Jon Rufty of The Rufty Companies, an award-winning N.C. residential and commercial builder, offers the following advice for BHI homeowners. Jon has experience building in the Triangle area and along the N.C. coast. His advice is based on his experience as a builder and homeowner.

Take Pictures

As soon as you or someone else has access to your home, it’s critical to document your home’s condition by taking a lot of pictures. Take them inside and outside whether or not you see any damage. Problems aren’t always immediately visible to the eye. It can be helpful to have those pictures for any future claims you might need to make down the road.

Schedule Insurance Inspections ASAP

Ask your insurance company to schedule inspectors to assess your property as soon as possible!

Beware of Temporary Repairs

If you make any temporary repairs which aren’t considered immediately necessary to avoid further damage, your insurance company might not cover anything beyond that initial repair arguing that what you’ve done is sufficient. So don’t make any temporary repairs unless they’re absolutely necessary.

Worst Long-Term Problem: Hidden Moisture & Mold

Moisture is one of the most serious problems following a hurricane because it can lead to mold.  It’s critical to assess for any hidden moisture, not just moisture which is visible.

Here’s an example of what can happen:

  • The roof leaks, and the ceiling leaks.
  • Carpet becomes wet.
  • The plywood/subfloor underneath the carpet also gets wet.
  • The insulation below the subfloor gets wet – but you likely don’t see that as it’s underneath the subfloor.

The worst case scenario is that no one tests for moisture that’s hidden.

Remediating or drying everything out – except the wet insulation – will lead to mold in between floor systems, especially in coastal properties.

It’s important to keep in mind that dry plywood doesn’t equal dry insulation! This then becomes the worst long-term problem for a homeowner because it can take time for that mold to become obvious.

TIP:

Be certain when your insurance adjuster makes an initial assessment, they note anything that is wet or might be wet but isn’t obvious such as hidden insulation. This way, if mold shows up a year later, it’s already documented with your insurance as a potential problem.

Appealing Your Insurance Damage Appraisal

If you’re not happy with your insurance’s appraisal process or determination, you can escalate your concerns to N.C. Department of Insurance. http://www.ncdoi.com/

Final Tips

People make the mistake of trying to put their house back together too quickly. It’s critical that you make certain to as much moisture out of the structure first.

Product Tip

Jon recommends: Enzyme Magic® Mold Stain Remover was used widely after Hurricane Harvey to help remediate mold issues. The company has been manufacturing this product for years and is being used now in NC by professional flood/water remediators.

Green & Safe:  approved by the EPA under their “Safer Choice” designation. One  gallon of super concentrate makes up to 64 usable gallons.

You can purchase the product two ways:

https://www.enzymesolutions.com/enzymes/product-category/flood_water_mold_damage/

Or on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/ENZYME-MAGIC-Concentrate-Bathroom-Non-Toxic/dp/B07B5TX29K/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1538147901&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=enzyme+magic+mold+cleaner&psc=1