Monsoon 2021: Expect Water damage repair delays
STEP 1. WATER MITIGATION AND CONTAINMENT
What we immediately do to prevent the problem from getting worse before it’s repairedEmergency water damage requires immediate action to prevent even more damage to the home. You do not need an estimate approved by the insurance before using a licensed contractor to contain water damage. Here are the steps you need to take to begin this process:
- Call us right away. If your emergency occurs during normal business hours (M-F 7:00am – 4:00pm), please call our office at (520) 297-4736. If your emergency occurs outside our normal hours, please call Commercial Cleaning and Restoration’s emergency line at (520) 391-4615. Once we have your address and basic information, an on-call team will be there within hours.
- Stop the water source. We will contain the damaged area to stabilize and prevent secondary damage. Your insurance company will want to see that you took such steps.
- Begin containment procedures. Repairs depend on many different factors, such as the volume of water accumulated; whether we need to extract; the type of water (clean, gray, or black [sewer]) involved; when the water damage occurred; and how long the water has been in the area. We will place drying equipment (dehumidifiers and air movers) in your home. The most important thing is to make sure your family and property are safe.
BONUS TIPS: Wait time for an adjuster has increased from 24-48 hours to 2-4 weeks. Insurance companies are suggesting mitigation begin immediately and not wait to talk to your adjuster.
STEP 2. CONTACT YOUR PERSONAL INSURANCE AGENT
What does the insurance process actually look like in the 2021 Monsoon season?
Review your policy. Determine whether this is a claim. Emergencies are generally covered by your insurance. We recommend calling your insurance agent for their opinion; they’re your advocate!
Carefully review your policy for exclusions and damage limits. Most insurances have disclaimers that may limit or exclude coverage for certain conditions. Common insurance exclusions: mold, flood water, roof issues, vandalism, and hoarding. Depending on your deductible and the scope of repairs, you may want to consider whether it’s worth filing a claim.
STEP 3. OPEN A CLAIM
- Site inspection, initial estimate, and the work authorization begins. Because of Monsoon 2021, thousands of homes are waiting for a site visit from the insurance adjuster. Wait time for an appointment has increased from 24-48 hours to 2-4 weeks. Insurance companies are suggesting mitigation begin immediately and not wait to talk to your adjuster.
- There will be two insurance adjusters assigned to your case, in addition to your personal insurance agent, one for remediation and one for restoration. They don’t always make it clear when they contact you, so feel free to ask them which phase they’re involved in. It will make further communication much clearer and easier to track.
- Desk Adjuster. They will review with you the details and scope of damage relative to your coverage. It’s a good idea to get us involved at this point so we can begin to gather and present information critical to your claim compensation. Once you’ve been assigned an adjuster, we can begin to communicate with them and manage the project on your behalf. At this point, you also will be assigned to a field adjuster.
- Field Adjuster. They provide a repair estimate and set aside funds to cover the loss. You may receive restoration funds before remediation is completed. This is so you have the funds to pay a contractor to immediately start restoration once the remediation has finished.
STEP 4. REMEDIATION
Clean up begins.
When you work with Commercial Cleaning and Restoration, you will be assigned a project manager and field crew for damage cleanup. We begin removing the effects of the damage. For example, we’ll remove the damaged flooring, cabinetry, etc.
When Commercial Cleaning and Restoration has completed remediation, we will create a final scope of work for the desk adjuster’s review.
Tip: To receive full compensation from your insurance company, you must use a licensed general contractor for your repairs. You are not required to use the same contractor for both phases.
STEP 5. RESTORATION
Commercial Cleaning & Restoration will return your home to pre-damage conditions. We will fix and replace any materials that were permanently damaged or removed. Restoration projects may be simple or extensive, depending on the amount of permanent damage that occurred.
Once the remediation is complete and your insurance company has sent you the restoration funds, we suggest ordering materials. Be prepared for a process. The repair stage has a lot of moving parts – Commercial Cleaning and Restoration’s scope of work; materials must be ordered and received; a specialty contractor may be needed for an upgrade; etc. Be patient and stay focused on a beautiful outcome!
Tip: Occupant(s) with respiratory problems should not stay in the building due to possible health risks.
How long will the water damage repair process take in Post-Covid 2021?
The duration will depend on factors such as the size of the loss; the complexity of the project; ease of access to the property; availability of materials; each party’s responsiveness; and any additional services that may be needed once the walls are open.
Another factor we are facing during in 2021, is building materials are not available or limited. A survey conducted in May 2021 by the NAHB found that more than 90% of builders reported shortages of appliances, 87% reported a shortage of windows and doors, and more than 50% of builders reported shortages of steel beams, lumber, insulation, roofing materials, copper wiring, and plumber fixtures, among other materials.
Here are a few examples of what we are seeing that will give you an idea of how long it can take:
- Quantity limits on drywall purchases from building material supply houses.
- Cabinet builds were typically 6-8 weeks – right now there is a minimum of 12-14 weeks and if you have specialty paint or special configurations it can take longer.
- Countertops were average 2 weeks – right now there is a minimum of 8 weeks.
- Other building materials effect are: drywall texture, plumbing supplies, and flooring.
The frustration for us and the customer is we don’t know if there is shortage until we go to purchase it. Manufacturer’s delay can affect supply availability. Available materials also change from week to week. It can feel a little overwhelming, so take a deep breath. This is when being calm will serve you well – and we are here to help you through it!
Tip: Reasons for higher material prices include labor shortages, transportation and gas prices, tariffs and more. There have also been problems caused by weather and unrest in the economy.
What proof do the insurance companies require?
Because documentation, coding, and negotiation play such a large role in your claim, it’s important to hire the right restoration company, one who upholds the standard of care set by IICRC. Commercial Cleaning and Restoration is a member of the IICRC and has over 36 years of restoration experience.
The remediation and repair process is extensive because of the very nature of water – it penetrates, warps, and weakens every surface it comes in extended contact with. It also can cause mold growth, which affects air quality. Your insurance company, restoration company, and hygienist (air quality control specialist) must make certain that damage is properly resolved to prevent any secondary damage to your property or health.
It’s our responsibility to thoroughly document what we’re doing and why, so your insurance company is confident that 1) all decisions and actions are based on facts and 2) all efforts serve to permanently resolve the problem. Therefore, we take photos, measurements, tests for moisture content, and/or tests for air quality throughout the remediation process, as needed.
What is the scope of Commercial Cleaning and Restoration ‘s abilities, and at what point would we need to work with another vendor?
Commercial Cleaning and Restoration is a licensed, registered General Contractor. We are able to complete the remediation work and the majority of repairs in house. If you wish to have a specialty product or upgrade (e.g., granite countertops), we have vendors we can recommend to you. Your project manager will also review with you how any additional contracted work fits within your project’s estimated timeline. Other contractors may needed for HVAC, electrical, and other specializations.
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has certified Commercial Cleaning and Restoration for Water Damage Restoration and Mold Remediation. Our technicians will proceed in accordance with national standards set by the IICRC.