Welcome back to the Disaster Response blog! Lately, on our blog we have been talking about what you should do if you fall victim to a flood. Often, when our clients hear the word “flood,” they pic…Read More
Everything You Need to Know About Water Damage Restoration
Are You In the Middle of a Disaster?
If you are in the middle of a disaster, stop reading and give us a call right now. When your home has been damaged by water of any kind, you need to get the issue addressed right away. Not only do you need to stop the cause, i.e. plug the broken pipe, turn off the water supply, etcetera, but you also need to address the damage as soon as possible:
- The longer your home, business, possessions or assets sit in water, the less likely your items will be saved and the damage and cost of repair will go up exponentially
- Standing water can provide the perfect situation for mold to grow
- Mold that is allowed to grow can compromise the structure of your home or business and the health of your family or occupants
General Water Restoration Damage Process
When Disaster Response gets a call from a West Michigan area resident or commercial client, we tailor our services to your needs; not all water damage situations are alike. As the result, the needs of our clients vary. However, there are general steps that you can expect when you call Disaster Response for restoration services.
Step 1: Survey the Damage
When you call us, we may ask you a number of questions so we can understand your situation and know how we can best prepare for arriving on scene. When we arrive at your West Michigan home or business, we will survey the damage and see how we can best restore your property.
Step 2: Salvage Personal Items or Assets
Next, we will remove the items that aren’t part of the structure of your home or business and set them aside either to be thrown out or to be restored. The sooner you call our water damage restoration specialists, usually the more we can save: the longer items sit in water, the more they will deteriorate, warp, and the greater the opportunity for mold and other structural health hazards to develop.
Step 3: Dehumidify the Affected Area
Once step two is completed, we will dehumidify the area. First, we will remove any standing water and access how the structural elements of the building have been affected by the water. Using industrial-sized fans and other equipment, we will dry the area and return it to the humidity level that is normal. The type of water that caused the damage, (i.e. clean water, slightly contaminated water, water with sewage or other hazardous materials) will determine the type of equipment needed and the steps for dehumidification.
Step 4: Remove Irreparable Materials
Once we have dehumidified the area, we will have a clearer idea as to which structural elements of the building must be removed and replaced. These will be removed and disposed. Removing all contaminated and damaged materials is important because these materials can not only compromise the structural integrity of your home, but also be the perfect place for mold to grow and flourish—which presents even more hurdles for getting your home back together.
Step 5: Rebuild & Insurance Process
Once everything has been removed, it is time to put all the pieces back together, so you can get back to life or business as normal. It is also time to make a claim with your insurance. The claims process can be wrought with more or less obstacles. To make sure that you get all that you deserve for your custom wood flooring or high-end carpet, you sometimes need an advocate. The contractors at Disaster Response have the compassion and experience to help you navigate the entire claims process.
We don’t just do the job and leave. We take into consideration all aspects and ramifications of the situation and do all that we can to ease the stress and fear, as well as the complications that can arise.
Why Call the Professionals?
For those who have not experienced the plight of a flood or other types of water damage, they may assume that water is “just water” and that anyone can take care of restoring their home. We at Disaster Response are all for DIY-ing home maintenance and learning how to take care of one’s own home, but in the case of water damage, it is best to call the professionals and here’s why:
We Know What We Are Doing
For the veteran DIY-er, we are sure that you could figure out how to pick up the pieces after a disaster. However, there are two things that we have that puts our water damage restoration contractors at an advantage: we have professional knowledge and experience. We have seen everything and can spot even the slightest signs of a complication. Though it could save you money initially to do-it-yourself, if you make a mistake in your clean-up process, you may end up spending more money in the long run fixing a mistake and may put your family in danger due to mold or structural inadequacies.
We Will Get It Right the First Time
We can not speak for other water damage restoration companies in the West Michigan area. We can say that when you work with us, we will get it right the right the first time. We have the proper equipment, the professional knowhow, and attention to detail that will catch even the slightest sign of an additional problem. We don’t just see fixing your home as merely a job that we check off our list and we don’t ever view what we do as just a means to make money. Each of our water damage restoration contractors are empathetic and take great pride in their work.
We Can Give You Peace of Mind
Because you have a caring professional taking care of the problem, you can have peace of mind knowing that the situation will be fixed as it should be. Doing it yourself is admirable, but will you know that it is done properly? Will you have to spend more money in the long run? When you hire us, you will be taking us at our word. However, we have years of happy clients who can testify to our caring and professional water damage restoration. Read client reviews and learn more about us on our website.
Another reason to call Disaster Response is we can help you with whatever you need. Whether your water damage is due to a fire, you have a mold problem, or you need to restore your electronics, we are a restoration company that provides comprehensive restoration services for residents and businesses in West Michigan.
Causes of Water Damage
It is typical to imagine water damage — if it has never happened to you — as that which you’ve seen on the news: flooded streets, submerged cars, and whole neighborhoods under water. This scene is, of course, an extreme case of water damage. Water damage can be caused a wide scale catastrophe, as well as by the dripping of a leaky pipe; damage can occur in a matter of seconds or slowly over time.
