October, the month practically screams “Boo!” It’s the best time of year to settle in, cozy up to a bowl of Halloween candy and binge watch those traditional horror films guaranteed to give you goosebumps.
There are two things you can always count on with every film: the main character being chased up the stairs to a dangerous dead end, and the assumed deceased villain not really being dead. Oh - and you jumping when the monster pops out from behind the door!
If restoration projects aren’t conducted with caution, they can very quickly resemble a few of the scary scenes from your favorite October movie marathons. Here are a few tips to help make sure your restoration project doesn't haunt you for years to come.
1. Lack of Documentation
Beginning with recording the initial damage impact, all the way to full restoration, it’s vital to record all the damage you observe and detail the progress completed to repair it. This includes pictures, as well as work plans. Exceptional and thorough documentation makes it easier for insurance companies to verify the damage and provide compensation for restoration expenses.
To avoid recreating “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”, make sure you provide as much detail as you can. It may seem tedious, but it's worth the extra effort to make sure the insurance company believes you the first time.
2. Verification of Project Completion
Even if you hear the project is complete from every member of your team, make sure you personally verify completion of a project.
Do a final walk through - take your time, test what you can, and verify the quality of the work is to your standards. Make sure there’s no continued leaks or odors. Just double, double, check the damage is dead, we don’t want a Zombie Apocalypse, do you?
3. Hazard Identification/Planning
It’s crucial that a hazardous material inspection is done before restoration work begins. This provides the restoration company with a “game plan” so they can restore your building properly and ensures they don’t run into any dangerous dead ends.
Without a plan, you immediately turn into the most predictable movie character in a horror film...the person who runs up the stairs, right into the waiting grasp of a monster. We want you to have a plan in place to run out the door, that way you don’t panic and run up the stairs.
4. Hidden Fees
Spoiler alert: no one likes a surprise ending! Although some issues are hard to identify during initial inspections, it is important that your restoration contractor maintains full transparency when issues arise and change orders are issued.
Stay involved and informed in all areas of your restoration project. Create good communication channels with your contractors - and don't be afraid to ask questions on change orders (or the project in its entirety). There are a lot of reasons why change orders are issued, but even minor tweaks can slash or slay your budget (just like the $40,000 stolen by Marion in the movie). You're responsible for knowing what you're spending, and why you're spending it.
5. Underestimating Damage
Damage isn’t always what it seems, so don’t make the mistake of underestimating its impact. Even if you feel certain about the level of impact, make sure to have professionals (like public adjusters) fully examine your property damage. Smoke, soot, odors, etc. can be forced into cracks and crevices, propelled into attics, crawl spaces and behind walls/ceilings as well as drawn into HVAC systems.
Do your homework up front so you're not haunted by the return of ruin - hopefully it doesn't take Michael Myers coming back for the ninth time for this lesson to sink in!
If we had to identify with a character form a spooky film, we'd say Unified Disaster Resources would be most like Father Karras, the hero in the horror film The Exorcist. Like this in-depth psychiatric pedigree, we provide a comprehensive damage assessment, as well as an in-depth photo report of any damage found. Unified employs OSHA certified safety instructors, ensuring that your property is restored fully and safely.
Just like Father Karras wouldn't rest until he conquered the demon at the very end, Unified doesn't mark a project finished until we’ve completed a final walk-through with the property owner, and have received their full approval that the project is complete.
Last, and most importantly, Unified provides transparent budgeting and planning, enabling you to see itemized material lists, work plans, and all budgeting for the project. We know it's terrifying to begin a restoration project, but Unified eliminates the screams, spooks and scares from the typical restoration project. We make sure your entire project and restoration process is closer to a musical than a horror film.