Water is essential to our lives, but can create disasters at homes and businesses. Being aware of the potential causes and having an emergency water response plan will help limit structure damage.
Water damage can come from broken pipes, roof leaks, drainage problems, fire hoses or fire suppression systems. Depending on the size, water and floods can cause irreversible damage and cause mold growth if not responded to properly. When a water disaster occurs, prompt water cleanup and drying is crucial.
A good water damage restoration company will be prepared for both 24 hour emergency service and the property repairs. Good companies provide all needed services: clean up sewage, extract water, dry carpet dehumidification, remove debris, remove mold, odor elimination, repair walls, and replace carpet, hardwood, and vinyl composition tiles, paint and more. Experience companies know how to work well with insurance claims to create a smooth claims process.
Know that it’s your choice.
According to the California Department of Insurance, a policy holder may select his/her own licensed contractor to repair, replace or rebuild damaged property covered by an insurance policy.
Are they a licensed contractor?
By law, a company doing work in California for compensation over $500 must be a licensed CA contractor according to CA Contractors State License Board.
Check licenses at https://www2.cslb.ca.gov/OnlineServices/CheckLicense/NameRequest.asp
Check their experience.
When choosing a water cleanup and restoration company, you should choose a contractor who specializes in disaster restoration. Most contractors and remodeling services do not understand insurance claims processing or how to handle water damage. Experienced disaster restoration companies make the insurance process easy, specialize in disasters and emergency response and expedite getting your property back to normal. There are number of associations that train and educate professional on water damage restoration, mold remediation and other disasters. A company trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is recommended.
Are they EPA Certified?
The US Environmental Protection Agency requires any firm disturbing >6sq.ft inside a pre-1978 structure be a Lead-Safe Certified Firm. Repercussions include fines up to $37,000 per day to the property owner and/or contractor.
Check Certification at http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm
Ask for referrals.
Establish water damage companies have done work before and if they are good should gladly give you referrals to past clients who have been satisfied with their service.
Mold ? The Other Aspect of Water Damage
Mold will grow on walls, carpet, and paper 24 hours after water damage, therefore quick drying is key.
Note: Pre-existing mold is sometimes discovered during the water damage restoration. If discovered, a Certified Mold Remediator (CMR) will know how to prevent spreading mold spores. Many water damage companies employ a CMR. You should expect dehumidification, air cleaning and drying during removal; these are often essential for complete mold remediation.