Accidents happen: the water filling your tub is left on too long, the local sewer line backups into your basement (gross!), or it rains so hard that your neighborhood has become more than a little swampy are just a few examples of the situations that can create a water disaster. Though there are causes of water damage that you can’t help such as a natural flood, in many cases there are ways to lessen your chances of a watery disaster — even for those situations that are out of your control—through ongoing maintenance and general upkeep of your home. Below we will discuss the details of avoiding water damage. But we will sum it up here. Most of the causes of water damage that can occur in your home are due to:
- Human error
- Falling short of maintenance for the interior and exterior parts of your home
- Extreme weather
There are more causes of water damage that can occur in your West Michigan home than just pipes that break due to cold weather or a 100 year floodplain.
Water damage for commercial businesses can occur as a one-time event or through small damage that adds up over time. The causes of commercial water damage can be from outer sources such as a sewer backup or water main break or from inner sources such as a water supply malfunction or plumbing issue. Most of the causes of water damage that can occur in your business can fit into three categories:
- Human error
- Falling short of maintenance for the interior and exterior parts of your home
- Extreme weather
However, just like residential water damage, much of the causes of the damage that can occur in a commercial setting is the result of a lack of maintenance. Below we will discuss proactive ways to avoid a watery situation and come out on top when the flood waters come.
Thankfully as we mentioned above you can avoid these situations that can cause water damage. However, for all those situations that you can’t, know that you have a water damage restoration company who can come to your aid as soon as possible. We can not only offer you assistance after you’ve experience a disaster but can help you be prepared with a plan before a disaster has a change to strike with a Disaster Response Plan.
Ways to Avoid Water Damage
Not everything is in your control. You can’t control the weather and you can’t control the sewer system. However, through regular maintenance and proactive measures, you can mitigate watery disasters that can occur in your home or business.
What You Need to Know About Insurance & Water Damage
Experiencing a water disaster is a frustrating situation alone. When you add the sometimes complicated claims process it seems like a nearly impossible experience to handle. First and foremost, what you need to know about water damage and what is covered by our insurance policy depends on your policy and secondly, how the water damage occurred. Unfortunately, not all water damage is covered by your policy.
Source of Water Damage
When you are speaking to your insurance agent or broker, they will first break down your policy—what is covered and what isn’t covered—by the source of the water damage that can occur.
Sudden or Accidental Discharge
What is sudden or accidental discharge? If the source of water damage is from a burst pipe, hot water heater or steam boiler, air conditioning system, sprinkler system or appliance, then it is classified as sudden or accidental discharge.
Sewer Backup or Water Backup
We have all had those nightmares of the sewer backing up into our home. Is is, of course, one of the main sources that can cause water damage in our homes due to tree roots blocking the sewer lines, another blockage, or an overwhelming amount of water going through the storm sewers due to a rainstorm or flood conditions and other situations.
Overflow of Your Tub, Sink, or Toilet
Due to a child curiousity or a plumbing issue, a tub, sink, or toilet can overflow and cause massive damages to the structures of your home. This is another classified source of water damage.
Flooding water damage isn’t what you may assume it is. First of all, there is a difference between flood damage and water damage. Without diving into the specifics yet, flood damage is usually classified as a flood claim when you and your neighbors have been affected. Water damage from a flooding situation will be classified as such when your home is the only one that is affected. Flood damage is usually not covered by your insurance policy, you will need flood insurance.
Water Damage that Is and Isn’t Covered
Water Damage that Is Covered
Though what is covered by your policy can vary due to the provider and caliber of your policy, generally your insurance policy will cover those damages related to weather such as when your roof collapses due to the weight of snow, ice, and sleet. The effects of a toilet that has overflowed is also covered and when your home is damaged by your hot water heater or frozen pipes. To summarize, in most cases, your insurance will cover claims that are the result of issues out of your control.
Water Damage that is Not Covered
What your insurance policy will not cover is that which is due to a lack in maintenance, the source of water damage, damage caused by outer water (such as a sewer backup), and the damage from a natural flood. To fully understand what your policy doesn’t cover and if it is sufficient for your needs, meet with your insurance agent. However, to summarize, your policy will normally not cover issues such as water damage due to clogged gutters, the replacement of a dishwasher that has flooded your home (they will cover the damages, just not the replacement of the appliance), or water damage that is from a sewer backup or naturally occurring lake.
What is Flood Insurance?
For many homeowners and businesses in the West Michigan area that have experienced a devastating flood, it is complete surprise to discover that none of the damages from their home are covered by their insurance policy. They assume that water damage is water damage, but in the insurance world, this isn’t the case.
If you live near a large, natural body of water, it is best to understand the risks and if investing in flood insurance is needed for your home or business. Meet with your insurance agent to understand what your policy covers and how you can get the most out of your premiums.
What Our Clients Are Saying
A business can say a lot. They can advertise, draw your attention with claims and flashy graphics, but do any of these things tell you whether or not they are someone that you can trust? Yes and no. However, a company’s reputation, especially the reputation of a company that has been around as long as ours has—over 30 years—will be testament to their quality of services and customer service. Read water damage restoration reviews by clients just like you below.