Don’t Accept a Cursory Evaluation of Damage – The Real Repair Cost Could be Much More
This past year has seen flooding all over the world, much of it at levels never seen before. Along the Missouri, Arkansas and Mississippi Rivers and all their tributaries, people have suffered loss of life, injuries, and damage to property that will take many years to repair.
One of the most common mistakes made when assessing damage from floods is an underestimate of the damage. Flooding is a force that often has deep and hidden consequences and the real damage goes undetected until later. Homeowners are often overwhelmed after a series of serious floods and need help.
Another issue that is often overlooked is the fact that some flood damage can actually be the result of construction defects. Water from flooding will often permeate a surface due to defective materials, faulty workmanship, or a flawed design. When this happens a victim of flood damage may look to recover compensation from the builder or architect. There are sometimes hidden signs of flood damage to other parts of the home that give the appearance of only damaging limited areas that will also require an inspection.
Flooding can be a very tragic event, but victims should not let a disaster be followed up by a financial calamity when they are not adequately covered by insurance or left with no financial help due to an improperly conducted appraisal of damage.
What’s the answer?
The most qualified individual to inspect damaged property from floods is a professional engineer. Other inspectors may note visible damage but an engineer can study the original plans for construction and properly assess the visible harm as well as the invisible. There may be serious structural damage inside walls, floors, ceilings, and even deep into foundations and a structural engineer who is experienced with construction practices and principles is eminently qualified to prepare a comprehensive, accurate report on damage.
Justin Hall. P.E. has been helping the owners of houses, multi-unit residential structures, and commercial properties receive the information they need to understand the true scope of damage from floods.