Categories
Water Remediation

Water Damage :: What To Do When It Happens To You

Whether it is from a broken pipe, heavy rains, busted hoses, or even back-flowing toilets, water can cause a lot of damage to your home if it is not dealt with quickly and efficiently. Unfortunate as it may be, water damage can happen to any of us at any time. According to estimates, the Tampa Bay Area alone typically reports above 15,000 water-based losses every year. On any particular day, about 20 homeowners in Hillsborough County return to their homes only to find busted hoses, leaking pipes, back-flowing toilets, and overflowing washing machines,

As a homeowner, there is only a handful of things as stressful as coming home to a water-damaged home. Not only is there the physical damage to contend with, but there is also the emotional rollercoaster of witnessing your most significant investment get ruined along with personal belongings.

What to do when you have water damage

Typically when you come home only to find it flooded, your initial reaction will be panic. However, you must quickly regain your composure since you must take quick and decisive action. Once you are calm, it is time to take action. Here is what to do.

1. Immediately call Lightning Restoration. Lightning Restoration is the number one water damage remediation and restoration company in Hillsborough County. Call us immediately you notice water damage since time is of the essence. The quicker the LR gets there, the more we will be able to save you money and damage content.

2. Shut off the water if possible. Turn off the water flow into your home if possible. If it is a broken pipe, close the valve and if it is a washing machine, unplug it from the wall outlet.

3. Switch off the power. Water and electricity are a dangerous mix. Don’t do anything that will put you or your loved ones in danger. If you are concerned about electrical items in the water, you can shut the power off to the house with your main breaker. To save content, you can slide aluminum foil or saran wrap under the legs of furniture items. You can also use towels to soak up standing water while LR is en route to your home.

4. Rescue any valuable items. If possible, try to move any valuable or sentimental items to a safe, dry place. This step will help mitigate the amount of damage done and give you a sense of control during what can feel like a very chaotic time.

5. Keep the doors and windows closed. Florida is very humid, which may slow the drying process. Therefore, keep the windows and doors closed unless it is unseasonably cool outside, .

6. Lightning Restoration will be there immediately to take care of everything for you and establish a drying system in the house.

Who do you call for water damage?

Once you have taken the necessary steps to protect your home and belongings, it is time to call the professionals. Here is where the challenge comes in who do you call first? A water remediation company or your insurance company? While your initial instinct may be to contact your insurance company first, we highly recommend that you first call a remediation company such as Lightning Restoration.

Insurance companies are interested in one thing, saving money. They will always prioritize their interests which often does not line up with what is best for the homeowner. On the other hand, Lightning Restoration is always on the homeowner’s side. We prioritize the homeowner’s interests even during the insurance claim, ensuring they are fully taken care of during this difficult time.

About Lightning Restoration services

Since its establishment in 2006, Lightning Restoration has risen to become the premier restoration company within the Tampa Bay area. We specialize in fire, mold, & water remediation with proven procedures in cost efficiency and maximizing job time. We are also the most preferred vendor by hundreds of insurance carriers, insurance agents, property owners, and property management companies.

Our remediation and restoration services include:

  • 24/7 emergency water extraction
  • Moisture mapping and an immediate detailed assessment with an outline of remediation procedures.
  • Industrial grade drying equipment, including high-capacity air movers and dehumidifiers.
  • Professional assistance with your insurance claims process.

At Lightning Restoration, we understand that this is a stressful and challenging time for you, but rest assured that we are here to help. We guarantee excellent restorative cleaning services with effective, ongoing reporting and communication. Our technicians will arrive on the site within two hours of the initial call and provide a complete estimate, with photos, to the parties involved within 24-48 hours of completing the job.

Note. Throughout the insurance claim process, Lightning Restoration always takes the homeowner’s side to ensure they get the best possible outcome. In case of an emergency flooding in your house, call Lightning Restoration immediately and have someone truly on your side when it comes to your insurance claim.

Categories
Water Remediation

The Dos and Don’ts of Home Water Damage Remediation

The goal is to prevent water damage, but accidents occur every day, even when we are being the most careful.  When water damage occurs, it is important to react quickly to stop the damage from getting worse.  Here are some helpful tips when dealing with home water remediation.  Remember that safety comes first.  In addition, if any of these tips put you or your loved ones in harms way, wait for the professionals to arrive. 

The Dos of Home Water Remediation

  • Try to stop the water flow.  Know where the shut-off valves are for your home. 
  • Remove as much excess water as possible with towels or a shop vac.
  • Towel dry wood furniture
  • Relocate all move-able items to a dry place
  • Slide foil or plastic wrap between the furniture and the floor
  • Pin up draperies and upholstery skirts
  • Contact an Expert immediately.  Water damage will continue to get worse, even after you suck up the standing water.  Experts know how to get your property clean and dry, with the least amount of secondary damage…like MOLD

The Don’ts

  • Stay away from contaminated (sewer) water.  Sewer water may contain bacteria, viruses, parasites and other harmful contaminates.
  • Don’t use electrical appliances or outlets in or near wet areas
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to extract water
  • Keep wet items away from any absorbent surfaces
  • Don’t turn on your heating and/or air conditioning system if you think water may have entered the ducts
  • Stay out of rooms if the ceiling is wet or sagging.  Ceiling drywall can contain heavy amounts of water which may collapse on you.
  • Don’t leave absorbent materials like boxes, papers or pillows in the wet area
  • Don’t let children or the elderly enter the affected areas

In short, at Lightning Restoration, we understand the importance of reacting quickly to water damage, for the safety of your family and to prevent Mold from growing. Because of this, we guarantee a 2-hour response time to any emergency call and offer a free evaluation/inspection on every call. 

