Stop, drop, and roll. Get into the cellar. Crouch under a doorway. Advice to save yourself from disaster is simple, short, and easy to remember. The process of saving your house post-disaster, however, is another story. In the pressure and the emotional upheaval that comes with realizing your home needs more restoration than you can give it, it’s easy to get confused and make some basic mistakes. Here’s where most homeowners go wrong when they shop for disaster restoration services.
1. They wait too long for restorative services
The first mistake homeowners make is simple denial. They enter a badly damaged home and they want to pretend that all is not lost. The urge to downplay a problem or to “see how it pans out” is understandable, but it will cause multiple problems down the line.
The sooner you get a disaster restoration service out to your property, the better things will go for you. There’s no real damage that will repair itself if left alone. In fact, more problems tend to crop up—water damage turns into a mold infestation, fire damage is allowed to weaken the structure of the house, and so on.
2. They rush to select a service
Once homeowners have wasted time hoping disaster restoration will happen without them having to hire someone, they rush the selection process. Selecting a service should be where homeowners invest their time. Time management isn’t just about doing something as quickly as possible, but taking the time where it’s important.
Gather quotes from a few companies and see what they believe would be needed to fix your property. There is often damage that only an expert can see. When selecting your bid, don’t just go for the service that offered you the lowest cost. They might be offering you fewer services, or they might be covering for a lack of experience or good references. The point is not to be suspicious of contractors, but to make very certain you know what you’re paying for. That way you can select the service that best works for you.
3. They start cleanup on their own
The final and, perhaps, the worst mistake that homeowners can make is beginning the cleanup process without adequate documentation. If at all possible, don’t clean up anything by yourself. By vacuuming up standing water there’s no way for you to prove that your home did sit in water for that long, and so forth. Get your disaster restoration service first. The one you choose should be very familiar with working with insurance companies. They can complete the needed paperwork and help you get the documentation that you need in order to prove the extent of damages that you’re claiming.
These mistakes can have long-lasting consequences, but they’re easy to avoid. Staying alert for signs of damage (and not letting hope turn into denial), making sure you have a variety of bids, and documenting the disaster thoroughly before cleanup begins will make the rest of the process smooth sailing.