If you are a professional residential contractor, inspector or adjuster, you may be called upon to create residential water damage reports. Thorough, accurate reports serve as written evidence, which is essential for verifying insurance claims and for determining any restoration work that is needed. Each report should cover multiple topics, including the type of water involved, the extent of the damage, and recommended restoration work.
So, let’s walk through the process of developing a report.
Before you begin working on a water damage report, decide how you want to create it. There are two ways to go about this:
• The traditional method involves drafting, printing and mailing a paper document with printed photos attached.
• The newer method involves creating and emailing a digital report with a mobile app that is designed specifically for this purpose.
Once you decide which method to use, you can begin building the contents of your report.
Prior to starting your water damage inspection, make sure the home is safe to enter. Check for any electrical hazards, fire hazards and gas leaks. You may even need to have the electric and gas services turned off before entering the home.
Be sure to wear sturdy, slip-resistant shoes, rubber gloves and eye protection. And if you suspect mold is present, wear a respirator that filters spores.
There’s often more to water damage than meets the eye. That’s why moisture readings of hidden areas are a critical part of water damage assessment. So, you’ll want to use a digital moisture meter to test the moisture levels of the home’s ceilings, walls and floors. Then add those readings to your water damage report.
In addition, you can use a digital hygrometer to test indoor humidity levels (i.e., the moisture content of the air). Be sure to add those readings as well.
You may also want to mention the exact tools you used to gather your moisture and humidity readings. Specific information like this can help increase the thoroughness of your report.
Once your water damage inspection documentation is complete, you can add a section that outlines your recommendations for next steps. Try to be as detailed as possible. One way to do that is to create a digital floor plan, and then mark up the plan with work recommendations for each affected area of the home. This is a great way to communicate exactly what needs to be done. In fact, a digital floor plan can be useful for a number of reasons.
During your inspection, you can take photos easily with a mobile device – either a smartphone or a tablet. You do not need a fancy camera.
Be sure to take photos of:
Building a comprehensive, detailed water damage assessment report is necessary for initiating insurance claims and planning restoration work. Be sure to include all critical information, and use handy digital tools to support and speed up the process.
Or read our guide on why you should be adding Indoor Air Quality Inspections to your menu of services.
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