What to Know About Home Restoration Following a Disaster

It's a Tough Situation

Fires, floods and other natural disasters are frightening and devastating. Rebuilding after such an occurrence can be daunting and difficult, but the sooner you and your family can settle back into your home and routine, the sooner life will feel back to normal.

Disaster recovery is a slow, demanding process that can be time consuming and expensive. The exact nature of the process will depend on the type and extent of the property damage. Whether or not the property was insured and the nature of the insurance policy may also be factors.

Disaster Restoration Companies

Unless you're incredibly unlucky, odds are that you have little experience dealing with the ramifications of a major disaster, such as a fire, flood, hurricane or tornado. Add to that the physical and emotional stress that often accompanies disaster survival, and likely you could use a little help. Fortunately, there are a number of disaster restoration companies whose primary purpose is to help you put your property – and your life – back together. These companies can be found online, in the phone book or through a referral from your insurance provider.

Although you might be tempted to pick the first company available because you want the matter resolved as soon as possible, it is important to ensure that you are getting the right service for your money. First of all, look for a company that specializes in your particular claim type, both the type of property (e.g., car vs. house) and the type of damage (e.g., flood vs. fire). Fire restoration is very different from hurricane recovery, and you deserve a representative who understands the specific nature of your claim.

Another thing to consider is that some types of damage may lead into others. Water damage from flooding can foster the growth of mold, which would mean even more repairs. In this case, you'd be looking at hiring a company that specializes in mold remediation. Ensure that the clean-up is thorough, for any leaks or improper seals can rot wood and again promote mold growth.

You will also want to make sure that the company is acceptable to your insurance provider and vice versa. Insurance companies often won't pay for the work of a company they don't endorse, and some companies won't accept insurance settlements directly. Make sure you know whether the work will be covered by your policy and for how much.

Once you've chosen a company, make sure you understand exactly what work is being done and why. Your contract should explicitly state the necessity, nature and cost of each repair. Documentation is important, especially for insurance claims and tax purposes, so get as much as you can in writing. You'll also want an idea of the procedure and timeline, particularly if you have to live elsewhere during the restoration.

Finally, ask about any guarantees to the restoration job, and be sure to get them in writing. Disasters are devastating by nature, but a good disaster restoration company can help make your property as good as new.

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