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Laundry room flooded - water damage

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Jun 28, 2013, 08:30 PM
Laundry room flooded - water damage
Hey all,

So a couple nights ago the laundry room flooded because I apparently didn't screw the drain filter on securely enough on the washing machine (either that or hopefully it's not defective). Anyway, we didn't notice for a while and by that time the laundry room (tile) was holding about 2" of water. The water noticeably leaked into the hallway carpet and second bathroom as well, so we spent all night sopping the water up and ringing out those absorbent towels Frown

We also pulled the carpet back and removed the padding and had fans going - I got it all dry from what I can tell. Then, last night, I discovered that the second bedroom (on the other side of the wall from the laundry room) had water seeping into it so I did the same thing with the pad and carpet. Some water even leaked into the master bath but not as much. This is all in a downstairs condo unit btw.

My main concern now is the water damage along the base boards and walls. Based on what I've shared, does this sound major enough to warrant popping off the affected base boards and cutting out the affected drywall (I think currently as high as 4-5" but in the laundry room)? The rest of the affected drywall seems to be 1-2" above the 2" base board at most.
I'm concerned about mold. I've been having fans going constantly and the AC turned on consistently. I'm going to hate to see the electric bill next month Frown

Any advice on the walls/base boards at this point?

I had a couple contractors come out to look. One said that all he'd replace is just the lower portion of drywall in the laundry room (several hundred dollars worth of work). The other assessed that he'd need to drill holes and remove toe-kicks for vanities and cabinets in the hall and multiple rooms and run fans in addition to replacing the lower drywall in the laundry room (his ballpark estimate quote was $6000-$8000 after everything!)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: jplee3,
Jun 28, 2013, 10:54 PM
You're not going to cut out lower sections of walls, dry out, replace and repaint for a few hundred dollars. The $6,000 to $8,000 guy is probably a lot closer to the truth.

Pick up the phone and call your insurance company. Then you'll have a budget to work with.

Jun 28, 2013, 10:58 PM
Definitely call your insurance company, floods caused by plumbing leaks is a covered problem. They likely have a specialist company they use for water damage repair.

General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Jun 28, 2013, 11:47 PM
Third vote for calling your insurance carrier, ASAP. They'll bring out huge fans which can suck out more moisture than what could be removed by ordinarily sized household fans.

A word of caution though. When a roof leak damaged a bedroom wall and the water seeped onto the carpet, the guys who brought out the fans tried to immediately start "repairing." Their purpose was only to address stopping the leakage, not institute remedial work.

I stopped them, and advised I needed to have an adjustor look at the damage first. They didn't want to accept that, said they had been told by their supervisor to start the repairs. I didn't agree and they went out and sat in their truck for quite awhile while I tried to contact the adjustor. Eventually I told them to leave because I couldn't reach the adjustor and there was no way they were going to start any repairs, like pulling out the carpet and opening the walls.

Eventually after meeting with the adjustor and telling her I wanted to get a few quotes, she told me if I didn't use her/the carrier's preferred company that I would receive less in settlement funds. I realized then I had a dishonest insurance carrier.

Long story made short, don't let any of the workers who come out to dry out the rooms do anything but that - don't let them start repairs.

Good luck.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Jun 28, 2013, 11:56 PM
X2 what GS just said; There are two parts to this - first you have the crew that is there just to dry things out, then you have the repair guys come in.

Usually the dry out crew is called in by your insurance company. For repairs, you us whatever contractor YOU want.

Jun 29, 2013, 08:20 AM
In this part of the country you can pick your service that will do the clean up and mold prevention applications. The insurance company may recommend a certain firm, but it seems most often the old buddy system [kickbacks, totally legal of course] is in place.

Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Jun 29, 2013, 10:05 AM
Further thoughts on the remediation issue after reading Jaybee's and Commonwealth Sparky's posts:

I think the concept of directing a customer to a preferred repair service (or as CS puts it "recommend a certain firm"), has with some insurance carriers in fact been adapted to suit the needs of the carriers and/or agents, not the client. And it's really something to watch out for. I switched my policy to another carrier after this happened to me.

