Insurance companies are now using CLUE reports, Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, to view all previously filed claims in a homeowner’s history. Using this information, insurance companies may deny coverage to homeowners. A homeowner’s initial phone call may be considered a claim on CLUE reports, even if they choose self-pay to finance their water damage repairs. Because of this, we suggest calling Vector Restoration for a FREE ESTIMATE so you can determine if you want to file a claim or pay for the repairs out of pocket.
Insurance Claim Payment Process
The deductible is the amount specified in your contract that the insured must pay before your Insurance Company will pay on a claim. The deductible is paid prior to starting the restoration work. It can be paid by a check made payable to “Vector Restoration” or by a credit card.
Insurance Company Check:
Once the estimate has been approved by your insurance company a check is usually sent to you. This check will be payable to you and to Vector Restoration and will be endorsed by you at substantial completion of the project or at a prearranged stage of the project.
Larger claims will also be made payable to your mortgage company as they have a vested interest in your home. Checks that include your mortgage company will require your participation to have them endorsed in a timely manner.
Mortgage companies will only release all the funds at the completion of your project or portions of the funds at prearranged stages of completion. Each mortgage company has their own set of requirements before they will release these funds.
Although it is your responsibility to have these funds ready in a timely manner, Vector Restoration will be glad to assist you in this sometimes confusing process. To assist you we will need the name of your mortgage company (or companies if there is a second lender), their customer service telephone number, and your loan number. Additionally, we will need a letter of authorization from you to allow us to deal with your mortgage company on your behalf.
According to the IICRC Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Water Damage Restoration (IICRC S500), there are three categories of water that cause damage in buildings. They are summarized as follows:
Category 1 Water
– That which is clean at the releasing source and does not pose a hazard if consumed by humans. Category 1 water may become progressively contaminated as it mixes with soils on or within floor coverings or building assemblies (walls, decking, subflooring). Time and temperature, which promote the growth and amplification of microorganisms in water, can cause Category 1 water to degrade. Examples: burst water pipes, failed supply lines on appliances, vertically falling rainwater.
Category 2 Water
– That which begins with some degree of contamination and could cause sickness or discomfort if consumed by humans. As with Category 1 water, time and temperature can cause Category 2 water to become progressively more contaminated.
Category 3 Water
– That which is highly contaminated and could cause death or serious illness if consumed by humans. Examples: sewage, rising flood water from rivers and streams, ground surface water flowing horizontally into homes. There are two ways in which water enters a building as a result of wind storm damage: The first involves falling or windblown rainwater that enters as a result of damage to roof components or wall assemblies. The second involves horizontally traveling ground surface water (Category 3) containing silt and soil contaminants that infiltrate into structures, generally through doors or around foundation walls. This ground surface water (storm surge) may accumulate to a depth of several inches or several feet. When structures are partially submerged or remain substantially flooded for weeks, far more elaborate procedures usually are required. Most household microorganisms (fungi, bacteria) typically require five conditions for germination, growth, amplification and dissemination.
Generally, they include:
1. organic food source, especially cellulose (e.g., paper, wood), which are found in abundance in construction materials
2. moisture, even high humidity (67% RH plus)
3. moderate temperature - 68-86°F/20-30°C
4. stagnant air
5. time – several hours to several days
Anything that can be done to control or minimize these optimum conditions will prolong the time required for microbial growth.
If your hardwood floors are the sand and finish type, then we can usually save them.
This is ultimately your decision. You should consider all safety issues, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc.
Assuming your books were soaked in clean water for less than 24 hours and mold is not present, you will have to start by prioritizing salvage order: collection books and valuable books must be dried before all other books. The best method for paper drying is freezing. Insert the books into plastic bags and place in the freezer. To prevent pages from adhering to each other, place a baking sheet every 20-30 pages.
We recommend that you make a list of items (including food items) that are determined to be non-restorable. It is best to have a copy for yourself as well as your insurance company.
This is determined on a case-by-case basis. In the event of a sewage back-up, any material that has been touched by that water must be disposed of, including carpet. In other types of water losses, it depends on several factors. Most of the time, we are able to save the carpet from replacement.
Do not endanger yourself or your family after a water event. Keep children and pets away. Try to protect yourself and your family from stress, fatigue, and water-related health hazards.
Have a professional plumbing contractor eliminate the water source.
