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7 Reasons to Create a Digital Sketch During Water Damage Mitigation

Property with Water damage  on hardwood floor with title Water Damage Assessment

Severe weather. Leaky roofs. Bursting pipes. Backed-up sewers. Water damage can occur in homes due to multiple causes. Yet each situation requires the same initial response: a prompt and thorough water damage assessment. Here are seven reasons why you should begin that process by creating a digital sketch of the site.

1. Time Savings

You no longer need to manually measure and sketch a homeowner’s property to record what you see during a water damage inspection. Instead, you can accomplish those tasks right on your phone or tablet with a floor plan app. A high-quality app will automate the process, which is much quicker, easier, and often more accurate.

How It Works: The app’s smart technology will automatically sense a room’s full dimensions through your mobile device’s camera. All you have to do is scan the room with your camera, and the app will quickly capture and map the dimensions within just a few minutes.

By harnessing the power of this advanced technology, you can boost your productivity significantly. That means you can complete each water damage assessment much faster.

2. The Ability to Create Thorough Water Damage Assessment Report

A good floor plan app is a handy tool that allows you to document every water-damaged jobsite with ease. Simply create a sketch as you complete your walkthrough, with a focus on the following tasks:

  • Diagram all affected rooms/areas
  • Include measurements that will be needed for remediation and restoration quoting
  • Attach and mark up photos for even clearer documentation
  • Add notations that describe your findings:I
    • Insert room labels (attic, living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, laundry area, mudroom, basement, etc.)
    • Identify the probable cause(s) of water damage (e.g., a natural disaster or rainy weather, air-conditioning unit condensation, a defective water supply line, cracked/leaking household water pipes, broken household appliances, a clogged drain, a septic tank and or sewer backup, an old or faulty water heater, a damaged sprinkler system, water overflow from a toilet, an inoperative sump pump, inefficient roof water drainage, etc.)
    • Describe the classes of water damage and water damage category (clean water from internal pipes, or dirty/contaminated water)
    • Identify exact areas and contents that have been damaged (while also documenting any pre-existing damage)
    • Describe the signs and extent of water damage (e.g., puddled water, water marks/stains, discoloration, cracking/flaking walls or ceilings, sagging, soft spots, warping/swelling, rust, peeling or bubbling paint, musty/damp odors, evidence of mold)
    • Include moisture readings and all the drying logs for water damage
    • Note anything that affects the property’s safety and structural integrity
  • Send the sketch to Xactimate and start processing your claim with the generated Xactimate sketch.


3. No Chance of Misplacing Paperwork

When you use a digital sketch instead of a hand-drawn sketch as the basis of your documentation, you don’t have to worry about protecting, saving and searching for a paper document. A digital file is much more secure, as well as easy to store and access.

4. Others Will Be Able to Understand Your Findings

A two-dimensional floor plan, by nature, is a visual that is easy to understand. It provides a bird’s-eye view that helps homeowners and insurance adjusters quickly grasp the locations, extent and interrelatedness of water damages – something photos alone cannot always achieve. Sometimes the addition of a 3D floor plan is also warranted to help aid comprehension.

5. You End Up With a Document That Is Easily Shareable

Unlike paper floor plans, digital plans are easily shareable in real time from the field. Recipients will then be able to open and view your plans on their smartphones, tablets or desktop computers.

A good floor plan app will also enable you to turn any floor plan into a comprehensive, shareable field report, complete with photos you captured during your assessment. This type of report is ideal for initiating an insurance claim.

Read more: Documenting Equipment Use in Water Damage Restoration with magicplan

6. A Digital Sketch Is a Helpful Resource When Developing a Work Plan

The sketch can be used to determine different tasks that must be completed during mitigation and restoration. It’s also a helpful resource for determining specific drying equipment that is required, restoration materials that need to be ordered, and the types and number of workers that have to be scheduled.

7. A Digital Sketch Can Guide Remediation and Water Damage Restoration

The sketch can be a beneficial communication tool as a mitigation report for professionals who will come in after you, whether those are workers you employ or third-party contractors. It will help them get up to speed quickly, and will give them a better feel for what to expect – and which areas of the home to address – before they visit the site. This can help minimize questions and confusion before any work is started.

What to Look for in a Floor Plan App

  • Be sure to choose an app that offers a versatile suite of features:
  • Availability for both Android and iOS platforms
  • Augmented reality and artificial intelligence technology for automatic detection and calculation of room dimensions with LiDAR
  • Measurements that are up to 100% accurate when the app is paired with a Bluetooth digital tape measure
  • The ability to create a water damage drying log template
  • Fast, easy rendering of 2D and 3D floor plan sketches
  • Easy assembly of room sketches when you need to create a complete floor plan of a customer’s home
  • The ability to add notes or pictures to any plan
  • The ability to add structural elements and furniture or appliance objects for more detailed results
  • Easy exporting and sharing in multiple formats
  • An optional cloud service for storing, securing and accessing plans
  • Option to create water damage estimate or Xactimate sketch templates


A digital floor plan sketch is ideal for water-damage assessment for a variety of reasons. You can create it quickly, mark it up thoroughly, save it securely, share it easily, and use it to develop work plans and guide remediation and restoration. Really, there is no better way to document water damage inside residential properties.






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