Surviving a disaster such as a fire, flood or hurricane with damage to your home is without a doubt a devastating experience. There are so many actions that need to be taken as quickly as possible to protect what remains, prevent further property loss, and then rebuilding back to livable, pre-disaster conditions. After such a devastating loss reassurance comes from having clear guidance and care in the steps following the tragedy. We provide not only professional and experienced restoration services but we also provide support when dealing with the insurance agency. Plumbline is a full service company equipped with caring, talented professionals that will help you every step of the way, from the very first contact. Don't hesitate to give us a call at 804-218-5820.
We realize there is a ton of information out there about these topics. Here we are going to provide you with helpful tips and steps to begin the process of recovery.
• After any disaster one of the first steps that you will need to take is to call your insurance agency. They can tell you what they will require in order to proceed. Begin saving receipts for any money you spend related to the loss. The receipts will be needed later by the insurance company to make an accurate claim. If you are not insured, try contacting community groups for aid and assistance.
• Next, call a professional contractor with experience in disaster cases. In the case of a fire they can inspect the house to let you know if it is safe to enter the structure. Do not enter until you have been given the ok to do so by either the fire department or the contractor. In the case that you won’t be able to reside at the property the contractor can board up and secure the home to prevent looting in your absence. Please note that most insurance policies require taking this type of action. If you leave your home, call the local police department to let them know the site will be vacant.
• Once you can enter the property, try to find all important documents and keep them in a safe place. You will also want to collect any prescriptions, clothing and personal hygiene items that you will need temporarily. Once you have the chance you will want to remove, clean and store any other items that are salvageable.
• Floods, hurricanes and often times, house fires have water damage in common. Cleanup of water and wet drywall must begin within 24 to 48 hours to prevent mold growth which in turn can cause more loss.
Can I do the cleanup myself?
You may be anxious to clean your home after a fire, but unless you take the time to get professional advice, you may be wasting your efforts or creating further damage. You can however take care of any personal effects first. Open all doors and windows if possible to let fresh air circulate through even if it is cold outside. Dry wet items as soon as possible. Use fans and dehumidifiers to
dry carpets and draperies. Please note: If you call Plumbline, you do not need to lift a finger other than to dial the phone. We can do all the work for you, even sorting and relocating the property inside the home. Most insurance policies will cover this expense as a part of your policy.
What can I do about the smell?
Odors from smoke will stay remain long after the fire and continue to cause problems if they are not removed. Professional fire restorers and/or dry cleaners use "counteractants," chemicals or additives that break up smoke molecules to eliminate odors. The type of counteractant used will vary with the type of material affected by the fire. Counteractants may be professionally applied to furniture, carpets and draperies. Sometimes use of an ozone treatment is needed to break up smoke molecules and eliminate odors. Depending on the damage, replacement of insulation could be mandatory or optional. Insulation may retain odors and it may be necesary to replace even if it wasn't burnt. Keep in mind that most household deodorizing sprays and disinfectants provide only temporary relief. In addition, deodorizing sprays may interact with smoke odor and create an additional odor.
Are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
After a fire one of the most important issues that needs to be addressed concerns anything electical such as appliances and electronics while water is present. All breakers should be off. Be sure you are taking the proper precautions to not breathe contamintaed air while inside by wearing protective masks and ventalating the home. Do not turn on furnace or air conditioning units as this may affect the ducts and contibute to further air pollution.
What should I do about the utilities?
Be sure to call and cut off any utilities to prevent any unnecessary costs or potential issues such as a gas leak.
General Steps to Take - The first actions to take after any disaster.
Both floods and hurricanes have one thing in common, water. Flooding and water damage to a home is not limited to natural weather disasters. It may be thanks to broken, leaky or busted pipes as well as a leak in the roof. Regardless of the cause, water damage is one of the most common and potentially destructive problems you can face as a homeowner. If not taken care of immediately, excess water in your home can promote electrical hazards, cause expensive damage to your home's structure and furnishings, and can even lead to the growth of hazardous mold. Here we will give you some advice on how to begin to remedy the H2O situation.
What are some things I can do myself?
• Call Plumbline to find and eliminate the water source and begin cleanup.
• Turn off circuit breakers in wet areas, unplug and remove any electrical devices on a wet surface.
• Items should be removed from wet areas to prevent rust and stains and anything on wet carpet areas.
• Aluminum foil can be placed under furniture legs to prevent staining and bleeding.
• Contact your insurance company if you're planning to submit a claim.
How long will it take for my home to dry?
Drying time is determined by a combination of factors, including duration and source of water, the types of building materials, the weather conditions and how quickly emergency services begin.
Does opening the windows help the drying process?
This will depend on outside weather conditions. If outside humidity levels are high it could worsen the problem.
WHAT PLUMBLINE CAN DO FOR YOU:
When you call the insurance company you should inform them that you have called Plumbline Construction to handle the mitigation and restoration process. This allows them to see that you are taking immediate action. If you wait a week to begin cleanup, most likely they will not pay for all damages due to mold growth caused by water left in the home. Once we are contacted our first step is to begin removing water from the property and install our equipment for the drying process. Before the drying process can be effective we must separate the items that were damaged from those that were not and dispose of properly. The items that are salvageable are put into storage or relocated so we can have an area that is free of personal property. After we address the contents we then clean the contents of the property and mitigate the smoke damage (in the case of a fire). As we work photos are taken and provided to you to assist in the claims process. We can document the existing items and finishes in a house, for example, if you had a custom kitchen or higher end wood flooring.
Once any wet drywall has been removed an insurance adjuster will come to the property to do an inspection. When the adjuster comes out we like to meet with them so they have details of all the work that was completed and to evaluate the full scope of loss. If we do not have the chance to meet them at the location we will share our notes and pictures with them to ensure that they pay every dollar that is owed to rebuild.
After inspection the adjuster will send you his estimate. We will evaluate the estimate to confirm that we agree with the items and costs that are on the list. After we have the estimate negotiated we can start on the rebuilding process. It is during this process that we bring the property back to pre-loss condition. The only thing you are responsible is for is your deductible!!
If you have questions or need help
Call us now! 804-218-5820