Restoration Company Red Flags for Laguna Beach/Dana Point Residents

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point recently had the opportunity to go out to a job site in Newport Beach as a consultant for an insurance company. We arrived at the customer’s home to inspect the work of another restoration company that on been on site for several hours. The customer had a supply line to the toilet in the upstairs bathroom burst earlier that day. The water flooded the bathroom and a family room below. The carpet on both levels was soaking wet. The furniture was sitting on the soaking wet carpet.

The restoration company (Service First Restoration) had not even bothered to extract the water from the carpet or move the furniture from the carpet itself. When I asked them why, the technician in charge on site stated that the extractor was too heavy for him to lift by himself.  They had sent over only one technician to the job site. I recommended to the customer to get extraction immediately. Then the story changed. The technician said he didn’t even have an extractor on his truck. He said he would use a “shop vac” to extract the water from the carpet. These “shop vacs” are cheap and inexpensive and never get the job done properly, especially for the large loss this customer was going through at this time. That should have been the first red flag for the insured. The “restoration company” didn’t even have the correct tools to correctly remove the water.

The customer also had an extensive collection of displayed fine China and figurines worth thousands of dollars each. This is where the second red flag was waved. The restoration company didn’t do contents handling. They were going to call another company to handle it for them instead of having their own employees be trained and handle it right away.

Red Flag number three came as an extension to red flag #2; the “contents company” (Alpha) that was being brought on started talking about taking all the contents off site and wanted to bill thousands of dollars to store goods that the homeowner could have stored right on site.

After all of these red flags the customer decided she had enough and asked the other restoration company to leave. SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point took over the project, started extraction of the moisture from the carpet straight away with the correct equipment.  Expertly packing the fine China and figurines and leaving them on site in the customer’s care and to the customer’s liking. We minimized the amount of damage and cost involved. Then we set up containment for drying and dust control and properly dried out the structure. Once this was complete, the restoration and repairs estimate was prepared and executed on time and on budget so as to benefit the customer entirely.

pic

Give SERVPRO of Laguna Beach/Dana Point a call at (949)-831-6201 or contact us online here.

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach Called to Water Damage Site

When a large property manager had a fire sprinkler line crack in a building they manage, they knew to call SERVPRO of Laguna Beach. The pipe had cracked on in the ceiling of the third floor flooding the third level. The water then followed the path of least resistance and found the pipe chases in the concrete floors in between levels. This allowed the water to quickly travel down to level 2 and eventually level 1. As the water reached the ceiling of the level below it quickly began to spread out across the firewalls. It also used the piping from the plumbing and electrical conduit to quickly transport it to other areas of the building. The water cascaded into light fixtures, AC duct manifolds and registers. From there it landed on computers, desks and furniture damaging work product and sensitive documents that were the work of professionals like doctors and attorneys. Fortunately the building engineers were able to shut off the fire sprinklers within 10 minutes of the break.

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach responded in force. Within 20 minutes of getting the call our crews arrived with 9 extraction units to quickly remove the standing water from the carpet and terrazzo flooring systems. Once the major water was removed the electrical systems were checked for safe operation. Fortunately the buildings electrical system was not compromised and we were able to pull auxiliary power from a nearby electrical panel. Once the electricity was secured a project manager walked the job with the building engineer showing him the building materials that had soaked up the water and needed to be thoroughly dried to prevent and inhibit mold growth. A drying plan was constructed and the equipment began to make its way to the building.

Initially refrigerant dehumidifiers and air movers were used to quickly remove the excess humidity in the building. However once they reached their maximum drying efficiency, they were quickly replaced with desiccant dehumidifiers. In addition air movement was reduced as materials reached their moisture equilibrium (fancy word for dry normal).

The property manager was shocked. You see, not too long ago they used to use a company that would always demolish any wet building materials, this would result in expensive demo bills, prolonged restoration projects and upset tenants. The property manager would then have to discount rents in order to appease unhappy tenants. Some were even released from their leases. But why was this job any different? This time they selected SERVPRO to perform the mitigation and drying. At the end of the day, once everything was dry and the repair process was to begin, all that was needed was a few drywall patches and to replace the baseboard. The carpets were then cleaned and the final walk through completed.

How long did it take? From the initial call to completion of the restoration was only 7 days. The tenants were happy, the property manager was happy and the building owners were happy. The property manager remarked “from now on I will only call SERVPRO”.

Here at SERVPRO it’s a pleasure to be part of a team dedicated to making customers happy! Check out our crew here or better yet, see what other happy customers had to say about us here.

