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Last Post 11/24/2009 9:54 PM by  BobH
IICRC S500
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mbradbury
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07/15/2008 11:04 PM

    The IICRC, although their name doesn't seem to command much respect, is supposed to be the body who sets standards for water damage cleanup and restoration.  They have this manual, the IICRC S500 and IICRC S520 (for mold) that have laid out all of these industry tested standards and such.  Now talking daily claims here, I get lots of bills from water suckers who want to get policy limits for their steam vac bill (maybe a slight exaduration), but being able to argue with them and quote standards from this book is a pretty nifty tool.  It's hard for them to argue why they did it and are billing for it one way, when the industry standard is laid out another way.  Not that there isn't an exception to every rule, but you guys know what I mean...

    Anyway, do any of you use either of those two manuals, and secondly, I am with a new company and no longer have mine.  I can buy them from IICRC, but if anyone has an extra or one no longer being used, I'd be greatful to take it off your hands.

    Thanks,

    Michael

    I do it because I want to provide a better life for my family than my parents could provide for me.
    Hogan53
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    08/09/2008 10:43 PM

     

     

         Both the IICRC S500 (Water Damage) and IICRCS520 (Mold) have ANSI Certification (American National Standards Institute).

                   Besides standard protocols,these standards are recognized by the U.S. court system.

         My Xactimate is set up with macros detailing these protocols for various line items I charge for. I find most adjusters don't

     mind paying the bill,as long as they know why they are paying for a particular line item.Adding wording from the Standard helps

     to educate them as to why. I find some of the resentment towards "rug suckers"comes from bad experiences with ripoff or

     uneducated contractors.  As someone who holds 8 different certifications in Fire,Water, Sewage and Mold Remediation,as well as

     being a Certified Mold Inspector by the IAQ council,as well as many hours of seminars under my belt,I hate being lumped in

     with contractors who don't know psychometry from Aspergillus......................I carry Pollution Insurance which by itself costs

     me 17k a year,with a 10k deductible. I need to follow the Standard to the letter to protect the occupants of a dwelling,as well

     as to cover my a** in a court of law. Do I think some of these charges are ridiculous? Of course I do........however,I did not write

      the rules,I just follow them.  On the other hand,I have run into adjusters who know just enough to be dangerous,trying to deny

      charges based on guesswork rather than knowledge of the subject. Once we justify charges with reference to the IICRC protocol

     and the fact that we will not back down unless the Insurance Co. will override the IICRC Standard in writing,the discussion ends.

       I certainly don't get nasty,I just explain it is my butt on the line,I am following court recognized Standards and my pricing comes

      from Xactimate,written by the Ins industry,not by me. ..............Michael,find a good contractor and he will give you a copy of the IICRC

      S500 or S520............I do that with my adjusters,the best money I have ever spent.

     

      

      

     

           

    Ray Hall
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    08/10/2008 9:34 AM

    All of the above post is not a fact,just a sales pitch and I would not make these statements unless someone shows you the case law and xmate shows how the line items prices were formulated. The truth will set you free water suckers. I have been in court as a witness for over two weeks and mold could not be introduced, as all federal and state courts consider the witness and experts as "junk science"

    Makes you think Insurance carriers do not care how much insurance losses amount to as they will get higher premiums for losses paid.... hmm... I have known that for 50 years. All the carriers need is measurable units and who has more units to measure than xmate??

     

    CATdawg
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    08/10/2008 11:20 AM
    Posted By Mike Hogan on 08/09/2008 10:43 PM

     >> I hate being lumped in with contractors who don't know psychometry from Aspergillus<<

     


    <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 unctuationKerning /> false false false ontGrowAutofit /> MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

    <!--[if gte mso 10]> What is Psychometry?

    Psychometry is a psychic ability in which a person can sense or "read" the history of an object by touching it. Such a person can receive impressions from an object by holding it in his/her hands or touching it to the forehead. 

    I have to admit that the mental image of a water restoration contractor pressing his face against a sheetrock wall is rather whimsical.