Call Vector Restoration immediately for help! Damage from water and bacteria growth can begin within just a few hours.
Remove as much water as possible from floors by mopping or blotting with clean white towels.
Turn off circuit breakers supplying electricity to wet areas if appropriate. Unplug and remove any small electrical devices located on wet carpet or other wet surfaces.
Remove wet area rugs or other floor coverings that are not attached. Do not remove wall-to-wall carpet.
Hang draperies and pin up furniture skirts to prevent contact with wet carpet.
Wipe furniture and prop up wet cushions for even drying.
Place aluminum foil under legs of wood furniture (especially antiques).
Remove small furniture items to prevent rust or stains and to expedite restoration.
Remove books, shoes, paper goods, fabrics, potted plants and other items that may stain the carpet (be sure to check under the beds and in closets).
Move photos, paintings, art and any high-value items to a safe, dry location.
Open drawers and closet and cabinet doors to speed the drying process.
Make plans for Vector Restoration to move large furniture items onto dry carpet, linoleum, garage or storage area.
Don’t use your home vacuum because electrical shock may result as well as damage to the vacuum.
Don’t use TV’s or other appliances on wet carpet or floors.
Don’t place newspaper in the traffic areas because the ink transfers easily.
Don’t walk on wet carpet more than necessary in order to keep from spreading damage.
Don’t activate the HVAC system if it has been directly contacted by the water or it may spread contamination.
Don’t disturb visible mold.
Vector Restoration is qualified to handle any type of water damage. Examples include sewage overflow, leaking pipe, icemaker lines, dishwasher or washing machine hoses, rising water, and storm damage.
Most structures can be dried in three days or less. However, when the moisture goes undetected for a prolonged period of time this can take longer to dry.
Many times, taking a do-it-yourself approach to water restoration only compounds the problem because it’s difficult to accurately diagnose the scope of the damage. The use of non-commercial equipment (like a shop vac) will not properly extract water from the carpet and pad. It is important to properly dry water-damaged areas and items within 24-48 hours.
Mold removal is not a “do it yourself job”. Mold removal requires professional chemicals, equipment and training. Treating mold with household chemicals such as bleach can cause mold to spread and create more costly issues in your home. Contact Vector Restoration for professional mold removal.
We are trained on proper mold removal / mold remediation procedures in accordance with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) S-520.
Work is performed to the same industry standards, regardless of the type of mold. The location of the mold growth, however, may determine the removal methodology.
For example, commercial mold removal, may require additional considerations for building operations and occupant restrictions that may not be needed on a residential project.
Biocides are substances that can destroy living organisms. The use of a chemical or biocide that kills organisms such as mold (chlorine bleach, for example) is not recommended as a routine practice during mold cleanup. There may be instances, however, when professional judgment may indicate its use (for example, when immune-compromised individuals are present). In most cases, it is not possible or desirable to sterilize an area; a background level of mold spores will remain - these spores will not grow if the moisture problem has been resolved. If you choose to use disinfectants or biocides, always ventilate the area and exhaust the air to the outdoors. Never mix chlorine bleach solution with other cleaning solutions or detergents that contain ammonia because toxic fumes could be produced. Please note: Dead mold may still cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is not enough to simply kill the mold, it must also be removed. For more information on mold, visit www.epa.gov/mold
If you begin the drying process immediately, you significantly reduce the risk of developing mold.
No, bleach will only remove the visible mold, which will probably visually re-occur within 10-14 days. Anti-Microbial chemicals must be properly used to kill mold.
No, mold will continue to grow until it’s completely killed and removed.
Exposure to mold can cause health effects in some people. Some people are more sensitive to mold then others. For those sensitive to mold, exposure causes various symptoms including nasal and sinus congestion, stuffiness, eye irritation, respiratory problems, throat irritation, skin irritation, and/or headache.
Mold growth may occur in your home if there is sufficient moisture because mold spores are everywhere. Be on the lookout for these common sources of moisture: flooding, roof leaks, plumbing leaks, drainage problems or condensation resulting from poor or improper ventilation.
Call Vector Restoration and have one of their trained technicians investigate the situation. A mold problem can usually be seen or smelled. Mold can be a concern in the home and should not be allowed to grow. Extensive mold contamination may cause health problem, as well as damage to your home.