You never know when a disaster will cause damage to your home. In fact, most homeowners think it will never happen to them… until it does. Home emergencies can happen at any time and without warning, leaving you to wade through the twists and turns of the insurance restoration process on your own. Whether your home suffers damage from a severe rainstorm, tornado, electrical fire, water heater failure, or hail, you may be left wondering what you should do.
Dealing with major damage to your home can be extremely overwhelming and can leave you wondering whether your home, and your life, will ever be the same. When you are faced with these types of emergencies, it’s important to not panic. Be sure you know who to call first and the rest will fall into place. The most important thing to remember is to never wait – always take immediate action.
How to Respond to Emergencies
Do you know what to do when an emergency occurs in your home? Many people become so distressed they just don’t know what to do first. Here are the first steps to take in the wake of a disaster.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Call 911 if there is a fire or life-threatening emergency.
- If your problem is the result of water coming from your home, turn it off from the main supply.
- If your home is unsafe, get out immediately! Never go back inside for your possessions.
Learn More: Utility Safety During an Emergency
Who Should I Call?
After your home is damaged, you may ask yourself, “Who should I call?” The answer is simple – PuroClean Restoration Specialists. Don’t wait! Let us help you determine if an insurance claim is necessary. The sooner you can get the damage taken care of the less damage you will have to your home. We can quickly provide you with damage assessment, service recommendations, and take appropriate, timely action as your insurance policy requires before additional damage occurs.
What Happens Next?
Home restoration following a disaster takes place in 5 phases:
Because emergencies are very unexpected, choosing an emergency restoration company isn’t the sort of thing most people think they will ever need to do. In reality, home emergencies happen more often than we care to admit. Statistics show that two of the most common claims on homeowners insurance policies are fire and water damage. Together, they account for over 40 percent of losses in the United States. Annually, the 114 million households in this country pay (through insurance claims) about $12 billion for fire and water emergency restoration.
As with any fast-growing industry, identifying the most qualified service provider with the highest level of professionalism and expertise isn’t always an easy, straightforward process. Because many aspects of emergency restoration may appear to be associated with general contracting and other trades, confusion may arise as to the most appropriate and legitimate choice to restore your home or business. The fact is, almost anyone can claim the qualifications to perform restoration of fire- or water-damaged homes. Unfortunately, many people who make this claim aren’t able to back it up with the credentials, training or a solid track record.
Here are five ways to separate the amateurs from the legitimate pros.
A professional always provides references.
Any company with an established presence should be able to provide you with client contact information on previous insurance restoration projects. Give a few of them a call and get an opinion on the quality of the work as well as their overall satisfaction level with the finished project. Take the time to read their online reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, Angie’s List, and the BBB.
A construction background doesn’t make a qualified emergency restoration specialist.
Restoration after fire or water damage is a process that involves more than carpentry or construction skills. Although individuals with construction experience who offer restoration services may be sincere and well-meaning, they may lack the specialized equipment needed to perform the insurance restoration correctly, as well as the formal training and certification essential to the industry.
Cleaning isn’t restoration.
Carpet cleaners and home cleaning outfits sometimes offer insurance restoration services as a sideline. These businesses are not experienced in mitigation of severe contamination that frequently occurs after a fire or water emergency. This contamination often includes many things that can be harmful and require EPA-approved procedures and equipment. For professional emergency restoration firms, remediation isn’t a “sideline”—it’s the main event.
Emergency restoration professionals know insurance company protocols.
Soon after you report a loss, your insurer will request precise information about the nature and full extent of the damage. Additionally, they will want an estimated cost of restoration. This critical information should be supplied by a restoration specialist who is trained and experienced in insurance claim procedures. The figures must be accurate and organized in the format major insurers require in order to process a claim. Only individuals with the skills and experience specific to professional emergency restoration know how to properly fulfill this responsibility.
A professional can prove it.
