The Worst Possible Water Damage Advice
I feel sorry for one of my recent customers that I did an inspection for. They had bad ice damming on their home last January. We had very cold temperatures and lots of people had ice damming. Besides the large ice dam on the edge of the roof there was some bubbled paint on the interior of the wall and some wet carpet. It didn’t seem like a lot of dampness or a lot of damage. She did call her insurance agent and reported the damage. Her agent told her “there’s not much that can be done until the ice dam goes away, the water will just keep coming in”. That is partially true, but in this case very bad water damage advice. The truth is:
1. It is possible to remove an ice dam and stops the inflow of water.
2. You should always take steps as soon as possible to dry things as quickly as possible.
3. Damage from ice damming is usually covered by insurance companies.
Her insurance company covers water damage, including damage from ice damming, but her insurance company does not cover mold damage. She followed her agent’s advice, left the wall wet and waited for the weather to warm up and the ice dam to go away. She bought me in months later to inspect the damage. By this time everything had dried out. There was a modest amount of cosmetic damage, but the major damage at this point was mold. I showed her a small amount of mold on the exposed surfaces, and where there is probably large concentrations of mold in the wall cavities. It was not a large area, but affected a rock fire place, an ornate mantel, several ceiling surfaces, high walls and vaulted ceiling in a very high finish home. Her insurance company covers water damage, they do not cover mold. So, at this point if she filed a claim, her insurance company would pay for some minor cosmetic repairs. They will not pay for the mold removal and major repairs needed. If she had called our company in January, we could have helped her with removing the ice dam, drying everything quickly and the needed repairs. And, with our assistance, it would have all been covered by insurance. Her insurance agent gave her some very bad advice, which increased the damage and the cost of the damage, and unfortunately also made it so there was no insurance coverage. Unfortunately there is also no recourse against her agent or insurance company, they will not stand behind the additional damage aggravated by their bad advice.