Has Your Home Taken On Water After The Storm?

Severe weather brings a high volume of insurance claims. There may be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of claims being field at this time. Your insurance agent as well as the 1 800 number make great efforts to service you at this time but please keep in mind that many others in your area are experiencing the same thing. Because of this, insurance adjusters may not be able to inspect your property for one to several weeks depending on the order in which your claim came in and the severity of your loss. Many property damage restoration companies also have a waiting list due to the influx of calls. If you seek assistance from one of these companies you will most likely be informed that there is a waiting list and that you should not wait if someone is able to provide service to you sooner. If you do not have coverage you will be expected to pay out of pocket for water damage clean up services.

Verify your coverage and deductible with your agent to be sure you know what your policy consists of. Your water damage may or may not be covered depending on how you entered your home. View more about FLOOD DAMAGE vs. WATER DAMAGE at

Many homes lose power during severe weather. People often assume that a generator can be used to extract standing water if a home has no power. This is a misconception many people have. A generator isn't needed to remove standing water. Generators can be used to provide power to the home or run equipment for a short period of time. Rainbow International uses a truck mount version to extract water. 

Extracting standing water from the home is not necessarily the issue when a home has no power. Having the water return after it is extracted is. The property needs to have power in order to extract standing water. The reason we do not begin work prior to the source being fixed is because water still has the ability to come back in. We could be extracting while water is still coming in. If the electric is off, the source of the problem is not fixed. We cannot run drying equipment for three days off of a generator; electricity is needed for that.

Many homes are taking on water because the power went out and their sump pumps weren't working. If the power is still out, the sump pumps are still not working. This means that homes can still get water in their basement. Once power is restored the standing water can properly be addressed and will start to recede on its own. The damage left behind can then be addressed.

Who is going to pay to have a company perform a service that doesn't offer a proper end result? Many insurance companies are not going to pay for water extraction while the power is out because they know it is and endless cycle at the moment and the service bill will far exceed what a bill should be. They know they are basically wasting money to pay a company to extract, watch water fill back up, extract, watch water fill back up and so on. If a customer signs a contract for mitigation services then they are liable for whatever the insurance company won't cover. Do you want to put yourself at risk to have to pay out of pocket for this service if the insurance company doesn't cover the bill?

We know that this protocol is not what a homeowner wants to hear but this method of operation is honest and transparent feedback. Our company follows protocols in order to provide an efficient and effective service that offers a proper end result. Many other mitigation companies operate this same way. 

If you have no power you can still be proactive by doing the following the things:

  • Prevent electric wires from making contact with water. Avoid standing in water to prevent electrical shock. 
  • Turn off the breaker in the damaged are before you unplug or remove any electrical devices located on wet carpet.
  • Hook your sump pump and fridge up to a generator. The generator will keep your sump pump running so that the home does not take on any more water.
  • Take pictures of the standing water for documentation. Dispose of items contaminated by sewage.
  • Make a list of damaged items and the price of the item. This information will be needed for reimbursement of your contents. Please note that you will not be reimbursed for spoiled food if it is less than your deductible. If it is over your deductible and you can provide proof you will still need to pay your deductible in order to be reimbursed.
  • Do not open the fridge to ensure it stays cold.
  • Wear protective equipment (such as water treading boots and rubber gloves) and pick items up off the ground to prevent them from sitting in standing water. The faster you get items out of water’s way, the more likely you’ll be able to save them. Water damage is progressive and items that could be restored within the first 48 hours of the water damage may not be restored if clean up is prolonged.
  • Keep the door to the basement shut to prevent mold spores from traveling to other areas of the home.
If power has been restored and the water starts to recede you are still left with another problem on your hands. Standing water that is a result of your sump pump or sewer contains contaminants and is not considered a clean water loss. Because of this, it is best to have a water damage service professional assist your with your clean up. You can do the following things while waiting for a restoration company to assist you:

  •  Push remaining water toward the sewer drain. 
  • Once the water has receded you are then left with damp items that are often not salvageable. If you want to dispose of these items you must have accurate documentation if you will be seeking reimbursement from your insurance company. Take pictures of these items for documentation. Some insurance adjusters are understanding if contaminated items have sat for days and needed to be disposed of but it is up to the homeowner to provide proof of damage.
  • Mold will form as a result of moisture so the area that had standing water needs to be dried as quickly as possible. If the structure has power you can use its HVAC system to assist in drying.  If winter you can use the heating system to help dry.  If in the summer you can use the air conditioner to act as a dehumidifier.  Both will create drier air to help the standing water evaporate and will slowly draw moisture out of the walls, carpet and other wet areas.  This will help prevent items that were not damaged from the original water damage from absorbing moisture from the air by starting to reduce humidity.  Your use of house (box) fans is not recommended since they will evaporate moisture faster than can be dried by the HVAC system and will actually increase humidity and possibly cause additional damage.  Only a professional restorer can employ their special fans and control the greatly increased rate of evaporation with high capacity dehumidifiers. 
  • Open the basement windows if it is not raining and there is less humidity outside to will improve ventilation. If there is a breeze then this will aid to the circulation.
  • Remove baseboards to allow air in. If the baseboards are painted along with the wall you will need to lightly score the paint on the drywall where it meets the top of the baseboard.
  • Place aluminum foil under the legs of any furniture which is in contact with we carpet to aid in preventing stains on carpet that can be saved.
Our team of experts can handle any type of property claim stemming from water damage, fire damage, smoke damage, wind damage or mold damage. Rainbow International services the Chicagoland area and we work directly with your insurance provider

*Please note: If you have seepage/crack in your foundation then Rainbow does not address these issues because we are not a water proofing company. We can assist by addressing the damage/water left behind after the source of the problem has been fixed. 

Emergency Hotline: 708-460-0911
Email: info@rainbowrestore.net
Website: www.rainbowrestore.net

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See more information on property damage on Rainbow's blog: http://blogsbynikiramirez.blogspot.com/


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