Categories
Mold Blog Water Remediation

Don’t Get Caught with Short Water and Mold Coverage Limits

Insurance coverages are constantly changing in the State of Florida.  If you are not keeping up with the terms of your policy, you may be in for a rude awakening.  It is especially important to review your renewal policy with your Insurance Agent every year. 

How Much Water and Mold Coverage is Enough?

We recently performed remediation in a home that had water and mold damage throughout half of the home.  The property owner was unaware that, due to the age of their home, they were only insured for $10k in water coverage and $10k in mold coverage.  These amounts may seem like a lot of money to work with in performing the remediation; however, it usually comes up short when needing repairs after the drying and cleaning.  In this case, the cost to replace the kitchen alone was over $20k. 

That left the property owners significantly underinsured.  After speaking with the Agent and Property Owners, we found that they were notified by mail that their policy limits were dropped down but failed to read the letter.  In this case, the property owners were not hurt too bad, as they were saving to do renovations in the home already.  Unfortunately, most are not that lucky, and property catastrophes rarely happen when you are prepared to deal with them. 

Changes in insurance coverages are becoming more and more common in Florida.  Insurance companies originally set limits based on the replacement value of the structure. Now, after a home reaches 30-40 years old, limits drop down to $10k. Lightning Restoration stays on top of the latest trends in the insurance industry to protect our clients from surprises.  When we recognize that a home reaches a certain age, we will contact the local agent to review the policy to make sure that all parties know the limits before performing work that may not be covered. 

Okay, So What Do I Do?

As a homeowner, we recommend that you review your policy every year with your Insurance Agent.  Inquire about your policy limits for different types of damage, including water, mold and fire.  If your insurance carrier has placed low limits on water damage, look at other carriers that will give you full coverage.  Some carriers will reinstate the full coverage with an inspection of the home by a licensed home inspector or plumber.  Also, don’t intentionally buy a policy with lower limits, just to save a small amount of money on premiums…it is rarely worth it.  We witness Murphy’s Law on a regular basis…don’t be one of those cases.  In the end, if you do get caught short on coverage, Lightning Restoration is here to help. 

We have discounted rates for all customers who are paying without insurance assistance.  We also have financing available from 13 different banks, who will have the funds in your account in just 3 days to cover the remediation and repairs.  Our love for our community and neighbors shows through in our ability to educate and help our customers daily.  Remember to call Lightning Restoration in your time of need. 

Categories
Water Remediation

How We Help Even the Most Difficult Water Remediation Needs

During the holiday season we had an elderly client in Tampa call us with a busted pipe in the attic. Per the client, water was pouring through the ceiling fixtures, drywall and out of the walls. We sent a full crew out, prepared to take care of this type of situation. When we arrived, however, we found a whole new concern. The property owner was a hoarder. Throughout the house, she had stacked content items 3-5 feet high, with only trails to get to a portion of the house. These stacks made the rest of the house unreachable. Structural water absorption can be difficult enough to dry out. Add that to a home overflowing with content, and it can be quite overwhelming for the property owner. These difficult water remediation situations call for professionals, so everyone was happy that she called Lightning Restoration.

We Got to Work on This Difficult Water Remediation Job

Lightning Restoration extensively train our professionals in water remediation and hoarding scenarios. Upon our arrival, we were able to shut down the running water, something that the property owner was not able to do on her own. We then utilized state-of-the-art thermal imaging, moisture meters and sensors to find how far the water traveled. The excessive content actually fortunately absorbed much of the running water, limiting it to one area of the house. Eventually, we removed all non-essential content from the home and establish a balanced drying system.

Working in a Hoarder’s Water-Damaged Home

Working with a homeowner who is a hoarder can be a difficult process, if not handled correctly. Hoarders get extremely stressed and frustrated with strangers touching and moving their stuff. Our extensively trained staff offers the compassion and empathy needed to help these clients achieve the emotional stability needed to get the work done. Understanding the opportunity in front of her, we all agreed that we needed to clean out the rest of the home so she could have a fresh start.

The insurance company covered the portion of work affected by the water damage. We performed the rest of the remediation at cost for the property owner because we care about the health and well being of our community. We are happy to say that this property owner now lives in a clean home, completely restored from the water damage and hoarding. She stated that she was so happy that she could finally invite friends and family over for the holidays.

If you are faced with water damage in your home, don’t hesitate to call Lightning Restoration. We train our staff to not only handle the structural damage, but also the care that our clients need to get through the tough emotional times that come with it. From the smallest leak to the largest flood, Demand The Lightning Van!