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water pipe break - water everywhere....

Posted by philmont_2006 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 14, 07 at 12:36

Hi, I had a water pipe freeze and break in my 3 br. duplex. When I shut the water off there was about 3" of water in the entire basement. It's a 2 story and the break happened upstairs.... anyway long story. My question is I'm working with the insurance company, who has hired a remediation crew. They are drying the place out... When we are all done, I do I know for sure everything is dry and I won't get mold in the future???? They have their meters but they are also getting paid by the insurance company..
Thanks DAve


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: water pipe break - water everywhere....

So-the insurance company hired them?? When we had a water leak we did not make a claim but did get advice from the insurance company. We made sure we had an air test done- sorry I do not know what exactly this is called- the builder who was paying did not agree that this needed to be done-but I wanted a big paper trail for future resale.
If you have specialist doing this work it will be fine. We also used a remediation company who added the air test. They dry is out (takes awhile) and then spray stuff and then check again. The air thing was above all of that but did make me feel better. Good luck


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RE: water pipe break - water everywhere....

Did the insurance company hire them or did you? Usually they will call them out but the homeowner is the one who signs the authorization for work. It also depends on the carrier. I work in the insurance claims industry and see your type of loss everyday. If the remediation contractor was onsite quickly with equipment the mold issue usually doesn't come up. It depends on how long things are wet and the type of materials involved. With the mold scares of the last few years remediation companies and insurance companies are much more careful about making sure everything is dried quickly and mold is not an issue. That being said you have to ask plenty of questions and make sure you understand what's always happening. The insurance companies weed out the bad contractors fairly quickly since word spreads fast and we don't like problems. We have plenty of work to do and we need companies that can perform without complaints and issues. But keep an eye on them and most important don't turn off the equipment. As loud and as hot as it will get in the basement you have to keep it running.

The other issue will be the repair and who will do them. You will have to get a contractor out to inspect unless the remediation company does repairs as well. Your adjuster will probaly have referrals for contractors if you don't have one. Each adjuster is different and sometimes you get someone fairly green in the industry. Don't be afraid to ask lots of questions as reviewing documents and insurance estimates can be very confusing.

I have only had to do air testing a few times over the last 10 years and I have seen hundreds and hundreds of water claims. It depends on many factors. If you have ashma or sensitive children it doesn't hurt to ask but you may have to pay for it yourself.

I have worked on the insurance side and the construction side of insurance restoration. If you have any questions I would be happy to help if I can.


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RE: water pipe break - water everywhere....

Thank you both for your knowledge. Steve your thoughts and knowledge make me feel a little better. The company was contacted by the insurance company. I have heard of the restoration company before and they have been in business ovr 20 years that I know of. I was pleased with the initial response. I shut the water off at 3:15am and they had a full crew with all the equipment there by 9:00am. By 5:00pm it was 90 degrees in the place. Now this was early Tuesday morning when it all started. This morning I stop by there and there is still wet carpeting because they don't pull it all up, they lifed one corner and put a fan underneath it after they used that big extraction machine. But most of the carpeting is still nailed down.. so on day 3 here I still have wet carpet, pad and subfloor. Doesn't make sense that after they extract the carpet that they pull it out..... The whole place would be dry by now if that was the case..... Of course I am worried about mold in the future.... what are your thoughts... The adjuster, which I have talked to once is impossible to get a hold of, I called her this morning but she hasn't called back yet....
Thanks so much for your knowledge and help... do you think I'm worrying to much?????????
Thanks Dave


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RE: water pipe break - water everywhere....

Don't be afraid to call the mitigation company and talk to them. We like to have most losses dry within 3-5 days unless it is very severe but each loss is different. Some companies have a 3 day rule and have determined that most losses should be dried in 3 days and don't pay for anything longer than that. Not having seen yours it's hard to comment. Usually wet pad is always pulled from under the carpet unless it's very high quality pad. Most people have standard pad that, once wet, needs to get pulled so the carpet can dry. Wet pad won't dry under carpeting even with a fan. If an entire room was wet I usually see multiple fans in a room plus a dehumidifier close by. Many times the carpet is pulled up in sevweral locations since the pad in wet areas gets removed. One thing to note is that the main function of the fans is to circulate air. Air movement is required to allow the dehumidifiers to pull the moisture out of the air. The fans also dry certain areas but air circulation is the critical part.

Most companies will follow the standard procedures and usually don't come in with less equipment than neded. They get paid very well for each piece of equipment and for the length of time it runs. If anything they usually bring too much.

