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Home water damage - advice needed


Home water damage - advice needed

Old 04-01-2017, 09:44 AM
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Default Home water damage - advice needed

Left the house Friday morning and everything was fine. Returned home about 5:30 to the sound of running water downstairs. Bathroom is flooded and water is pouring from the bathroom ceiling. Head back upstairs to find the first floor bathroom toilet overflowing. All water upstairs is contained to the bathroom - except for the fact that it obviously all went downstairs.

Got the water turned off, started dropping towels down to mop up the water and realized that this is a huge job. Called the insurance company and they were quick to send out an adjuster. He looked things over and makes a phone call to the local water remediation company to start the clean up. Clean up crew arrives about 2 hours later and starts pulling back carpet, removing carpet padding (in adjoining bedrooms where water has escaped to) and rolling in the blowers to start drying things out.
So far, so good......I think.

They take moisture readings. Ceilings, and walls in the bathroom and adjoining bedrooms all at 99%. Basement floor is tile and sits on a slab. Upstairs is tile and is obviously plywood.
Readings taken, so they leave for the night.

Saturday morning the same crew returns and starts punching holes in the walls and ceilings, removing the cedar lined closets boards (one by one and labeling them like a jigsaw puzzle), removed all the based boards and hooking up smaller blowers to blow into the holes they've now punched into the baseboard, walls and ceilings. Side walls are all insulated with the regular stuff (and drenched) and the exterior walls are all spray foam.

I ask why they're being so careful to remove these things and they say, "we're going to clean them up, dry them out and put them back...." I ask them if I'm paying for this or the insurance company and they say that they'll be reimbursed by the insurance company.

Off of this said....I have a lot of questions - but don't know what I should be asking, to whom and in what order? This is not an inexpensive home and I want the repairs done properly and well. I also don't want ANY chance of moisture in the house that could promote mold in the near future.

Experts here - what next steps should I be taking?

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KismetLRC is offline  
Old 04-01-2017, 01:14 PM
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They should do a mold test as the final step..compare exterior and interior air samples for mold (difference)
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:55 PM
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August 2016 woke up with a lake in living room and south bedrooms. I did the same until I went outside and realized it was coming through the front door and weep holes. Called Servpro, they showed up 45 min later and we started removal. Moved back in house first of November. Insurance paid for additional living expenses ($15,000), cleanup ($7,000), tear out, and flooring less deductible. Keep your reciepts (everything), review claim sheet and keep your cool with adjuster and company man/woman. Don't be hesitant to tell them they under paid or over paid.
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Old 04-01-2017, 06:56 PM
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If it was my home I would tell them to remove all wet dry wall and insulation, period. I just went through this with a client. Guys came and drilled holes blew air, etc. 2 months later the home owners are smelling musty moldy smells from wet areas. They call me, I cut open several drywall areas to inspect the back of the drywall. Black mold all over the place. This seems to be the new way the insurance companies think they are saving money. The finished side of drywall dries out pretty good, its painted. The back not so much. Water gets in there and wicks up, insulation never really dries out and you lose insulation value as the water compresses the fibers. Call your agent and tell them you want the crap removed and replaced. Be prepared for a fight. They would rather take the chance for another claim for mold remediation down the road then just do it right the first time. For my client it cost the insurer big time. All areas were removed dried and redone properly, and they were put up in a hotel while the work was done. Cost 3 times as much then if they just did what they should have initially. In this case the good hands people were not so good until lawyers and public adjusters were put in the conversation. Good luck!
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Old 04-01-2017, 10:10 PM
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I have been through this twice. I agree with ifishbuster - the wet drywall should be removed - surprising that the drywall around the lights was not removed. It is stained from water. Patching small holes in the drywall is time consuming and never looks right - ask about having whole 4x8 sheets of drywall reinstalled. If the insurance company balks at the cost - ask the contractor if you can pay him extra to do it. Those blowers - they are actually dehumidifiers - right? The job will be easier because you don't have crown molding. The sub floor may or may not have gotten soaked through the grout. I would be concerned that the water came down behind the wall tile in the shower. Do the moisture readings show that there is no water in the bit of sheetrock above the wall tile? Also document with photos as the project goes along - before - during and after. None of my problems during the repairs ever required anything more than phone calls between the three parties - insurance - contractor and myself. But photos always helped. Give and take in the process goes along way. For example - the contractor was concerned that the sub floor under the tile floor might have been soaked at the edge of the the hallways carpet. They pulled the tile. The Vanity was installed after the original tile was laid. So to put it back to spec - they would have needed to pull the vanity - risking the marble top. They asked about cutting the tile back to the shoe molding and leaving the vanity in place. It was cheaper - less risky - and I agreed to it. The new tile went down and the shoe molding covered the transition. The tile guy laid it level with the original tile.
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Old 04-02-2017, 12:21 AM
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My daughter went through this and they depreciated the crap out of her settlement. Cost her big time.
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Old 04-02-2017, 04:58 AM
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It's your home - there is no reason why you should not be part of the process and approve the repairs. (ie control the job)

Call the insurance company and find out how much they are going to pay; you should also have a copy of the contract/scope of work between the insurance company and the remediator. And find out what is allocated for remediation and restoration.

And SLOW IT DOWN. - don't let the remediation company "walk all over you" and get too pursuaded by the mold scare. There's no "majic" hour with mold as their is with medical treatment; 24 hours won't kill anyone with water damage....but many sure like to scare you that it will.

Remediation company is probably (99.9%) charging the insurance company per fan, which is why they were so quick to come in, punch holes in walls and try to dry it out.

FYI, some drywall should be replaced, other may not have to be.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:27 AM
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Talk to your adjuster they should spell out the exact repair process they'll approve. You'll figure out real quick how good your homeowners is. Did some remediation after Sandy, some ins co's were great and others not s much.

Regarding the extent of GWB tear-out, when in doubt cut it. Mold loves the paper backing on GWB and wet paper in a dark wall cavity = mold.

When they start putting back I'd talk to the contractor about going to mold tough board. It's a 15% material increase at most but well worth it. Honestly I don't know why anyone uses std white board anymore. Few extra bucks up front potentially saves big if there's ever an issue.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:27 AM
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Replace any engineered flooring that has been touched by water.
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:38 AM
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Hirer a private adjuster
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:49 AM
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Had a flood at Easter, come home to find water line to vanity gushing water.

Called insurance company and a restoration company.

We have been paid, restoration company paid and the claim has been settled beyond our satisfaction .

Auto Owners insurance--- great company
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Old 04-02-2017, 11:27 AM
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Just went through the same thing. Remediation company did its thing with testing and removal of water damaged materials, then drying everything that wasn't removed. Insurance paid them directly. Insurance paid us a predetermined amount for additional repairs. We hired separate contractors to make the repairs. Contractors charged less. We came out ahead on the money. Good insurance company is vital.
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