     

    Perhaps you meant psychrometry:

    <!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 unctuationKerning /> false false false ontGrowAutofit /> MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 <!-- /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:""; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> <!--[if gte mso 10]>

    Psychrometry is a term used to describe the field of engineering concerned with the determination of physical and thermodynamic properties of gas-vapor mixtures.

     

     I'm quite sure that some contractors think they possess magical abilities, but in court I'll pit my scope and estimate against a psychic sucker any time.

     

    [Edited to better reflect my desire to appear humorous rather than combative or derogatory]

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Lee Norwood, aka "CATdawg"
    Hogan53
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    08/10/2008 11:55 AM

    Sorry for the spelling error...........bottom line is I made my point. Fact is" junk science" or not,millions upon millions of dollars have been and are
    continue to be paid out in lawsuits regarding mold. In addition,I have found that the lawyer with the better "expert" (on either side) usually wins.

    An Environmental attorney in White Plains NY told a group of us that for a fee,an "expert"will argue either side.......guess it depends on
    who is paying the bill.

    Another fact.........On Friday Aug.8,the IICRC S520 (Mold) was given ANSI certification. I know Attorneys are awaiting their copies.

    Sadly,I see lots of animosity on this forum towards "rug suckers"...........certainly due to experiences with less than reputable contractors.

    If I find myself in disagreement with an adjuster,should I label them "pencil pushers"? Until we try to understand each others jobs,name calling

    doesn't change anything,just widens the gap. I am in upstate NY,where I have a great bunch of adjusters,many who call me in on a regular basis.

    They know they get a fast response,we hand hold the insured,job is done quickly and efficiently,as well as proper scoping from the start.

    Paperwork is delivered quickly and the file is closed. Many adjusters have told me their biggest problems are with the franchises and their

    %&$# you attitude,since they are guaranteed the work through vendor programs. Best story was 4 months ago,2000 sq.ft. real estate office

    had a flood........the adjuster came in on day 3,saw 1 airmover and a small dehu,nothing else. He asked the employee what happened,the

    response was " We don't got no more equipment". He threw the franchise off the job and called us in.

    Please don't lump us all together.Some of us actually do spend our money going to classes to get educated,so we can do a better job.

    BobH
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    08/10/2008 2:30 PM

    Mike, I am one adjuster who appreciates that water damage has a fuse burning with a time bomb if it does not get dry and stable. Regardless of how the fees are determined, the building needs to get dry and stable. Someone has to do it, and whenever an amateur does it there is trouble.

    I can recall dozens of occasions where the "homeowner" sets a fan on wet carpet without even detaching it from the perimeter of the walls and removing the pad which has become a sponge full of water, calls in the clam when it starts to smell.

    These losses usually occur around plumbing, often in the kitchen, where there is a window = exterior wall = insulation holding water in the walls, and water trapped under the cabinets.

    I have done a lot of cat work where no one was able to respond in time, and a lot of daily claims where you see the result of fast response vs slow or no response.

    None of us want to over-pay, but when it comes to water damage remediation (step 1 = dry it out) you almost CAN'T overpay to dry it out when you look at how much more it is going to cost to fix it if it sits and rots. Aside from the mold - monkey suit issue, the property damage is just going to escalate if it is not dried out quickly, and someone has to do it. I find that the people who do it frequently (yellow and green vans) are a better gamble than a contractor who does remodels and is not familiar with water damage drying.

    I had one recently where a contractor built a beautiful custom home with exposed truss & post-beams, solid wood floors. The water softener was installed with the new construction, and the discharge line was placed somewhere that did not really drain to the outside world and so the water went into the walls, and no one was home for a week. Upon discovery the contractor rented ONE FAN and aimed it at the wall, but water had gone between the finished floor and sub-floor in 4 rooms.

    Last year in my part of California a local water remediation contractor lost a mold related lawsuit and had over 100k jury damage verdict, and from what I understand most of the mold was pre-existing in a poorly ventilated sub-area. So regardless of junk-science or if it is really a health hazard, the general public has a perception and there are yellow pages full of attorneys. We just need to do the best we can to get claim related damages dry and stable as quickly as possible, and allow reasonable charges to do so.

