Employee Spotlight

Written by Tara Neves, The Restoration Doctor Operations Manager

Amanda Verdoodt – Office Manager        

The Restoration Doctor has been fortunate enough to have such an impactful piece of our puzzle employed with us for just over two years.  Amanda started with the company back when we were first established and had since found her way back into our Restoration Doctor family as our head office manager which she has excelled at since May 2015. Amanda is in charge of all of our administrative duties as well as playing an integral role in growth of The Restoration Doctor and our continued success with insurance program companies. 

Amanda’s perseverance, dedication and hard work have amounted to over 60% of additional jobs from the program companies trusting in our services! She always has a smile on her face and is the first to offer a helping hand when we are incredibly busy with floods. Trust me, I’ve seen her out on a job extracting water, removing wet padding, and setting our industrial equipment – she can really do it all!  On top of everything she does for us at work, she is a wonderful mom to an eleven-year-old daughter, Breanna, whom is a spitting image of her mom and makes us all proud each and every day!  We are so glad to have Amanda be a part of our long-term team and we look forward to the growth we will continue to have with her by our side!

Thank you Amanda, for all of your hard work!  

Preparing Your Basement for a Flood

Written by Tara Neves, The Restoration Doctor Operations Manager

Flooded Basement

First off, there is no way to fully prepare your basement, or home for that matter, for a flood or any other type of emergency. When it rains, it literally pours and you have your finances, belongings, and stress levels to worry about—we’re not only here to help you through any type of property emergency, but we’re also here to help you along and try to prevent this from happening (or happening again). 

On average, a home will have water damage at least every 50 years. If you’re one of the lucky few, you will never experience any water or fire damage to your home. If you’re like most of us, you more than likely will in the timeline of you living at your home experience a flood or fire.  For the sake of this newsletter, I will focus on basement flooding.  Generally, you will ask yourself a few questions. What can I do to prevent a flood in my basement? What kind of flooring can I have down in my basement?

There are a few things that can help prevent a flood in your basement. If you have a sump pump, plumbers generally recommend it be replaced every three years. Also, it would help to keep a back-up sump pump attachment. Keep in mind, when the power goes out, you may want a battery-powered option to keep your basement from flooding when the sump pump goes out. At my house, we’ve got an Insteon Leak Sensor that I stationed right next to my sump pump. In the event of elevated moisture, it sends a signal to my phone and e-mail, which may prevent additional damage if I am nearby. This has worked for me in the past and I highly suggest investing in some kind of an awareness system to let you know if there is high moisture in your basement. Plumbers I have spoken with also suggest having your basement drains snaked once or twice a year, regularly, to clear out any possible roots or items that may cause a back-up in your basement. Speak with your friendly neighborhood plumber and ask their suggestions on what you could do to help prevent a back-up.

Now, my favorite question…what type of flooring should I keep? My favorite answer? None! An unfinished basement is the easiest and most cost-efficient to clean and sanitize in the event of a flooded basement. However, most people keep their basement as a second living space, storage zone or bedroom for additional family members. Sometimes an unfinished basement just will not work for your circumstances!  Glue-down carpeting is generally the safest bet when it comes to flooring in your basement. If you have a storm drain back-up, it can be as simple as extract and dry. With padding, padding typically needs to be removed when it gets saturated (not all cases). Laminate flooring buckles when it gets wet, and is typically damaged beyond saving by the time the water is recognized. Waterproof vinyl is newer to the market and we have been seeing great results with the vinyl being able to maintain the moisture without damaging the flooring too much.  At the end of the day, it will come down to personal preference and what you truly want for the look of your basement.  No type of flooring can guarantee you’ll be “okay” in the event of a flood; some may end up saving you money if your basement were to take on large amounts of water.  Keep in mind, in the event of a sewer back-up, it will not matter what type of flooring you have or do not have when dealing with sewage cleanup, IICRC industry standard guidelines state we must remove these affected materials to eliminate any harmful contaminants which may be present.

Always remember to elevate your important contents and keep proper insurance coverage in case of a back-up in your home. Speak with your local insurance agent to ensure you are properly covered in the event of an emergency. Always remember, being prepared is key and keeping a dedicated and honest contractor in your back pocket is extremely helpful! Best wishes! 

"Should I Keep Back Up Coverage?"

Written by Tara Neves, The Restoration Doctor Operations Manager

“You can’t schedule emergencies, but you can count on the fact that you will have them.” Financial mentor, Dave Ramsey stated this and I immediately thought about what could happen to my home…that I’m not prepared for. Now, keep in mind, I work in the restoration industry and have a large amount of insurance coverage for my home in case of any emergency which may present itself. However, how about everyone else? How about the people who have not seen three feet of standing water in their basement and no coverage to fall back on?  “But I’ve been paying my insurance every month for the past 30 years, never missed a payment! Why did my agent not sell me this coverage?!” This may be true, but this brings up an unfortunate point; unless you ask for it or are presented it, most people do not think to carry back-up coverage. Completely unintentional, they just simply did not have it presented to them.

What is back-up coverage?

Back-up coverage is a rider that can be added to your insurance policy, among other riders your insurance company may or may not offer. Back-up coverage increments typically range from $5,000 to $50,000 and will help you financially in the event of a back-up in your home.  Now, what is a back-up?  A back up is a discharge of water through your floor drains through storm or sewage routes, or from the event of your sump-pump system malfunctioning or failing. 

How do I make sure I have enough coverage?

First off, you will want to speak with your insurance agent who will communicate what exactly is covered in your back up coverage. Some insurance companies do not cover your belongings; some only cover your appliances, and some cover anything and everything in your basement. The way I have always tried to explain the question of “how much” is simple: mentally add up in your basement what you have between belongings and building materials (finished basement or not), then factor in restoration services. Do you need somebody to come and extract water, remove padding, set equipment to dry your affected areas to standard? It’s hard to estimate what each basement could be. However, the average restoration costs of basement clean ups are $3,000-$5,000. Then add in your contents that are damaged. Then add in re-building your basement. See how fast that money goes?

To summarize; the best thing that you could do for your family and your home is to be prepared. Prepare for any kind of emergency; big or small, and how to function through them. Keeping back-up coverage on your homeowner’s insurance policy is absolutely necessary, and at such a minor yearly cost, it will be greatly worth it in the long run – if say an emergency does arise…because you will be more than prepared!

Disclaimer:  I have no relationships with any insurance companies and this article is solely prepared on a “my opinion only” basis. Ask your insurance agent for recommendations, verification on coverage and your limits.