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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage Restoration in Hawaii: Simplifying the Process

6/8/2023 (Permalink)

The most common cause of damage that can occur to a property due to water damage restoration in Hawaii can vary. Water damage claims are the second most frequent insurance claim next to wind damage or hail. A frequently asked question when water damage occurs is, “what’s going to happen, where do we go from here?” Or, “what are the next steps?”

Many problems that occur during a restoration project can often be communication related. Enough information was not provided upfront, leaving the insured with many questions. Or, too much information was shared before the insured has had the opportunity to speak with their insurance company. Both instances can result in unnecessary calls and emails to your restoration contractor.

Understanding the Key Steps in Water Damage Restoration

When the process is not understood, and the expectations have not been set from the beginning, it can cause undue stress on top of an already emotional and stressful situation. In most situations, your restoration contractor is taking every necessary step to get you and your home taken care of and back to a preloss condition.

This article will provide you with what you need to know, so you can learn more about water damage restoration services in Hawaii and have a clear understanding of the mitigation process and the necessary steps to restore your property.

Step 1: Initial Inspection

The first step in the water mitigation process is to reach out to a restoration contractor to perform an onsite inspection. During this time a certified technician will perform a simple inspection using moisture meters as well as an infrared camera to determine the extent of the water damage in your property. Coverage for water damage depends on the situation and the source as well as the policy the property owner has chosen. While performing the inspection the technician will determine the category and classification of the water. Water restoration companies operate per IICRC standards and guidelines within the industry.

The IICRC S500 categorizes water by the following:

  • Category 1 water damage or “clean water”. A category 1 water damage is when water originates from a sanitary water source and does not pose a substantial risk if ingested or inhaled. Examples of this include a broken water supply line such as a toilet or faucet supply line. Melting snow or ice. Falling rain water. Or, a tub or sink overflow with no contaminants. A Category 1 water damage can quickly deteriorate into a Category 3 water damage if the affected areas or materials sit for more than 48 hours.
  • Category 2 water damage, aka “grey water”. A category 2 water damage is when water contains a potential health risk that can cause sickness of contacts by humans. This typically results from a water using appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, as well as some toilet overflows that do not contain contaminants.
  • Category 3 water damage, commonly referred to as “black water”. This is the most extreme type of water damage requiring swift action to mitigation serious health risks. Examples of black water includes sewage, a flood from an exterior source such as seawater, river or ground water. In simple terms water that originates from outside your property or a sewage backup.

Step 2: Placing Equipment

After the category and classification of water has been determined, the next steps taken would be to set up any necessary drying equipment to prevent any kind of secondary damage. Although some building materials may need to be removed at this point, It’s important to first seek approval from the insurance carrier before removing materials that are not covered under the insurance policy. The last thing you need is to have building materials removed from your property, only to find out later that your insurance carrier will not cover the damage.

Step 3: Equipment Monitoring

Everyday a technician will come in and take moisture readings of the affected areas. This helps to ensure that the drying is effective and this is why technicians will show up daily to inspect.

Step 4: Scoping, Estimating, Approval

The technician will then create a scope of work to provide to the Estimator. The scope provided to the estimator will be used to create an estimate for the insured and the insurance provider of how much it will cost to restore the property. This will help the insurance carrier to see the extent of the damage and determine coverage faster.

Water damage exclusions are common in home insurance policies. This is why it is crucial for a restoration company to first verify coverage, so as not to cause unnecessary fees to a property owner that the insurance carrier will not cover.

Step 5: Secondary Services

With certain properties that were built before a specific year, testing for asbestos is required. If the test comes back as positive for asbestos, the estimate will need to be rewritten to include those services. Occasionally if the water damage is extensive, contents may need to be moved offsite which may also require additional time before the property can be properly cleaned. These items can cause a longer approval process to the initial scope provided. 

Step 6x: Completion

Once the estimate is approved, the restoration process can now begin. In most cases, this is simply following the approved and signed scope of work. The approved estimate as well as a work authorization will be sent out to the property owner for approval. Provided all parties are in agreement, the approved work can now begin.

Any water damage issue is a serious concern and should be addressed as soon as possible. A delay in the water clean up process could result in additional and unnecessary costs as well as health risks. Our experienced, certified, and licensed restoration team is here to help you navigate the challenging process of water damage restoration in Hawaii. Remember, time is of the essence when it comes to water damage, so don't delay—reach out to us now!

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