    If it was your house, and you wanted to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage, you would welcome someone drilling holes in the toe-kicks of your cabinets or setting up an "injecti-dry" system of tubing with forced air into the wall cavities along the area that is going to be covered up with baseboard when it is done.  The names of the equipment is not important, it is the function that needs to be done (or just cut out the lower perimeter of drywall if more cost-effective).

    I have personally been using Xm8 for 15 years, and the price of a turbo fan per day has essentially kept up with inflation. I remember they were $20 or so a day and now they are in the $30 range, but it is basically real-world costs (go rent one at United rentals). I had a recent commercial claim with 50k of electronic contents either wet or sitting in super-humid conditions. The Insd had already priced out dehumidifiers at United Rentals, and ended up going with ServPro as it was cheaper per unit and they had the knowledge of what to do. Folks, it is a necessary evil and I do not get adversarial with "water suckers" AT ALL. If their bill is out of line then I negotiate it. If they are doing something that isn't needed then I bring it to their attention. It is called adjusting the claim.

    Posted By Ray Hall 
    ...and xmate shows how the line items prices were formulated.

    Ray, if you want to see how Xm8 determines their prices, there is an "i" next to the unit cost that you can click on for "information" on how the price is arrived at.  I will paste an example of that later on this thread.  That's how you find how many Sf of drywall they allow for in a min-charge, and it breaks down labor, how many drywall screws, mud, tape, etc.  The drying equip is no different, it has all of the costs for equipment, and labor rate with burdon for Work Comp, etc.

    This is a free market society, and my phone book is full of competition to ServPro and ServiceMaster in the form of "carpet cleaners" who also offer water damage and emergency service work.  There are people that used to work for ServPro who have gone off on their own.  I don't care who does the work as long as the water doesn't sit there causing more damage and we can agree on a reasonable value for the work performed. 

    But the work has to be done by somebody, and that is the starting point of understanding this topic.  It cannot be ignored, and it is not going to go away.  Someone has to perform that first step of emergency services, and it is not part of the insurance contract to say that the homeowner does it themselves.  It has a dollar amount, and it is simply part of the claim.

    Bob H
    Ray Hall
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    08/10/2008 6:12 PM

    I have several thousand storys of water suckers and carpet dryers charging more for thier services to "save" or to "dry" out that was money down the drain and it cost twice as much if the homeowner and adjuster reached an agreed loss before these"experts with 2 weekends of training" showed up.

    How about the housewife whose husband and brother inlaw run a drywall firm do not respond to the wives frantic call when the water shut off could not be found.  She called the water suckers and they charged 3k to pull all the carpet and pad and the Ded was 1% on a $300,000 house. The husband and brother in law arrived  with 2 helpers when I did and would not pay the $3k as we all agreed the job could be done in 12 man hrs as this was the time the experts took. and charge the insurance company 3K instead of $25.00 per hour or even $50.00

    I have NEVER seen a loss that the water has to be removed in a matter of hours. If its wet its wet and fans and heaters will  not bring it back..........

    Bob you dont spread  bad info, but I was right in the middle of mold gold for 3 years and I know this bunch of water suckers turned to CIC's What a crock of BS

    Please send me CLMVSW> clean vase-wicker-large EA $12.87 and  post it so we non believers can see written gospel.

    Ray Hall
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    08/10/2008 6:33 PM

    Their is not a case in history that has proved that clear water spilled over the floors of any house will injury the occupants if they do not call "certified waters contractors".1 Many people do not realize this is covered by insurance and never call in a claim 2. Many people do not want this to go on the clue report. Many people just clean it up themselves(which is a lot of work). Water-Smoke Contractors started in the early 60's and how did I adjust  losses for 5 years before they came along as well as the thousands of adjusters before me.

    Many insurance carriers are not impressed with their pitch and will pay a regular claim adjuster T & E to squeeze the water out of the xmate estimates. This is how I work and I will take all I can handle. The fee bill is on the way out in many commercial losses.

    Change the subject, water suckers and adjusters beware the water sucker police force is getting mobilized.

