually, this will need to be paid directly to your contractor before the work commences.
– What is the mortgage company’s role?
The check that you receive from the insurance company requires both you and your lender to sign it in order to repair the property. Contact your lender for further instructions.
– What if my home is inhabitable?
Your rep from the insurance company can advise you about coverage for living expenses and help you locate temporary housing.