Reputable emergency restoration service providers are expected to live up to professional standards – and they should have the credentials to show for it! The Institute for Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) sets the standards of practice for the insurance restoration industry, develops training curriculum, and conducts research on new techniques. Any strong professional restoration company should be happy to show you proof of IICRC certification. Keep in mind, it is absolutely appropriate for you to ask them to show you their certifications. This is also the perfect time to ask them for their general liability and worker’s comp certifications, as well.
Making a call to your insurance restoration company should be one of the first calls you make following a disastrous event. They will inspect the damage and determine exactly what the restoration process will involve.
More Than Meets the Eye
Many signs of damage are easy to spot, but in the restoration industry, we know that damage often goes beyond what the eyes can immediately see. An insurance restoration professional can look beyond what is evident and give an accurate assessment of the damage. Damage from water or smoke can be far-reaching and may involve parts of your home or building that you may not see or recognize. For this reason, it requires an experienced professional to make sure everything is detected so repairs can be made properly and quickly. An inspection done right away can save you time and money when it comes to getting your property back to its original condition. Once the damage has been completely evaluated, your home restoration professional will provide you with a detailed report and a plan of action.
Am I Covered?
It’s natural for one of your first concerns to be whether or not the damage to your home, including cleanup and restoration, will be covered by your home’s insurance. When disaster strikes, professionals who know and understand the insurance restoration business will help you get compensated for your loss. Please be aware that your insurance adjuster is typically not adequately trained to understand what repairs will be necessary to restore your property to pre-loss condition.
Since time is of the essence, an insurance claim needs to be filed quickly. A qualified insurance restoration professional will complete the inspection and an insurance claim can then be filed. Keep in mind, not all contractors are able to work directly with insurance companies. That’s why PuroClean Restoration Specialists should be the first call you make following damage to your home.
Rebuild and Update
Once the cleanup is complete, you can decide how you want your home to be rebuilt. The insurance restoration process can get your home back to the way it looked before the damage occurred. It can also be a great time to update and make changes. Whichever you choose, PuroClean Restoration Specialists and our affiliate, Pure Quality Reconstruction, will help you every step of the way. Disasters are disruptive and distressing but having the right professionals who are experienced with the insurance restoration process can relieve some of the stress and get your home into even better shape than it was before disaster hit.
When you own your own home, new or old, there is plenty of room for things to go wrong. Accidents, the age of the home, and many other factors can leave you with some pretty big mishaps. Life happens, and when it does, the headache of it all can sometimes feel overwhelming. The bright side? You can turn a bad situation into something marvelous by giving your home an upgrade. Here are a few of the benefits of remodeling during emergency restoration.
Make it Better
Who says you have to replace that old carpet with the exact same product? Why not add that tile that you’ve had on your wishlist? When you restore your damaged property, the sky is the limit on what materials you choose to use. Typically, an insurance adjuster will come to assess the damages to the home at the time of disaster. However, the check is yours to restore your home the way you want. Although, depending on the extent of your remodeling, there may be some out-of-pocket costs, you can use the payment from your homeowners insurance and save in the end.
Remodeling during the restoration process can end up saving you a lot of time. The inconvenience of any renovation project can become a nuisance. Stepping over loose two-by-fours or looking at exposed piping can be annoying and downright ugly. Why not kill two birds with one stone? Save yourself some time and remodel during the restoration.
A Little Goes A Long Way
If you want to change the look of your home but don’t want to spend the extra cost on top of the restoration, you can do some little things to enhance your space in a big way. Something as simple as a can of paint and new fixtures can go a long way in any room. You don’t have to knock down walls or rebuild rooms to make a big change to your home’s design. If you aren’t sure where to start, we can help! We work with a professional design studio that is knowledgable in all of the current trends, colors, and finishes.
Learn More: Upgrading Your Home During Emergency Restoration
Rebuild Your Home, Rebuild Your Life
The moments after damage has occurred to your home can be stressful and overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to have someone in your corner. At PuroClean Restoration Specialists, we have the experience and expertise to help you restore your home, so you can get started restoring your life.