    BobH
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    08/10/2008 6:51 PM
    Posted By Ray Hall 
    ...I have several thousand storys of water suckers and carpet dryers charging more for thier services to "save" or to "dry" out that was money down the drain

    No one wants to pay to try and save carpet that is starting to delaminate, or has furniture stains that are not going to come out. When carriers don't pay for an adjuster to go out on site, they lose the ability to have those decisions made in time.

    Posted By Ray Hall 
    ...She called the water suckers and they charged 3k to pull all the carpet and pad and the Ded was 1% on a $300,000 house.

    Was a kitchen or bath involved? Did they do anything other than pull flooring? If it is a serious water loss, even if the wet (HEAVY) carpet just gets cut into strips and hauled out the door, I typically see a lot of base pulled (will have water trapped behind) and attempts to save cabinets for that price. I just had a claim go over $40,000 because that kind of work wasn't done in time and the cabinets and counter had to go. I don't care how big the deductible is, if no one is mitigating damage after a couple days, they had their chance. Someone has to stop the bleeding and if the homeowner, her husband, their relative, neighbor, or friend isn't doing it, I remind them of their policy obligation to mitigate damage and hand them a phone book.

    Posted By Ray Hall 
    ...I was right in the middle of mold gold for 3 years and I know this bunch of water suckers turned to CIC's What a crock of BS

    I remember when the Texas Dripping Springs (Ballard claim) mold fiasco spread across the entire country, we got it in California too. My focus (and most remediation contractors) is to PREVENT mold. I think that is the focus of this thread. We have to be pro-active and the other thread we had on moisture meters is part of that. I firmly believe every adjuster should have at LEAST an econo pin-type moisture meter or you won't really, really be confident about the scope of work that is needed at that house, at that stage of it's soggy life.

    Posted By Ray Hall 
    ...Please send me CLMVSW> clean vase-wicker-large EA $12.87 and post it so we non believers can see written gospel.

    I am not selling Xm8, and if someone came up with easier software that was broadly accepted by my clients I would be overjoyed. Xm8 is very hard to master (but you can do "something" with it your first day). Keep in mind that ISO purchased Xm8 this year, and it is used by 80% of Insurance companies, it is not just "contractor" software. When I was introduced to it in 1992 State Farm had already been using it for years, it had depreciation, and other adjuster features. It is used by Farmers, Century National, USAA, and to some degree you have to dance with the one that brought ya.

    Bob H
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    08/10/2008 7:07 PM

    Repair item_clean vase

    Let's say the homeowner paid $30 for this thing and it cost half that to clean it.  Depending on if you think it will restore or not, that is the judgment.  I have done fire-smoke claims where virtually none of the items cleaned acceptably and was a huge waste of money to pay to attempt clean, store, and when the building was finally done the homeowner rejected almost all of it.  As adjusters we are paid to put our foot down and resolve these issues, sometimes one piece of furniture at a time until it is done.

    But if you are going to clean it - what is a fair price???  this Xm8 program is basically saying a laborer can clean about 2 of these an hour and allows some cleaning materials + labor.

    clean price

    It cost more in CA than it does in TX.  If this vase was smooth surfaced and NOT WICKER the cost to clean it would be 1/3 of this price and more likely to be a successful restoratoin if it was smoke damaged.  I wouldn't try to save anything made of wicker unless it was just ever so slightly dusted with ash or something.

    Click on the "i" to the right of the price to get more info.

    clean price 2

    32 cents of materials used, based on a cleaning solution that cost about $13 a gallon and will yield (clean) about 40 of these items.  Xm8 often has a "direct yield" and a "yield" and the difference is a waste factor.  For example they have a 10% waste factor built in to hardwood flooring materials.

    clean price 3

    they are saying a laborer can do a bit more than 2 of these an hour, and for the time he is spending on this one item the laborer will get a direct wage of about $5 and the rest of it is labor burdens for work comp, liability insurance, adjustments for zip code pricing

    For anyone interested, Xm8 is very open about their labor prices and how they are determined.  It is on their web site, and the program on your computer has labor rates for roofer, tile setter, etc etc and has all this info.  the guy installing shingles only receives a fraction of the roofing hourly rate, their Work Comp is very high.

