We never plan for a home disaster and most of us think it will never happen to us. Home emergencies can happen at any time and there is never a good time for one to occur. Whether your home suffers damage from one of our area’s severe rain or hail storms, a fire or other natural disaster, homeowners often wonder what to do next.
When you have to deal with major damage due to water, house fire, smoke, or flooding, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. You may wonder if your home will ever be the same. Even if you have significant but minimal damage that occurs from a leaking or burst water pipe, it may still be an issue that you don’t know how to manage. When you are faced with these types of emergencies, it’s important not to panic. Understand who to call first and the rest will fall into place. The most important thing to remember is to take immediate action.
HOW TO RESPOND TO EMERGENCIES
Do you know what to do when an emergency hits? You might be surprised that often people become so distressed with a disaster that they aren’t sure what to do first. Here are the first steps to take when catastrophe hits.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- If there is fire – call 911.
- If your problem is the result of water, turn it off from the main supply.
- If your home is unsafe – leave!
Even though you may think about your possessions, those things can be replaced or may be saved later. Do not go back into your home for possessions.
RELATED: Utility Safety During an Emergency
Right after your home is damaged, you may ask yourself many questions. The first one is usually “Who should I call?” The answer to that is PuroClean. Don’t wait. The sooner you can get damage taken care of the less damage you will have to your home. You will be able to get an insurance restoration quote from them quickly before additional damage takes place. Home restoration following a disaster takes place in 5 phases:
- Clean up
Choosing an emergency restoration company isn’t the sort of thing most people plan to do. That’s because the events that make that choice necessary tend to be very unexpected: water damage, fire-related damage and associated events such as mold contamination are out-of-the-blue, catching us off-guard and unprepared. However, statistics show that two of the most common claims on homeowners insurance policies are fire and water damage. Together, these 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 straightforward. 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 track record.
Being aware of a few tips now may come in handy for the future. Here are five ways to separate the amateurs from the legitimate pros.
- A professional provides references. Any company with an established presence should be able to provide you with client contact information on previous restoration projects. Call at least three and get an opinion on the quality of the work as well as their overall satisfaction level with the finished project.
Click here to see what PuroClean customers say about their experience with us.
- 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, however, they lack the very specialized equipment to perform restoration correctly as well as the formal training and certification essential to this industry.
- Cleaning isn’t restoration. Carpet cleaners and home cleaning outfits sometimes offer restoration services as a sideline. These businesses are not experienced in mitigation of severe contamination that frequently occurs after a fire or water inundation. This contamination often includes many types 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, trained and experienced in insurance claim procedures. The figures must be accurate, as well as organized in the format major insurers require to process a claim. Only individuals with the skills and experience specific to professional emergency restoration know to fulfill this responsibility.
- A professional can prove it. Reputable emergency restoration service providers are expected to live up to professional standards. 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 restoration industry as well as developing training curriculum and conducting research on new techniques. Any strong professional restoration company should be happy to show you proof of IICRC certification.
Making a call to your insurance restoration company should be one of the first calls you make as soon as everyone is safe and the cause of the damage has been stopped. They will inspect the damage and determine exactly what your home’s restoration will involve. Many signs of damage are easy to spot but some aren’t. It takes a professional to look beyond what is evident and to give an accurate assessment of everything that’s been damaged.
Damage from water or smoke can be far-reaching and may involve parts of your home or building that you may not see. It requires an experienced professional to make sure all of the damage is detected so repairs can be made properly. 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.
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 a disaster hits, professionals who know and understand the insurance restoration business will help you get compensated for your loss.
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. Not all contractors are able to work directly with insurance companies. That’s why PuroClean should be the first call you make for insurance restoration following damage to your home.
REBUILDING YOUR HOME
Once the cleanup has been done, 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 or you may decide to make changes. Whichever way you choose, PuroClean 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 catastrophe 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 like water or fire damage. 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 carpet exactly the same as it was? Why not add that tile that you have been wanting for so long? 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 there may be some out-of-pocket costs, you will save in the end because of the payment from your homeowner’s insurance.
When you decide to remodel during the restoration process you will end up saving 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, do some little things to enhance your space in a big way. Depending on the room, there are several ways to change the overall appearance of your home. A can of paint can go a long way. New sink and shower fixtures can turn a bathroom from drab to fab instantly. If your kitchen cabinets are salvageable after a kitchen fire, paint the cabinets to cover smoke damage and put your money into a new countertop. You don’t have to knock down walls or rebuild rooms to make a big change to your home’s design. These examples of subtle alternatives can make a world of difference when you renovate during your emergency restoration.