I ran into it also when my house was burglarized and I needed immediate help to secure the broken window. The police kindly recommended a company which took care of the job and then billed my insurance carrier for work by 4 men, not 2. Unless my vision had gone bad quite quickly, I never did see these other 2 phantom workers.

There was another issue that existed several years ago and was litigated, if I recall correctly by an agent of one of the defendants who saw the offending practices firsthand. Some of the details have faded, but as I best remember a prominent insurance company was refusing to pay for OH (and possibly profit) unless 3 contractors were required for the repair work.

When my roof leaked, the adjustor actually told me that repair would require 3 contractors so they would in fact include a profit and OH cost. I don't know without doing some extensive research what the final adjudication of the lawsuit was, so maybe this practice was upheld, even though it's in IMHO clearly prejudicial to the contractors.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Jun 29, 2013, 02:10 PM
Thanks for the advice guys! I called up my insurance carrier (First American) and they're sending out an adjuster on Monday. I currently just have fans going to at least circulate air in as many affected areas as I can.

GardenSprite, your experience really concerns me. Since the insurance carrier was dishonest, did you drop them and go with another carrier? If so, what was the recourse in terms of the actual repair? Did you have to wait a while to do it? Did you just have someone else come in and do it? Or did you do anything yourself?
Jun 29, 2013, 03:30 PM
I am going to answer this too, since I have a lot of experience working with insurance and home repair.

Any insurance company will allow you to choose whoever you want to do any of the work on your home. Most insurance companies do have working relationships with the 'emergency' companies as well as regular contractors and will set you up with those people if you want but again, you do not have to go by their recommendations. Most of these are entirely above board but I'm sure (as in most things in life) that there are some bad apples out there with insurance agents getting kickbacks. But, this is the exception, not the rule.

It is very common to use whoever the insurance company recommends for the initial containment and drying work. This is for the simple reason that if a storm drops a tree through your roof at 10 p.m., who are you going to call? As the insurance guys already have a emergency company on standby, they can get somebody on site within hours with chainsaws and tarps to halt any further damage.

As the homeowner, you can choose who you want to work on your house at any time (as long as they are licensed). Even if a crew that is recommended by your insurance company starts the process, you can bring in a contractor of your own choice at any time. Whoever does the work, your out of pocket money is going to be limited to your deductible - as long as whoever you have doing the work can negotiate a price with the insurance company.

The 3 subcontractor thing is a 'rule' made up by the insurance companies. How that works is that once there are three individual subcontractors involved then the insurance will pay for the services of a general contractor to organize the work. As an example of this, let's say that you had a storm that caused a tree to fall on your house. You had damage to the roof, gutters and some windows broken. An easy call here as you will need a roofing company, gutter firm, window company, painters and probably some carpenters for framing and trim repair. In a case like this, insurance will pay a contractor 20% (10% overhead and 10% profit) plus the estimated cost of the individual subcontractors. Here too, your out of pocket cost is limited to your deductible so the best plan for you is to get one good contractor in and let them handle all the organization and all the headaches.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Jaybee,

Jun 29, 2013, 05:55 PM

I'm going to answer this by PM as I have some comments to make on the actual carriers, including the one you have now.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Jun 03, 2014, 12:16 AM
You can probably ask professionals to help you clean up this water damage as there are many certified people out there who carry out this water damage restoration efficiently and at reasonable prices. You can have a look at some of their services at online.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: RubySiede,
Jun 03, 2014, 08:25 AM
AWww go away Ruby. You're advertising.

This thread is nearly a year old!!! If they have not got it figured out and cleaned up by now...your post is sure not going to help.
Jun 03, 2014, 11:41 AM
Conrad, perhaps it took this spammer that long just to figure out how to post the link. They aren't too bright, you know...

especially someone who puts an address in a public post and includes a commercial link for a service in Australia.

I think Ruby needs a lesson in geography as well.
Jun 03, 2014, 11:50 AM
why, I always skip two or three continents to get janitorial services in a New York Minute for a disaster! this looks just like the thing I... hey, wait, what? oh, dang, they're coming from the Home again to take me away. can I have the rubber room with the tic-tac-toe hash again?

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?