    For the most part, I find that the labor rates are pretty close to real-world prices for that trade.  You will occasionaly run into a repair done by a handyman, or relative and they are refreshingly cheap. 
    ----------------------
    In the early '90s I could not convince the vendor I was working for to purchase Xm8 and I suffered with a "shareware" estimating program.  The pricing database was terrible, so I learned how to write my own database.  That went OK for a while - but then the issue of taxes on materials came up.  My part of the world taxes materials, not labor.  The database really does need to separate out labor and materials, and if you look at an Xm8 "summary" page it will say the combined amount of materials on that estimate x (tax rate) = amount of tax for that estimate .  It will add the cost of carpet pad, etc. etc.  just the materials and no labor.

    A law went into effect in California in 2007 that depreciation on insurance claims only applies to materials.  So the software has to ID materials for that reason also (of course you would not depreciate cleaning - regardless of materials used because the item is not replaced).  That affected those of you working the California fires recently, and any earthquake claims in the future.

    I know this all sounds very detail oriented, but I have one client that is very strict on how taxes are dealt with, and insists that all estimates clearly show what taxes are allowed on materials.  Xm8 has many thousands of items in it's repair database, and if you follow the process I describe above you can clearly see what materials go into each item, how much labor, how they determined that labor, how much production that trades person is expected to do that day, etc.  And they have different methods for "new" construction vs "repair-remodel" in terms of labor efficiency.  I know some of you are laughing at this, but it is just the real world and how it is measured.  I think one of the reasons why Xm8 and MSB-Integra are so expensive is the pricing database that they have to research and support.

    Bob H
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    08/10/2008 10:17 PM
    Well thought out and presented, Bob.

    The carriers have many different areas that they focus on, and they vary from carrier to carrier. And, the many IA companies have their own agendas.

    Gotta be light on your feet and if they want it printed in pink..........go find the ink.

    Next week, it'll be in green.
    Larry D Hardin
    Ray Hall
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    08/10/2008 11:15 PM

    OK has this happened to you fire adjusters about 50 times before you put your foot down on the neck of the restoration contractor. A very hot smouldering fire and the whole house was black. You authorize a pack out and clean and in 6 weeks all the stuff comes back with a $70,000 bill and none of is worth a nickle and you only have about $50,000 more insurance left to replace all the houshold goods.  Who gets screwed now, that right the insured and the insuror.

    To make matters worse all the clothing, shoes and linen were taken to a dry cleaners that works fire claims and had a $6,000. bill attached and of course the water sucker had to tack on another $1,200 for handling the paperwork. I would not pay your fee bill if you sent the file to me as an IA, BECAUSE you should have known better and I sure as hell would cut off the contractor also and would only pay him/her for the money they saved by mitigationg the loss not making it larger. In this case ZERO, but you tried hard, but you did not use the judgement of a professional adjuster.

    You are not a fire adjuster until you know the differance in how it will come out, BEFORE the outcome hits you in the face. Yes you will be held accountable for trying to make a bad loss into a somewhat bad loss. It will turn sour ever time if you rely on venders, rely on your own judgement and you will get more business

    "But time is so important 'on smoke losses, because staying in the house will "set" the stains in the fabric. Good night, I will sleep well.

    BobH
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    08/10/2008 11:23 PM
    Posted By Ray Hall on 08/10/2008 11:15 PM
    A very hot smouldering fire and the whole house was black. You authorize a pack out and clean...

    Yep, the error is authorizing cleaning of something that is not going to restore to it's PRE-LOSS CONDITION.

    When the whole house is black, you can be pretty darn sure that the most cost effective thing is to "total" out the majority of the items, especially fabric, especially if you go through items in the closet and see "stripes" when you pull out the sleeves.  It is all toast.

    I did have a small fire claim about 6 months ago, not "all black" and the downstairs simply got a little smoky.  There was an odor, and there was a slight film on the items.  That is where cleaning is OK, and in that claim it was the right thing to do not to "total" out all the affected items.  There is a fair price for doing that work, it can be predicted in man-hours x the general rate for cleaning, or however you feel comfortable doing it.  It's like any other tool, it has it's use, and sit's in the tool box until it is needed.

