Dallas Jackson is a 38-year-old businessman who accepted a promotion at work that required him to move from Cheverly, MD to Atlanta, Georgia. He had begun packing up his house just a few days after being notified of the promotion and subsequent move. He planned to contact a realtor within the next few days to get the house listed quickly for sale since he had to be in Atlanta within 8 weeks. He also needed to travel to Atlanta soon to find a home there.
While packing more of his belongings one evening, he noticed a musty odor in a spare bedroom on the second floor of his home, the first room he had packed and cleared a week ago. As he walked further into the bedroom, the odor got stronger, and he realized, as he got closer to the closet, that the carpet was wet!
Thinking that the leak may have originated in the hall bathroom just outside the bedroom, Dallas immediately checked it but did not find any leaks or standing water. After checking the spare room more thoroughly, Dallas realized that the carpet in the closet was far more saturated than anywhere else in the room, but could not begin to imagine how the water had gotten into the closet. He immediately grabbed the shop vac out of the garage and started trying to remove as much water as possible. He then called a friend for the name of a good plumber. The plumber said he could have a crew there the next morning, and assured Dallas he had done exactly right by removing as much of the water as possible. He advised him to use old towels to see if he could get the floor any drier and, since the room had a ceiling fan, the plumber told him to leave it running all night with the closet door and the bedroom door propped open.
When the plumber and his crew arrived the next morning, they pulled the carpet up in the closet, since that area seemed to be the closest to the source of the water. When they did that, it became obvious that the leak had been there for at least several days. There was mold on the sub-flooring and water damage to the bottom inch or so of the drywall all the way around the closet. In fact, the sub-flooring was saturated and, when they checked the ceiling of the room below it, there was a discolored area there as well.
After a thorough inspection, it was discovered that a rodent had somehow gotten into the space under the sub-flooring on the second floor of the home and had chewed through the flexible pipe that supplied water to the bathroom. The hole in the pipe was in the section that ran directly under the closet in the spare bedroom, and a stream of water had been spraying the underside of the sub-flooring for a time long enough for it to have soaked through from the underside of the board.
Anyone who has ever discovered water damage to their home knows that finding the source of the water is just the first step of the many it takes to correct the problem. And many of those steps include contracting the services of various professionals – which often carries a hefty price tag.
In the case of water damage to your home, you should notify your homeowner’s insurance carrier as soon as possible. They will send a specialist to your home to determine the cause and extent of the damage. Be forewarned, not all water damage is actually covered by homeowner’s insurance. If the damage is sudden – like a pipe that froze and burst, or a leaking roof caused immediately by storm damage – insurance will usually cover the remediation and repair of the damage. However, if the damage occurred over time, insurance is not likely to cover it.
After notifying your insurance carrier, you should do what you can with towels and fans to dry the damaged area as much as possible while you wait for professionals to take over.
Once professionals arrive, they will do their own inspection and determine for themselves the cause and extent of the water damage. Their damage report will list the cause of the damage, all areas of damage, how severe the damage is, and what is required to restore your home to its pre-damaged state.
Unfortunately, Dallas’ damage report did not carry good news for him. The mold and mildew the plumber discovered when they pulled up the carpet and pad, indicated the leak had been there for some time. The water damage experts sent by the insurance company had removed a section of the sub-flooring and confirmed that the water had soaked through the board from the underside. The time required for that to happen is significant, further confirming that the leak had been there for quite some time. Because it was not a sudden development, it was not covered under the terms of Dallas’ homeowner’s policy.
Remediation and repair of the damage would require the replacement of sub-flooring in the damaged area. The drywall repair in that area and the damaged area of the ceiling in the room below would require, at minimum, that the damaged areas be cut out and patched with new drywall. Because moisture had been accumulating in the drywall, soaking in from the bottom of the wall and traveling upward, the damage expert’s recommendation was to replace the entire sheets of drywall in those areas rather than using the “patch” method. He also recommended that the wood framing in those areas be replaced as well since even the smallest amount of residual moisture within the wood would encourage future mold growth and damage. In addition, the carpet and pad would need to be replaced since mold had begun to grow there as well.
All in all, the conservative estimate for all necessary repairs exceeded $5,000 – none of which would be covered by Dallas’ insurance.
Not only was Dallas facing a substantial outlay of cash to make the repairs, but he was also looking at an additional two to three weeks minimum before he could even think of listing his home for sale. He still needed to travel to Atlanta and find housing there and was quickly running out of time.
Hoping to find other options, Dallas did a quick google search and found our website. Seeing that Akin Developers pays cash – and quickly – for homes in almost any condition, he immediately contacted us for a no-cost no-obligation offer on his home.
After meeting with Dallas and inspecting his home, we were able to give him a fair offer, which he accepted. He finished packing his belongings and moved them into a storage unit. We were able to close on the sale of his home in 10 days. When he left for Atlanta to find housing there, he left with money in the bank for the purchase of his new home.
Water damage can happen without any warning, even if the cause of that damage is gradual. Make sure you know what your homeowner’s insurance covers in regard to water damage so you are prepared should you ever find yourself in Dallas’ situation.
If you are looking to sell your home quickly, for cash – whether with water damage or otherwise distressed, or in perfect condition – contact us here at Akin Developers, and let us see what we can do or you, too.