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Oh No! Water is pouring out of your ceiling! A tree fell on your house! Your toilet is overflowing! Do you know how to turn off the water to your house or in your house? How about the main power switch? Who do you call first? Before you make a call, you first need to make sure everyone in your home is safe.  

When a moment like this happens, you need to call your homeowner’s insurance agent or an insurance company for a recommendation of an emergency repair team. However, a restoration team can do emergency water removal or secure the home from further damage until the insurance adjuster arrives.

On average, an insurance company will want 3 contractors to submit an estimate for the repairs. Insurance companies usually work with approved builders who will estimate the repairs and work within their guidelines. In cities across the country, there are local businesses who are “restoration” specialists who repair a home after a major fire or flood. Your insurance company will want to meet the contractors you select to make sure they can complete the work within the estimate they approve.

Make sure to call a contractor or an expert in the field of your problem. For example, a plumber, tree removal specialist, roofer, painter, or trade specific experts. Request an estimate for the repairs and discuss the quality you expect for replacement of your damages. Often the insurance company will not cover what the true cost will be.  Homeowners may need to pay extra beyond insurance funds for quality repairs with a local contractor who you trust. The “restoration” contractor may not meet your finish quality expectations. Therefore, you may apply to your insurance company for more funds for reimbursement.

After the winter of 2016-17 in Central Oregon, D.E. Rink Construction was busy helping our clients put their homes and lives back together after significant damage was caused from ice dams and roof leaks. Often the insurance company will not pay a general contractor or experienced construction company to manage the high end details or products required to have the home restored back to 100%. Owners beware, the cost of construction in Central Oregon and especially in Bend is generally higher than prices in the Portland area.

D.E. Rink Construction has 40 years of experience to meet both owner and insurance company requirements for quality and budget expectations when home damage occurs.

Please make sure today your family knows where the main water shut off valve is and the power switch. There are two locations for the water valve, one at the home and one at the meter box near the sidewalk. These may require a special key to reach the valve near the home or a wrench at the meter to shut it off. The power switch is behind an easy access door panel; [never remove screws to gain access} pull the small door open by the finger ring. There is either a large switch on top of the panel or you may switch off all the breakers. Never store any items 3’ in front of the electric panel.

Final advice and most importantly, have several fire extinguishers in your home and make sure they are up to date.  

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