    For those interested in fire claims, there is another thread with more info (follow the link)

    Bob H
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    08/10/2008 11:26 PM

    You speak volumes of truth there Ray in that type of circumstance, but then there's always the other side of the coin with the more minimal type of loss.  One just hopes that you get prompt notice of the loss before it's been sitting a couple days or more, and judgement can be exercised.  Sweet Dreams!

    Hogan53
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    08/11/2008 10:45 AM

     

      

         In a fire loss we make no decisions without the adjuster being present........period. Too many cases of " hmm,it looks ok,but It still

           smells like  smoke" has taught us that clothing and furniture really need an evaluation before we cart it off to a contained ozone

      area,clean them and then have a pissed off adjuster on our hands. I have learned the hard way,fire is a different ballgame.

       Now we put a concentration of chemical to knock down odor,thermal fog and take away scorched material........and wait for the adjuster.

     

       

    Ray Hall
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    08/11/2008 11:15 AM

    Ah ha now the expertize comes out in the restoration contractor. I am qualified to tell the adjuster and homeowner what has to be done on a water or smoke claim in the restoration contractors hand book that was written by experts and adopted as the gospel by the largest estimating software company in the world; UNLESS I run into an old adjuster that has looked at thousands of fire and water loss OR I run into an non emotional person that has ordinary reasoning ability.

    Do you not know adjusters put their neck on the block ever day when an insured states "repair it or pay for it". Thats what we do and we don,t chase good money down the drain with more good money. Some of us still work automobile crash claims and we all remember the first and only time we paid more to repair(or try) an automobile that it was worth.But it took about 2 dozen fire or water losses about 40 years ago to learn this lesson and I will not change. Relax Mike I will never work in up state New York, they have plenty of good adjusters in the area.

    Hogan53
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    08/11/2008 11:54 AM

                   Ray..............why the anger?  Are you the only one whose neck is on the line?

      Are you the only one who has paid his dues to learn your business?  The way you speak down to other professionals is

     arrogance,pure and simple. To call something junk science when doctors,microbiologists,health dept's,etc have enough proof

     that there might,at least,be a problem just shows a closed mind.  Do you,with your vast experience of microbiology,at least

     concede there can be some truth to some of it?  I turn down more mold remediations than I contract due to poor testing procedures

     by a "professional",whose results show the mold present to be non toxic. I don't use scare tactics,I don't rip folks off with

     crazy remediation prices,and I don't put anyone in danger by saturating their home in biocides. Hint: Use borate based product

     in addition to hepa vac and cleaning with detergent,especially exposed wood and foundation walls. Cheap,safe and NOTHING

      does a better job,as the mineral salts from the borate prevent mold growth.  Obviously,you need to care for the moisture issue

     first,as water is the problem,moisture is a symptom...........no water,no mold. Which brings us to the reason to get the water out

     asap and checking where else the water went and determine how to remove it...........just leaving it there,is opening yourself

     up to liability,especially after "cousin Joe" says" hey,there ain't supposed to be mold on the wall,get a lawyer".

      sorry,but I do whatever I can,as fast as I can to get the place dry asap. To do otherwise is insane.

    Ray Hall
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    08/11/2008 1:29 PM

    The homeowners policy does not cover pollution to any real or personal property. The Homeowners policy does not cover any health issues to any person or animal in the house. The insurance companys have no worry except to investigate each loss for direct physical damage and meet each states time lines.

    The policy plainly spells all this out and the courts uphold the contract language.

    The united states of america in in the insurance business is called National Flood Insurance Program. The program spells out that all wet material except structual members should be removed as soon as practical. They advise ALL wet material should be discarded. Why dont you water suckers think about which strain of millions of mold spores these houses have in them after a 7 feet of dirty stinking muddy water fresh or salt. and these poor souls health concerns...... five words ..FLOOD INS DOES NOT PAY, and  Homeowners policy do not pay for testing and health concerns. Its you people who whoop and holler and get the poor lemings to leave their house.

