WATER DAMAGE DO’S AND DON’TS! If you have water damage, there are many things that can be done to help limit the damage and make the cleanup process a little easier. Listed below are some things to do or not to do when you are in the process of cleaning up the water.
- Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.
- Wipe water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
- Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying (check for possible bleeding).
- Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
- Turn on air conditioner for drying in summer; open windows slightly to speed drying in winter.
- Remove oriental or other colored rugs from wet wall to wall carpeting and floors.
- Open drawers and cabinet doors for complete drying (do not force).
- Remove valuable oil paintings and art objects to a safe place.
- Blot wet carpeting with clean white towels, use shop vacuum or carpet cleaning machine to remove water. Make sure the vacuum is properly grounded and that you wear rubber boots.
- Open suitcases and luggage to dry, in sunlight if possible.
- Punch small holes in sagging ceilings to relieve trapped water. Don’t forget to place pans or pails beneath.
- Place important papers or books in freezer for drying.
- Contact your agent to determine if you have coverage, report the claim and determine what your next steps should be. Contact a professional cleaner if necessary.
- Step into deep water in basements (electrocution may occur).
- Leave wet fabric in place; dry as soon as possible. Hang furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.
- Leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floor.
- Use your household vacuum to remove water.
- Use any electrical appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors. Have all electrical appliances inspected before use.
- Turn off ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet. Keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging excessively from retained water.
- Allow sewage contaminated surfaces to contact bare skin.
IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP THE DAMAGED PROPERTY UNTIL THE ADJUSTER HAS A CHANCE TO SEE THE PROPERTY AND DOCUMENT YOUR CLAIM. If you have any questions, please contact your agent or the adjuster that has been assigned to your claim.
When you have a covered claim to your real property, please be aware of the following:
· We want you to receive quality repair work to restore the damages to your property.
· We will work with you to determine a proper scope of damage and cost of repair. Should the contractor you select have questions concerning our scope or estimate, they should address it with you and may contact your claim adjuster directly.
· There may be building codes, ordinances, laws, or regulations that affect the repairs of your property. These items may or may not be covered by your policy. Please contact your claim adjuster if you have any questions regarding coverage which may be available under your policy.
· If you select a contractor whose estimate is the same as or lower than our estimate, based on the same scope of damages, we will pay based upon their estimate. If your contractor's estimate is higher than ours, you should contact your claim adjuster PRIOR to beginning repairs.
· Fairmont Farmers Mutual cannot authorize any contractor to proceed with work on your property. Repairs should proceed only with your authorization.
· Fairmont Farmers Mutual does not guarantee the quality of the workmanship of any contractor or guarantee that the work will be accomplished within any specific time frame.
· It is understood that the contractor is hired by you, our insured, and that they work for you - not Fairmont Farmers Mutual.
· All payments will be made to you and any/all applicable mortgage companies and/or loss payees.
If you have any questions or need additional information regarding your claim, please contact your claim adjuster immediately.
See Tips for Hiring a Contractor on the back side…
TIPS FOR HIRING A CONTRACTOR
Before you hire a contractor, the Department of Labor and Industry suggests the following:
· ask for the contractor's license number and contact the Department of Labor and Industry at (651) 284-5069 or 1-800-342-5354 to verify the builder is currently licensed and to find out if they have a disciplinary history; (The status of a contractor's license can also be verified by using DLI's Licensing/Certificate search.)
· ask the contractor how long and where they have been in business;
· ask for references and check with former customers to see if they were satisfied with the work;
· ask for a Minnesota business address other than a post office box;
· ask for a local phone number where the contractor can be reached during normal business hours;
· check the contractor's litigation history on the state court system's website at http://pa.courts.state.mn.us/default.aspx.
Avoid contractors that:
· arrive in an unmarked truck or van;
· ask you to sign an estimate or authorization before you have decided to actually hire them;
· appear to be willing to do the job at an unusually low price;
· offer to pay your deductible or offer you discounts or other compensation for hiring them;
· only provide a post office box for their business address;
· require full or substantial payment before work begins;
· refuse to provide you with a written estimate or contract;
· refuse to provide you with a license number issued by the state of Minnesota;
· refuse to provide you with references;
· show up at your door unsolicited; or
· use high-pressure sales tactics.
Before you sign a contract, make sure it includes:
· a detailed summary of the work to be done;
· a description of materials;
· the total contract price or how the price will be calculated; and
· specific timelines and provisions that address what will happen if the contractor fails to meet the contractual deadlines;
Regulation is in place to protect homeowners entering into contracts with roofers. With certain restrictions, homeowners are allowed to cancel a roofing contract if their insurance company denies the claim.
For additional information please visit the Department of Labor and Industry’s website at: http://www.dli.mn.gov/CCLD/RBCConsumer.asp.