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Step 2: Damage Assessment
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
After eliminating sewage-related hazards, the next important step is damage assessment.
Understanding the extent of the damage caused to the structure and personal belongings will help your insurance adjuster to efficiently process the damage claim.
It is recommended to hire a restoration 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.
Structural Damage Assessment
Exterior Signs of Damage
Start with a closer inspection of the property. Walk around the building and lot to observe and gather information. 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.
Record the exteriors and be sure to document every area affected by the sewage backup. For example: if your backyard was flooded with sewage, it is important to record the extent of the damage to the flora, lawns, etc.
Interior Signs of Damage
Next, enter the building. Document the extent of the damage caused to floors, walls, etc. Be thorough especially near the areas from where the sewage backup occurred.
Personal Belongings Damage Assessment
Once you are done with structural assessments, move on and evaluate the damage caused to your belongings. Prepare a list of items that were contaminated with sewage for your adjuster and, if available, give the adjuster receipts for those items.
A visual documentation is recommended here as well. It will help to support your insurance claim. Be prepared to make difficult decisions about what to keep and what to discard.
Convey Your Assessments
When you are done collecting the information required for damage assessment, provide a copy to your insurance agent / adjuster for further processing of your claim. Another copy should be given to your restoration contractor to develop a prioritized plan of stabilization, repair, and restoration.
Dealing with Sewage Backup - Step 1, Safety First