    IF ever accidental water claim had a $5k to 10k. Deductible all you leech's would be out of business in one week end. I am just trying to do my part as a consumer. (and I wonder why the plaintiff never calls me as an expert)

    I do not know of any mold claim filed in the US under a Homeowners Policy since about 2003. The plaintiff bar got the word, but the white, yellow and green vans still beat the drums.

    This may be the cure. Each water claim requires the INSPECTING adjuster to comment on how much the water suckers saved the carrier on each loss. This should be known nationwide and the underwriters should factor this into the states Homeowners Rates and the Deductible amount. Homeowners Insurance premium are in a free fall and something has to be done to reduce.... not increase...say you are fed up and go back to Fire & EC coverage for 1/3 of what you pay for HomeOwners. Get a DP2.

    BobH
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    08/11/2008 2:00 PM
    Posted By Ray Hall on 08/11/2008 1:29 PM
    I do not know of any mold claim filed in the US under a Homeowners Policy since about 2003.

    Are you kidding me??

    Bob H
    Tom Toll
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    08/11/2008 2:05 PM

    Mike, there are good restoration contractors and there are bad ones and when some are bad, they are really BAD. I am a little like Ray, I have seen too many bad water suckers.

    I handled a multi-million dollar loss on  a large hotel in the Orlando area when the hurricanes hit in 04 and 05. A water sucker had convinced an insured owner that he could save the owner down time, (he had no BI coverage) and could save the insurance company thousands of dollars. He moved all the furniture out, stored it in large metal containers, and shut the doors while the furniture was still wet. We, of course know how that turned out. He started his drying fans in many rooms, leaving the very wet carpet on the floors. He cut small holes in the lower part of the drywall to allow air circulation, (but no holes at the top so the air could flow). By the time the claim was assigned to me, the water sucker had destroyed all the furniture, (was covered in mold in the containers), drywall was ruined due to wicking up the walls, and the carpets were still wet with fans blowing on them. The fool had balls enough to send us a bill in excess of $250,000.00. He also turned building contractor while there and put a temporary cover on the flat roof, overlapping the cover, (which allowed rain to get in between the seams). The first thing I did was get a true temp roof put on to prevent additional damage, had the carpets ripped out, and cut the drywall 4' up from the floor.

    I estimate that the moron caused an addittional $300,000.00 in damages. I don't know if the company I represented went after the restoration contractor or not, but I hope they did. That is why some of us are very reluctant to retain water suckers, as we just do not know their abilities or capabilities. From what I read of your performance, you are one of a very few who truly wish to serve their customers and consequently the carrier. How do we know the intent, ability, and capability of a water restoration contractor, can you answer that?

    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
    Hogan53
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    08/11/2008 2:22 PM

    Tom,

            I would first check some of the associations like RIA,formerly ASCR.............at least you would know the contractor has taken

      the time to get educated about his business . IICRC has too many bait and switch outfits.........they pay a yearly fee and get certified

     to rip people off.  Ask the contractor where he got his training............Kurt Bolden's Hydro Lab in Indiana is where my staff and I have spent

     A LOT of time learning how to dry various substrate under a variety of conditions...............Chuck DeWald is another no nonsense

      school,where he teaches the Vortex Drying Method,similar to Bolden in that they want to rid the industry of the parasites that make

     it bad for the rest of us. Dri-eaz is another decent school,just be prepared for a sales pitch on their eqpt.

        All of these schools offer adjuster training in water damage as well. There is always a mix of adjusters in all our classes.

        Both sides get a chance to see the other sides version of things,which makes for a better appreciation of one another without

      the name calling.

    BobH
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    08/11/2008 11:29 PM
    Posted By Ray Hall on 08/11/2008 1:29 PM
    I do not know of any mold claim filed in the US under a Homeowners Policy since about 2003.

    Ray, I know Texas has unique policies. California still uses the standard ISO Homeowner-3 or some variation, and yes there have been endorsements that limit coverage in reaction to the "mold is gold" craze.

    I work for carriers that have a $10,000 mold limitation endorsement, $5,000 and $2,500.  There are a lot of policies out here without limiting language.

    MOLD 101

    Mold is not covered as a "cause of loss".

