Water Damage Insurance Restoration Contractor – Importance of Hiring Them
Almost every household in America will experience some sort of water damage at some stage over the life of the property like in the case of a storm that hit Lino Lakes. Small accidents such as an overflowing sink or a leaky faucet can easily be fixed with the help of home equipment such as a dry/wet vacuum and a hairdryer. However, when the water damage relates to more complex forms of damage such as backed up toilets, broken pipes, flooded basements, rainwater flooding and so on, it is best that the homeowners call for the services of a professional water damage restoration contractor.
Here are some examples of situations where a professional water damage repair company might be able to do a much better job than homeowners who will try to attempt restoration on their own.
Water damage repair arising out of a broken pipeline – Sometimes, you can be clueless about the source of a water leak in your house. You may or may not know that there are several pipes that are concealed in the construction of your home. They can suddenly crack for various reasons. A professional restoration company will be able to use infrared cameras to identify the cracked pipe without having to break down walls or other construction materials. It would be very difficult for you to properly identify this leak without the right equipment that only an insurance restoration contractor Lino Lakes will carry.
There are water damaged restoration services out there that are going to do the minimum amount necessary. These people might represent insurance companies, who have instructed these contractors to only do the minimum that is required by the state or insurance commission that they are under. If this is the case, you might want to find another insurance restoration contractor Lino Lakes company to handle your homeowner’s insurance policy.
The four categories of water damage restoration – There are essentially four different types of water that can cause damage to your property. Category 1 and category 2 are the least problematic as they are water from relatively clean sources such as an open faucet or a broken washing machine or dishwasher. Category 3 and 4 are very problematic because the water will be infected with a lot of microbes, bacteria, and fungi. Category 3 and 4 water, otherwise known as black water will come from sources such as backed up toilets, sewer lines, sea water, river water etc. Only a professional contractor will know how to treat each category of water. Some will require the use of chemical-based agents that will remove the bacteria and fungi from your property. If you attempted restoration on your own by just drying out your property, you could run the risk of exposing your dear and loved ones to dangerous levels of bacteria that will obviously not be visible to the naked eye.
How to choose the right contractor.
Eliminate Imposters Quickly
With a little detective work, you can quickly figure out which companies to avoid like the plague. The obvious initial thought is to Google the company name, but for a scam artist looking to run away with your insurance proceeds, this method is not likely to be very effective. You may find a website and not much else. If they have scammed other homeowners in another city, they likely did it under a completely different business name, and possibly even under another personal name.
The next place to look is on the Better Business Bureau website. There you can see if they have any prior complaints, and whether or not those complaints were resolved. In some cases, you will also be able to see when the entity was created, though this date is taken from the information the contractor sends to BBB, so further research is needed. In order to find the actual business creation date, you will need to do a business entity search on your state’s secretary of state office website. Some states will allow you to search for this information, showing you the date the business was started, as well as the local entity creation. There are reputable contractors that will open a new office in your city following a major storm. But if the business itself was not created until shortly after the storm date, it gives you an idea that this might be a scam artist.
Obviously, if a Google search and a BBB search both results in no information about the company, you have good reason to believe you should eliminate that company. Once you have eliminated the potential scam artists, it’s time to do further research on the companies you like.
Knowing What You’re Getting
Checking references is a common suggestion when it comes time to choose a contractor, and this is a great suggestion. However, this should not be the only method used. It is unlikely that any contractor is going to hand out references that will give them a bad review. Still, by calling a few of the references you can get an idea of what kind of work they do.
Another important factor to consider is the detail of the proposed work. If the contractor is vague in their work description, ask for a detailed breakdown. As you compare multiple contractors, you can see which one is offering the highest quality product.
Be sure to ask about the workmanship warranty offered. You will want to be sure to get at least a 2-year warranty on workmanship. Most issues in workmanship will show up almost immediately following the installation, or the first time the roof is exposed to extreme weather conditions. Extended warranties are often offered by the contractor; in some cases at no additional charge, and others for a fee. If you want the peace of mind, you may be interested in an extended warranty, but it is not necessary. Any issues you experience with your roof beyond the first couple years are not likely to be a result of poor workmanship but rather caused by failed materials or external damages.
Interview Contractors Rather Than Comparing Bids
The insurance company is covering the cost of the repairs anyway, so the price is irrelevant. If you hope to have your deductible covered, or possibly even make money on the claim, think again. That would be insurance fraud, and you could end up getting into some serious trouble for doing so! Beware of contractors who try to lure you in by offering to pay your deductible, give you free upgrades, advertising credits, etc. If they can’t earn your business because of the quality of work they do, they probably aren’t worth your time. Plus, it is better to pay a little more now, than a lot later because of shoddy work.
Be sure to ask the contractor their experience in dealing with insurance claims. If they have little or no experience handling claims, you’re probably better off to cross them off your list. A professional insurance restoration contractor will be able to assist you with the claim process, get you the most money (and therefore the highest quality repairs), and get the claim approved. Professional insurance restoration contractor Lino Lakes will use Xactimate software for their estimates, and some may even have licensed adjusters on staff.
Don’t be in a hurry to choose a contractor following storm damage to your home. Take your time to research several companies, interview them, and make your own educated decision from there. You will be glad you did when your property has been restored with top quality craftsmanship, while your neighbor complains about all the issues they have had with their project and the contractor that covered their deductible and gave them free upgrades!