Pin Hole Leaks In Laguna Beach Pipes

SERVPRO of Laguna Beach just finished a water damage in Laguna Niguel at the Phillips residence. This is the 8th time this family has had a water leak caused by a pinhole in a copper pipe. If you live in south Orange County you are probably all to familiar with this scenario. Even if your fortunate enough to have not had this happen to you, someone you probably know, a friend, a neighbor or colleague has had a pin hole leak in their home. These little leaks that often go unnoticed have caused millions in damages to home owners in the South Orange County area. So much damage in fact that homeowners, homeowners associations and builders have sued the water district in an effort to re-coupe their losses. They alleged that the water district knew about the corrosive nature of the chloramines used to disinfect the water.  In 2015 a just tossed out the class action lawsuit. “The judge ruled that the districts can’t be sued because they’re following state and federal standards for safe drinking water” (Refer to this article

To add insult to injury, homeowners insurance companies are choosing not to insure homes that have had multiple water leaks. Labeling these homes as high risk, even non-renewing current policy holders. If they do insure these homes they are excluding water damage on the policy for the first 5 years and sometimes requiring proof that a re-pipe or epoxy coating of the copper pipes has been completed. In addition the cost of insuring these homes has gone up. According to some insurance agents 5 times the normal premiums. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, even the real estate market is feeling the strain. The added expense of insuring a high risk home has caused many buyers to walk away from a purchase.
So what’s the solution? Be an the look out! Performing a weekly or bi-weekly walk thru of your home can help you to catch leaks before they cause to much damage. Be sure to look in those hard to see closets and walk behind the sofa and furniture. Look for bubbling of the paint above the baseboard line. Or discoloration to the flooring or walls. If you think that you may have suffered a pin hole leak in your home call SERVPRO right away for a free inspection. Turn off the water to your home when on vacation or even when your not home  during the day. If you have had multiple leaks look into getting your home re-piped or epoxy coated to prevent future pin hole leaks.
For further reading, feel free to check out our Water Information Page:
Se habla español

Top 5 Reasons a water damage claim is denied.

Top 5 reasons a water damage claims are denied.

Water Damage The following is a list of the most common causes for denial that we encounter here in southern california. 1Long term damage. Most homeowners policies will cover a sudden and accidental escape of water. This can be caused by a pin hole leak in a pipe. A sink or toilet that over flows due to a stoppage in the drain or bowl. A toilet supply hose that bursts. Hot water heater that bursts. Cast iron or ABS drain line crack and other similar sudden accidental escapes of water. However, most people do not know that a small drip under the dishwasher or a leaking angle stop valve that causes damage over a long period of time is not covered by most homeowners insurance policies. These types of leaks are the most damaging because they go unnoticed for long periods of time until suddenly someone notices a musty odor, or some mold like staining. At which point its to late. The damage has been done and there is no insurance coverage. This type of denial happens more often than any of the others combined. So make it a regular routine to check those angle stops and supply lines for leaks, drips or corrosion of the pipes. After all an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! 2. Late reporting. This goes hand in hand with long-term damage. The longer you wait to turn in a claim the more the water is eating away at the building materials and finishes of your home. Most insurance policies require that a homeowner mitigate (fancy word for try to minimize) their damages. Which means if you have wet flooring or cabinetry and decide to just wipe up the water that you can see with a towel and assume everything will be fine you may lose out on potential coverage. Water Damage can cause mold growth, wood rot and other microbial amplification. Some of the additional policy coverage for mold and bacteria amplification could no longer be available to you if you decide to wait! 3Ground or Rising water. Typically homeowners insurance does not cover flooding or ground water issues. Flooding would be caused by water outside the home steadily rising until it reaches a level high enough to enter your home. This may be caused by heavy rain fall, improper drainage or ground water issues such as a spring under the home or a neighbors over watering. Sometimes leaves get lodged in the drainage system during the fall then the heavy rains cause the water to back up into areas it shouldn’t. 4Construction Defects. Your homeowners insurance may not cover the shoddy work performed by your discount handyman. Often time in an effort to save costs on showers, plumbing fixture installations, roofing and other problems. Homeowners may select to use a handyman or a friend of the family. Everything may appear fine and even look great until you find out its leaking water or wasn’t constructed properly in the first place. This can be a difficult situation. Always use licensed, insured and bonded contractors to perform work on your home. If you think hiring a professional is expensive, try hiring an amateur. 5. No resulting damage. This sound silly right? Why would anyone report a water damage claim if they didn’t have any damage in the first place? Here in California majority of homes are a slab on grade type construction. Which means the ground (dirt) is graded, the plumbing is laid in the ground and then a concrete slab is laid right over the top of the grading (generally speaking). One of those pipes may spring a leak under the home causing water to escape under the home. Sometimes these are detected by the homeowner or occupant because of loss of water pressure or a hissing noise coming from the wall or floor. Sometimes the occupant may notice hot flooring or tile, in the case of a hot water pipe leak. The water however just dissipates into the ground, not affecting any of the building materials. When the homeowner finds out how much it is going to cost to reroute the under ground plumbing, or even jack hammer into the flooring and concrete to access and fix the leak, a call is made to the insurance company to cover those cost. In certain situations those costs may be covered. However, in order for those costs to be covered resulting damage must have occurred. What does this mean? It means that the water that escaped must have affected one or more of the building materials. (i.e. Flooring, Drywall, Framing, Cabinetry, baseboard etc.) If none of those materials are affected, then the claim may be denied. If you have any questions regarding these situation or would like and estimate for the cost of restoring you water damaged home please do not hesitate to contact SERVPRO of Laguna Beach / Dana Point / Aliso Viejo / Anaheim West for a free consultation. ServproLagunaBeach.com ServproDanaPoint.com ServproAnaheimWest.com