Water damage insurance claims are among the most frequently reported losses. Coverage depends on policy specifics, including the source of water damage and the duration of exposure. It is incumbent upon property owners to ascertain a thorough understanding of possible liabilities, and available policy options to make informed coverage decisions. Current coverages can be replaced entirely or bolstered by adding addendums that would indemnify against eventualities not currently addressed.
Manipulating the environment within a drying chamber is essential to successful water damage restoration. Equipment is deployed to evaporate surface water and create a vapor pressure differential between saturated building materials and dry air. This vapor pressure differential causes trapped water to vaporize and move from the substrate to the air. Achieving an optimal environment for evaporation requires attention to the vapor pressure differential. The bigger the spread of vapor pressure the greater the pull of moisture from the air.
Several times a year, monumental rains flood basements causing significant water damage. Unwitting consumers often assume coverage after such an event, only to discover that they are saddled with the financial burden of flood damage restoration. Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover water damage caused by system failures within the home, but virtually every homeowner’s insurance policy has stated exclusions concerning surface water runoff, also known as ground water.
Humidity, Temperature & Airflow influence the movement of moisture within a material as well as the evaporation rate from the surface of the material and can greatly impact the overall drying time for a water damage restoration project. Quickly reducing moisture in the air and introducing sufficient airflow will reduce water activity, ultimately lowering the potential for microbial activity.
Homeowners insurance provides compensation for events protected under the policy that require emergency restoration services. Covered events can indemnify the policy holder against damage to the home, yard and other structures, personal belonging as well as personal liability if found legally responsible for damage or injury to another. Although homeowner’s insurance is not mandated by law, lenders universally require a policy remain in place for the length of the mortgage to protect the investment. Encumbered properties are subject to force-placed insurance if their policy has lapsed, is cancelled, or has been deemed insufficient. Creditor-placed ‘force’ policies provide rudimentary coverages that protect the mortgagors interests alone and are charged to the mortgagee.
Oxidation involves the loss of electrons in a chemical reaction, which changes the structure of a residue to render it more easily removed. Regarding mold removal, the loss of electrons normally ensues with the gain of an oxygen by the oxidized residue, and the corresponding gain of an electron from the residue by the reduction of the oxidizing agent in the detergent that loses the oxygen. This means organic residues can be more easily extracted via oxidation.
Icicles along a roofline are largely perceived as a beautiful winter staple, yet often indicate ice dams and a potential for water damage to the structure. Ice damming blocks roofing drainage systems, diverting the flow of water under roof coverings and into the building envelope. Once within, gravity carries this permeation through insulation, ceilings, walls, and floors causing widespread water damage. At this point, immediate water damage restoration is essential to prevent the possibility of mold contamination.
Structural drying, an essential component of water mitigation, is the process of drying building components of a structure once the water damaged building veneers are stripped away. In most instances, the freshly exposed building components such as studs, joists and sheathing for sub-floors are fabricated from wood. Wood being cellulose based is susceptible to microbial activity, which will assuredly take hold if the wood substrate is not properly dried following a water event.
When you consider the statistics, it becomes clear just how common and devastating a problem water damage can be. According to industry estimates, 14,000 people in the US experience a water damage emergency at home or work each day, and 98% of basements in the US will suffer from some type of water damage during their lifetime. The costs are just as staggering as the frequency. Water damage restoration and mold remediation services cost the insurance industry approximately $2.5 billion dollars per year, and the average cost of a home water damage insurance claim is $6,965.
Mold remediation is not a job for the inexperienced. Know-it-all contractors and overzealous homeowners often attempt mold removal projects lacking the knowledge, tools and materials required to eradicate mold contamination safely and completely. An uninformed approach to this complicated undertaking generally exacerbates the circumstances with unchecked sporulation and widespread cross contamination. Ultimately, such a naïve attitude regarding this very serious problem will require far more financial input to correct than if trained and certified mold restoration professionals were enlisted initially. Furthermore, deleterious health consequences may result as a byproduct of such hubris.