Burst pipes caused by the freezing weather causes misery for homes and businesses.
A few years back, following a very cold spell, we were inundated with calls from customers who had returned to their homes to be met with water coming out the front door as pipes had burst when they were at work or on holiday.
Our teams organised their vans with drying equipment, paperwork and everything they needed to help those involved. They even took their overnight bags as they knew, from experience, it was going to be a long week.
They headed off to their customers. Some people had a lot of damage at their properties with ceilings collapsing due to the weight of the water. Water running down the walls causing damage to the walls, floors, floor coverings and contents all over the house.
Our teams set about explaining the process to the customers so they were fully aware of how we were going to help them and also liaise between them and their insurance companies. Then the work began.
The Technicians took pictures of all the damage and contents, listed items that were damaged beyond repair and other items which were salvageable. They removed all the affected floorcoverings and took readings on walls and floors to see where the damage had spread.
Once they had assessed the affected areas, they installed an appropriate drying regime. (similar to the video below) This consists of dehumidifiers which are used to extract the moisture from the air and affected areas. The Technicians assess how much equipment is required in relation to the size of the property in order to ensure the most effect regime is implemented.
Once this stage has been completed, the customer is advised that they will be contacted by our administrators to arrange a further visit, known in the trade as a monitor visit. These visits allow the technicians to return to the property, take further readings and ensure that the drying regime implemented is working properly.
Sometimes when the water damage is really bad, some areas of the property require to be stripped back to allow inner walls etc to dry properly. If the property is not dried properly, there is a chance that mould will form and come back through the walls at a later date.
When the Technician is satisfied that the property is dried and back to pre-incident condition he will issue what is known as a handover certificate. This certificate is evidence that the customer can start arranging reinstatement works such as building work, redecoration etc.
Quite often we will remain involved with the customer’s claim if, for example, their undamaged contents need to go into our storage facility, or if their clothes and laundry items have been affected and require to be cleaned in our laundry department.
During reinstatement works being undertaken by builders, joiners etc. We will continually liaise with them so we know roughly when the customer will need their belongings returned. We always ask for as much notice as possible so customers are not left for any length of time between building work completing and them being able to return to their home or get their home back to normal. We also offer a full cleaning service following building work so that the customer is not left to get rid of all the dust this kind of work generates.
As soon as all the contents and laundry has been returned and our work completed, the Technician will go over all the areas with the customer to ensure they are happy with the work completed. The customer will then be asked to sign to show their satisfaction with the work completed.
Once the Technician has synced his IPAD, the administrators in the office can see the job is complete and will start creating the final report for the insurer then create the invoice and close the job off on the system once this has all been done.
Its not a pleasant experience having a burst pipe in any property but at least you know there is help available if you need it.