The Water Loss Threshold: When Should You Seek Help?

Catastrophic losses aside, sometimes it can be difficult to determine whether or not there’s a need for a New Orleans water restoration professional to step in and help you with the recovery and repair process. Over the course of owning a home, there are many instances you may come across where a sudden water leak can be stopped and repaired with little or no help from a professional contractor. There are a few key points to consider when deciding whether or not to file an insurance claim and getting a professional restoration company involved. These points can be best covered by the use of an example: Let’s say you have a bathroom upstairs, and for some time you’ve noticed water leaking from behind the flange of your shower head while using it. Maybe it’s a small and very slow leak, and you think it can be fixed by simply re-caulking and tightening the pipe behind the wall, if there’s an attic access behind it that makes this feasible. Now let’s say that one day you notice the paint bubbling and starting to peel beneath your shower head, and the first floor ceiling beneath it is starting to show the same symptoms of water damage. Now you might want to start thinking about filing a claim or having a professional assesses the situation. In one such case, a New Orleans water restoration professional technician evaluates the attic wall adjacent to this pipe and finds that most of the water has travelled down from the source of the leak, and since the homeowner stopped using the shower once the problem was noticed, this wall was allowed to dry safely on its own from the natural low humidity conditions in the attic. However, the first floor ceiling was the gathering point of all the accumulated water, and a 4ft by 4ft area of this ceiling contains wet insulation and highly saturated drywall. The technician goes downstairs, cuts out the most saturated ceiling material and removes the wet insulation from the hole he created. He then mounts an air mover securely to the top of a ladder and seals the area between the mouth of the blower and the hole with a large, thick plastic bag that is open on both ends, creating a contained and concentrated drying chamber. The technician then installs a dehumidifier directly above this hole in the attic access, which will absorb the humidity as the blower pushes it upwards. A second air mover is installed next to the dehumidifier to increase vapor pressure and coverage of the attic cavity. By the next day, the ceiling cavity and all affected framing material is completely dry and the technician applies a disinfectant to these areas to ensure that no mold is allowed to grow. This is an example of simple steps taken to address a relatively simple case of water damage, and although it might be tempting to take on the task yourself and save money, there are certain things you must consider before making a decision. One thing to consider is the amount of your homeowner’s insurance deductible. If you have a very low deductible, it is in your best interest to file a claim immediately and have a professional restoration company step in to address the problem. Consider the costs involved in not only fixing the problem and drying the area, but also the cost of replacing and repairing the materials that were removed or destroyed in doing so, such as insulation, drywall, paint, etc. These costs alone may justify your deductible in many cases. Secondly, even if you think the full extent of the damage may not meet the cost of your deductible, you may still want to consider getting an assessment from a water restoration company as insurance against future damage that you might have overlooked. These companies have specialized meters that you can’t get at any hardware store. They can detect moisture that has travelled to areas you may have never considered, and many companies will be happy to give you recommendations for dealing with smaller water losses for the meager cost of a basic travel or service call charge. It is always a good idea to have a New Orleans water restoration professional inspect your water damage, whether or not you decide to file a claim, if only as a second opinion. This simple step can save you lots of money and time in potentially unneeded repairs in the future.