    Typical homeowner claims I see involve plumbing leaks, where the deteriorated (or failed) pipe is excluded, and the ensuing water damage is covered.  If water damage is afforded coverage, and ensuing mold is discovered, the mold removal is covered (subject to exclusions or endorsements that limit dollar amount  - gotta read the declaration page and policies). 

    Mold removal typically means taking some sort of precaution not to spread it when removed (as you might set up containment before removing asbestos) and getting some sort of Indoor Air Quality clearance test upon completion. 

    More than one claims examiner has told me that they want that final air clearance test done to confirm that the carrier has acted in good faith, and that the California Real Estate disclosure form is going to ask about mold issues if the house is subsequently sold.  The "passing" air quality test is generaly deemed necesary by those who have made an issue out of the presence of mold during a water damage claim. 

    Long-term repeated leakage-seepage is always an issue, but where I work carriers often side to benefit the Insured unless it is gross and obvious.

    Where I work, there are large carriers with very seasoned claims examiners that EXPECT the adjuster to be able to write an estimate for mold remediation (separate from water damage repair) so they can compare that to their 10k mold limit, or whatever.  USAA has a $2,500 limit on most of their policies out here, and there are a lot of military people at Vandenberg Air Force Base down the road from me.

    Examiners expect me to know what removal of damaged drywall or cabinets would have been expected anyway from a discharge of water, and write the separate sheet to set up containment barrier, negative air, etc. for the mold related issues -and they don't joke about it.  More than one has told me flat-out to write a "standard protocol" for the mold abatement as they do not want the liability of just hacking the walls open.  We have all been screwed by $2,000 bills just to test the air, and more to set up some visqueen.

    Nowadays things have settled down a bit, we have moved on.  Testing is about $650 and if the containment estimate is "lump summed" by the contractor (pulling a number out of thin air) you can find containment barrier cost per Sf, tension poles, etc. in Xm8 that I use to bring the contractor estimate down to earth.  It is a tool that adjusters use everyday.

    Bob H
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    08/11/2008 11:49 PM

    It does not bother me at all to be around mold.  I do not personally "buy into" the health issues of mold, but it doesn't matter what I think.  Public perception has made it "real". 

    I was in and out of these houses for 5 months and had no issues at all.

    Flood 1

    But you CANNOT assume that just because the NFIP does not pay for mold related remediation that this means anything at all for an adjuster who is not currently working flood.  Has nothing to do with a homeowner policy.

    Flood 2

    Again, I don't personally get ill from mold, and spent over a decade writing estimates just to throw the damaged drywall into the dumpster.  Like it or not, public perception has changed and it has made adjusting more complicated.  If you talked to claims examiners in my side of the country about mold the way you do, you would just be wasting their time - as they wait for you to write a protocol to remediate it. 

    In response to reduced coverage limits for mold, the adjusters estimate focused only on mold related items is vital to the claims examiners we work for.  A lot of times they want the removal of water damaged property to go onto the "ordinary" claim estimate, that is only subject to the policy limit on the house.  That estimate would include routine steps to dry the property.

    A separate estimate focused on mold remediation will include a containment barrier, Negative Air machine (typically a few days during work, add a few days for clearance testing) and one replacement filter for the Neg Air machine, Protective Equip for workers (tyvec suit), clean and sand exposed wood framing after drywall removed, HEPA vac the exposed framing (has a price for "detailed" vac) and then a lower cost per Sf HEPA vac of the smooth surfaces in the general area where the drywall was not removed, etc.  

    In addition to Xm8 I gather other estimating guides, and have a fairly recent "Bluebook" cost guide that has the costs for setting up containment and doing mold remediaton.  I imagine that the Craftsman database used by Simsol and Power Claim has these items, I haven't used that price guide in a long time.

    If it is a policy with a very small mold limit and it goes over, they will pay their (reduced) limit and the amount over the limit is between the Insured and the contractor.  That doesn't happen as often as you would think, and usually it can be made to work out within the policy restrictions if everyone works together.

    Bob H
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    08/13/2008 10:36 PM

    I really like ol' Bob.  He's got good answers.

    Larry D Hardin
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    08/13/2008 11:05 PM

    I read "ol Bob" for the pictures.  

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