Will you receive a written estimate?
When you are wanting something built, you want to know how much it is going to cost. In construction, that’s reasonable. Everything for the job has to be purchased in order to build whatever it is that you want. But in the repair industry, it’s a different animal. Just as when you take your car in for repairs, there are things that pop up being needed to be done. So, you have to deal with the possibility of surprises. In the restoration business, it’s the same thing. Most often there is demolition of the damaged materials which uncovers more damage. Accordingly, it’s very difficult to provide an estimate, and a detailed estimate takes a great deal of time to produce. It is not normally done until after demolition in order that it can be made as accurate as possible to contain all the repairs needed. So, it is standard practice in the restoration industry to require a contract be signed before a detailed estimate can be provided. While we will provide an initial verbal assessment of the repair costs, we cannot put it in writing without a contract to ensure that we will be paid for the time it takes to produce the estimate, and we cannot be held responsible for an inaccurate verbal assessment when a written estimate cannot be provided.
Time is of the essence!
There are actually a number of reasons why estimates are not normally supplied up front for water damage drying and mitigation services. First and foremost, when a water damage loss or flood occurs to a property, time is of the essence. Even small delays in getting the mitigation and drying started can result in a substantial amount of additional damage, and associated cost, to the property. The Insurance Industry, which has spent countless billions of dollars paying water damage claims, does not require Mitigation Companies to provide a quote prior to performing the work. These Insurance Companies have learned that the delays associated with waiting for an estimate only increases the overall damage to the property as well as the amount the insurance company ends up paying out in damages.
Any additional damage may be the property owner’s responsibility.
The property owner’s insurance policy typically includes a clause which places an obligation on the property owner to take action to mitigate further damages. This requires the property owner to protect the property from this further damage. In a water damage loss (pipe break, etc.) or flood, proper and timely drying and mitigation are considered necessary to stop secondary water damage. The water will continue to wick from wet building materials to dry materials. This is often in hidden locations such as inside wall cavities, etc., This wicking continues until there are no longer any dry materials, thereby causing secondary damage. Timely, professional mitigation initially slows and finally stops this process. If the property owner fails to mitigate a water loss in a timely manner, the Insurance Company can, and will, refuse to pay for any additional damage (secondary damage) caused by this delay. As a result, secondary property damage as a result of unnecessary delays while the property owner waits for price quotes could cost the property owner directly.
Waiting can result in mold!
In addition to secondary water damage, mold is also a factor. Delaying mitigation, even less than a day in some cases, can result in the beginning of mold growth. Once mold begins to grow, costs can skyrocket, increasing the overall job costs by four to sometimes ten times what would have been necessary prior to mold contamination. Prompt, professional, and timely drying and mitigation is essential to reducing costs when a water damage loss or flood occurs. Any delays, even delays associated to getting estimates, generally only increase the overall cost.
Premature damage estimates are inaccurate.
Last, it is virtually impossible for a restoration company to accurately estimate the price of a water damage drying and mitigation job. There are too many variables that can affect the nature of the drying, and the time and labor that may be needed to properly dry out a building. As the property dries, water infiltration, by its very nature, will still continue to wick from wet to previously dry areas until the drying is complete. Also, different building materials dry out at different rates. For instance, drywall is more easily dried out when compared to plaster. And the humidity and temperature within the home, as well as the weather conditions outside, can often affect the drying and mitigation services to a property. It is impossible for any professional restoration company to predict where water will migrate during the drying process or how quickly the property will dry. This makes it impossible to provide any accurate estimate.
Go with a company you can trust!
Because of all this, it is important to only use companies you know you can trust for your water damage drying and mitigation needs. ORC is trusted by the Insurance Industry (both Insurance Adjusters and Agents), by many commercial property managers, and by the local real estate Industry for their water damage drying and mitigation needs.