Keep calling your adjuster. Has she been out yet to inspect and see the loss? If not I would try and get that done ASAP. They should be onsite within 48hrs to see what's going on. I guarantee she is busy and assumes the mitigation company is handling everything. This is a business where the sqeeky wheel gets the grease. If you don't get a response soon go up the ladder to the supervisor. Most adjusters are handling anywhere from 30-100 files just like yours so unless you keep calling your file may get set to the side. Get a cell number for the adjuster as well because I bet she's out in the field most of the time and not at her desk. Messages are fine but adjusters get a lot of phone calls and going through messages and returning calls can take a long time. I tell people to try and call until you get an actual response. I don't know your adjuster but most in the industry never answer the phone, they let all calls go to voicemail and return the calls later. It's a very busy job so be the squeeky wheel and your file will stay near the top.

If that doesn't work after a few days I have a few other ways to get things done but you don't need those just yet. Express your concerns to the mitigation company and you should be fine. Don't think the worst just yet but keep taking those notes and pictures.


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RE: water pipe break - water everywhere....

Steve,
I called back left another message and field adjuster that works for her called me back. He was in the restoration business before he went on the insurance side of the fence. He made me feel a little better. He said he has the humidity info. from the contractor and things are looking good for the second day. I told him my main concern now was the carpet. He said if it is wet 72 hours after they arrived it will be pulled. Well I will be there and pull it myself if it is still wet and I know it will be. none of the pad or carpet has been removed so they are trying to dry them together, which from what you said and I have read it doesn't make sense......The adjuster (not my main contact adjuster) will be there Monday morning 6 days after it happened........


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RE: water pipe break - water everywhere....

Dave:

I am a contractor in the restoration business for decades and seen thousands of residential and commercial insurance loss claims. I have handled losses from less then a thousand dollars to losses in the millions. IMO too many property owners trust their insurance company to properly handle their claim. Most insurance companies, (not all) have contractor programs for one reason and one reason only, to control their costs. I can only count on one hand the number of insurance companies that really care about doing whatever it takes to satisfy their customer after a claim.

When you file an insurance claim, its parallel to filing a claim in court demanding money for damages. When in court, both parties have their own independent representation to protect their interests. In the insurance industry, (and the only industry I know of) most property owners allow the other party to represent their interests. Who do you think the insurance adjustor is going be devoted too, you or the company who trained them and signs their paycheck?

For the most part, insurance companies dont train adjustors how to properly mitigate or repair property damage. Adjustors are not highly trained in construction and if they do have some construction skills they were not taught by the insurance company. Insurance adjustors are trained how to manage the claim. Insurance companies train their adjustors how to negotiate. The primary job of the adjustor is to limit the insurance companys costs. PERIOD

I could spell out volumes of other concerns to look for but Im sure you want to know how your property should be restored. Your description of how they are drying your property is my first big red flag. That process of pulling pad and floating carpet used to be the industry protocol years ago. Some insurance companies prefer their contractors still do it this way. If my company is involved in a clean water loss, we never dry a property in this fashion anymore. We stopped this process about five or six years ago. We follow our proven industries protocol, not what the insurance companies want or what a franchises home office dictates.

The proper way to mitigate a clean water loss is to extract the water from the carpet and pad using the proper equipment. This equipment is not just a wand and extractor but a heavily weighted piece of equipment that will removed most of the water from the carpet and pad while its in place. This equipment is rather expensive and some restoration companies still havent made the investment. Placing a fan under the carpet can stretch the carpet and do other damages that only show up well after the contractor has gone down the road.

Think about this, after a clean water loss, the drywall, plywood sub floor, wood framing carpeting and padding get wet. The carpet and padding is the most porous and by far the easiest to dry. Youre not removing all the other materials, why remove the material thats the easiest and fastest to dry? If a water loss is properly extracted and dehumidification and air movement is properly set up and no vapor barriers are present, all standard building materials will be dry in 3 days. My company guarantees it. There are some materials such as hardwood flooring, plaster and concrete to name a few that can take longer to dry.

The other red flag from your post is the area was 90 degrees and days later the carpet and pad was still wet. This is the perfect environment for mold growth. If the carpet and pad are still wet this far into the loss, you have no choice but to get ride of it and check for mold problems. If the carpet has been wet this long there is a good chance the backing is delaminating anyway. Make sure if any exterior walls were saturated that the insulation behind those walls are not wet. Most of the time, insulation will need to be removed to dry properly. If any vapor barriers are in place such as gloss paint will also inhibit proper drying.

If you want to talk this weekend, send me your contact information to mas5461@yahoo.com and I will call or email you.


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