In Los Angeles and Southern California, we have a very dry climate, and it doesn’t rain very often. So most people aren’t thinking about their roof or the condition of their property when it comes to water intrusion. When this area does get a fair amount of rain, many homeowners find they suddenly have a headache on their hands as water is finding its way inside their homes.
Here at GreatBuildz, a free service that connects homeowners with reliable general contractors in Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura Counties, we speak to homeowners every day about hiring a property damage repair contractor for flood damage repair – here are some tips to get you started.
Causes of Water Damage – Leaky Roofs, Water Intrusion, Standing Water
Especially in heavy rains, water has a number of ways of finding its way into your home. The primary location of water intrusion and flood damage is through your roof. Although most roofs are expected to last 25+ years, they will wear out over time. And many Angelenos live in a house much older than 25 years. As the roof gets old, water from a heavy rainstorm will find any small gaps and crevices to find a way inside your home.
You may notice a leaky roof in a few different ways. Obviously, if it’s raining and you’re seeing water leaking from your ceiling, you know you have a roof leak. Alternatively, some people find that their flooring is wet (but no visible flood damage on the ceiling). This is often because the roof leak is dripping water inside your wall and eventually onto your flooring. Wet floors can be caused by locations other than your roof, and I’ll discuss that below.
Other ways that rain or flood damage can get into your home are leaking windows or doors, getting in through small cracks in your home’s exterior surfaces, through your chimney, or from water flooding and settling against the exterior of your home. In all these cases, you might notice wet flooring, wet or sagging drywall, yellowing or discoloration of the walls or ceiling, peeling paint or wallpaper, etc.
When water from heavy rain collects against the bottom of your home’s walls, it is very likely to cause issues. In the short term, this standing water might get into your home through a sliding glass door or it might saturate your exterior surface (stucco, siding, etc) and seep in over time.
Over the long term, standing water sitting against the foundation of your home could cause erosion of the adjacent soils. And this could cause settlement or shifting of your foundation in this area and leads to drywall cracks and other more serious structural conditions.
Related: 9 Scary Ways Your Home Might Be Hiding Damage
Is My Flood Damage Repair Going to be Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
One of your first phone calls should be to your insurance company or insurance agent. You need to know asap whether your insurance policy covers water or flood damage and in which cases. As you certainly know, every insurance policy comes with a lot of fine print so your coverage will depend on the nature of the damage.
Many policies do NOT cover flood damage or leaks from rain. However, they may cover this if the wind or some other issue (falling tree, etc) caused the rain to get into the house. If it’s unclear what caused the damage, ask your insurance company to send out their adjuster to view the damage, etc.
Related: What Will Your Home Insurance Policy Cover?
What to Do When You Have Water Intrusion or Flood Damage in Your Home?
Your first step is to call a home remediation or home restoration company. These companies are usually available 24/7 to deal with emergencies such as water damage. These companies are equipped to resolve emergency issues and minimize damage. Whether it’s tarping your roof leak or sealing any leaks, they can arrive quickly to repair the most urgent concern.
These home restoration companies will also bring the appropriate equipment (such as air scrubbers) to start the process of drying out your home to ensure mold doesn’t start growing due to ongoing moisture. Finally, they will remove all the surfaces and areas that either contain moisture or that have been damaged from the water leaks. This includes removing drywall, insulation, flooring materials, and other damaged part of your home.
Removing drywall and insulation to allow the interior of your walls to dry out is extremely important in preventing mold from developing. They may also spay a compound to limit the possibility of mold growth. The home remediation company will generally leave you with an air scrubber and fans until such time as everything is dry. You might consider asking them to take air or material samples to confirm no mold is present.
Home Flood Damage Repair Costs
Flood damage repair costs will vary significantly depending on the nature of the damage and repair. The cost of a home restoration/remediation company will likely range between $2000-$5000 and will resolve the immediate urgent task of controlling the leak and starting the drying process.
The cost to repair flooding damage from a roof leak may cost $1000-3000 for a repair or patch of a specific area of the roof. If the entire roof needs to be replaced, you can expect to spend $8,000-$30,000. You can expect your new roof to last at least 25 years.
If you have water damage or flood damage from standing water along the foundation of your home, it means you are having an issue with the drainage and slope along the exterior of your home. The area around your home should always slope away from the house so that rainwater doesn’t start collecting near your home. In order to repair this, you may need some re-grading, drainage, or concrete work and this could cost between $1000-$10,000.
If your flood damage stems from small cracks or leaks in your windows or doors, the cost depends on the extent of repairs needed. It’s possible you just need better caulking or whether-stripping around these areas and this fix could run you a few hundred dollars.
Alternatively, if many of your windows are starting to leak, it could be time to replace all the windows in your home and that cost will run $10,000-$50,000, depending on the style/material/quality of the windows you select.
What is the Difference Between a General Contractor and a Restoration Contractor?
In the event of a flood or leak at your home, the top priority is resolving the most critical issue – water damage and mold. For this important task, you will need to contact a home restoration professional. This type of specialist is trained and knowledgeable in carrying out the essential mitigation measures to resolve the issue and prevent further damage. They are often available on short notice and possess the requisite equipment and credentials to conduct ‘hazardous’ activities, such as mold, asbestos, and water/moisture removal.
Although contacting a repair professional to solve the immediate situation is your best option, the next step will be to “rebuild” the damaged portions of your property. In spite of the fact that some restoration contractors also provide this service, it is in your best interest to use a competent, licensed general contractor, especially if the project is significant (over $10,000) and includes flooring, cabinetry, framing, etc.
General contractors specialize in this type of building and hold a state license (which is not required for restoration services) and are more likely to accomplish this task to a higher grade of quality.
How Can I Find a Flooding Repair Contractor Near Me?
It is essential that you employ a qualified, trustworthy specialist, regardless of whether you’re selecting a repair contractor from your insurance company’s approved or preferred list. If you pick the incorrect company, you may have to deal with recurring delays, subpar work, and miscommunications.
Hiring an honest, reputable flood damage repair contractor is the most important factor in ensuring a smooth and stress-free process. Make certain you inquire about each contractor’s readiness to execute a job involving flood damage repairs; not all contractors are willing to do so.
Asking friends, neighbors, and coworkers for referrals is always the most effective strategy for locating reputable insurance contractors. You should ONLY rely on the suggestions of ‘real life’ friends on social networking sites online. Others are frequently unreliable (they frequently recommend their cousin as a contractor, etc.).
If you are unable to obtain referrals from friends, family members, etc., you may wish to use a company that undertakes rigorous contractor screening and offers specialist suggestions for home property damage (www.GreatBuildz.com or similar). Please, for your own protection, do not choose a home damage contractor at random from a junk mail leaflet or a website that lists contractors.
GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish.
Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your property damage or flood repair project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com