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Step 2: Damage Assessment
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Damage assessment is an important step towards understanding the extent of the damage and the related health hazards and risks. A better understanding of the damage caused to the structure and personal belongings will also help you file and process your insurance claim.
It is recommended to hire a remediation professional for a fast and accurate assessment. This will help speed up the restoration process, allowing you and your family to get back to normal life as quickly as possible.
Alternatively, you can hire a qualified environmental consultant. Environmental consultants should be able to provide the initial assessment and emergency mitigation strategies.
The environmental consultant should have at least one year of experience in providing mold and water damage assessments and writing protocols for remediation.
Structural Damage Assessment
Start with taking a closer look at the damaged area. Try to determine the affected area. Use the following guide:
"Small" Area Mold
Up to 3 patches of mold, each smaller than 10 square feet, is considered a "small" area mold. However, keep in mind that small moldy areas will become larger over time if neglected, so clean up and remove even small areas of mold.
"Moderate" Area Mold
If there are more than three patches, but each patch is smaller than 10 square feet, it is considered moderate area mold. It is also considered moderate area mold, if there is one patch, larger than 10 square feet but smaller than 32 square feet.
"Extensive" Area Mold
A mold area is considered "extensive" if a single patch of mold is larger than 32 square feet.
Personal Belongings Damage Assessment
Once you are done with structural assessments, move on and evaluate the damage caused to your household goods. Take a close look at all items placed in the affected area and try to detect signs of mold on these items.
It is recommended to prepare a visual record of the damage using annotated photos or video. Make sure your visual record shows the scope of the disaster. Be thorough and document all affected areas both indoors and outdoors.
Document the damage caused to your personal belongings as well. Prepare a list of items that were affected by mold for your adjuster and, if available, give the adjuster receipts for those items.
Convey Your Assessments
When you are done collecting the information required for damage assessment, convey a copy to your insurance agent / adjuster for further processing of your claim. Another copy should be given to your remediation contractor to develop a prioritized plan of mold removal, cleanup, and decontamination.