Frequently Asked Questions

When disaster strikes, you have a lot to deal with.

Unfortunately, there can be a LOT of paperwork involved with a loss. Chances are you already feel a little overwhelmed.

We can help file your claim, and will work as your advocate in the insurance process to assist in the often confusing maze of red tape. Let us help guide you through the process and get a fair settlement, so you have one less thing to worry about as you get your life back to normal.

We even send our invoice straight to the insurance company, utilizing our Xactimate® proposals, an industry approved software which every insurance carrier in the nation uses and is preferred for seamlessly resolving claims. Efficient, cost-effective, and accurate … We get it right the first time, every time.

Call Distinctive Restoration and leave the hard part to us! (760)989-4179

INSURANCE QUESTIONS:

How do I know if a claim is really necessary?

If you’ve experienced a loss at your home or business, it makes sense to contact your insurance agent. The agent can help you determine if a claim is in your best interest considering your deductible, coverage and the extent of the loss. Failing to contact the insurance company in a timely manner can compromise your ability to get a payout for your damage.

What are my obligations related to insurance?

According to most policies, the majority of obligations are with the insurance company. You do, however, have an obligation to notify the company of your property damage or loss and to make the property available so that it can be inspected by the insurance company. Insurance companies usually cannot deny a claim when these things are done in a reasonable amount of time. Taking quick action to get Distinctive Restoration and your insurance company on the scene is the most important thing you can do after water damage, flood damage, fire damage or other property damage.

Do I need to get estimates from other companies?

No. Insurance companies do not require multiple estimates. You can simply call Distinctive Restoration, and we’ll handle your entire claim.

Can Distinctive Restoration directly bill my insurance company?

Yes, we can usually do that. You will also be responsible for any costs related to upgrades to your home or business, and to restoration work performed on items or structures that aren’t covered by your policy.

Will my insurance company accept Distinctive Restoration’s estimate?

In most cases, yes. We have worked with insurance companies for years, and we know what will be accepted and what won’t. We write Xactimate® proposals, an industry approved software which every insurance carrier in the nation uses and is preferred for seamlessly resolving claims. We happily work with insurance companies to iron out any issues and make sure your restoration job is complete, thorough and done to professional standards.

My mortgage company’s name is included on the insurance payment. What should I do?

We will provide your mortgage company with all the necessary documentation to process your payment and meet their inspection requirements.

How do I get my claim paid?

We’ll work with the insurance claim adjuster to get repair costs approved, then the insurance company will send you the repair payment, minus your deductible.

My insurance policy uses the term, “depreciation.” What does it mean?

Property of all sorts, from automobiles to your home or business, ages, sustains wear and tear and becomes outdated, resulting in lower value. Insurance policies vary in how they address the issue of depreciation. You may hear the terms “recoverable depreciation” and “non-recoverable depreciation.” Essentially, recoverable depreciation is lost value that can be restored by repairs or renovations.

Who is involved in my claim?

As your disaster recovery contractor, Distinctive Restoration will work with your insurance company’s claim adjuster to get necessary repair costs approved. Your mortgage company may also get involved to ensure that your property is returned to pre-damage condition.

Do I have to use the adjuster the insurance company sends out?

After you file your claim, expect your insurance company to send out an adjuster to inspect your home or business and make an assessment of damages. In most cases, the damage will be obvious and you will agree with this adjuster’s opinion. If you don’t, you can hire a public adjuster to make an assessment on your behalf, and then you can submit this assessment to the insurance company for consideration. The company will consider both reports and negotiate a settlement with you if necessary. 

What is a public adjuster?

A public adjuster is someone you pay to assess the extent of damage to your property. When you feel that your insurance company isn’t making a fair offer, contact a public adjuster. These adjusters submit specific reports on specific forms to your insurance company that may help you recover more. Public adjusters are licensed by the California Department of Insurance and may be better qualified than private insurance company adjusters. These adjusters are paid by the hour or on a contingency basis, and this fee may be covered by your insurance company as a cost of proving the extent of your loss.

Our 24hr Response Team is standing by. Call now for a FREE estimate!

(760) 989-4179

WATER / FIRE / MOLD QUESTIONS:

Water Damage

My property is flooded. What should I do?

Time is of utmost importance. Call Distinctive Restoration immediately so we can get to your property and start the process of removing the water and restoring it right away. Act fast to minimize the damage to your property and prevent associated problems, such as mold infestation.

What can I do while I’m waiting for Distinctive Restoration?

We’ve compiled these water damage tips for you.

Fire and Smoke Damage

I just had a catastrophic fire on my property. What do I do?

Call Distinctive Restoration. We’re experienced experts in restoring fire damaged property to its pre-loss condition, handling the insurance claims and helping you, your family or your business get back to normal. From the moment you call, we will spring into action, arriving onsite fast and jumpstarting the restoration process. We’ll be there with you every step of the way to recovery from your misfortune, answering all of your questions and providing you with peace of mind.

I have fire damage, but smoke damage is the bigger problem. What can I do to make sure that I don’t have to keep reliving this nightmare by smelling the smoke in the future?

Distinctive Restoration’s experts use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques to make sure your property is restored like the fire never happened.

Mold and Mildew

Is mold really dangerous?

Absolutely. The Centers for Disease Control and other health agencies warn mold spores can cause serious health risks for people with breathing problems. And certain types of mold, including black mold (stachybotrys chartarum) can cause serious health problems, even in healthy people.

What should I do if I think I have a mold infestation?

Don’t attempt to clean or mitigate the affected area. You can unknowingly spread mold spores to other parts of the structure, worsening the infestation. Contact a trained mold remediation specialist who will conduct a visual inspection and other tests to assess the problem. When the extent of the infestation is assessed, your mold remediation specialist will recommend a plan to remove the mold and prevent its return.

If inspection and testing reveal a mold infestation, what’s next?

In the event of a confirmed infestation, your mold remediation expert will devise a plan to remove the mold and ensure that it doesn’t return. The plan may include removal of material that’s contaminated with mold, encapsulation, the use or antifungal disinfectants and other measures.

Biohazard Cleanup

A sewage leak has contaminated my property. How can I safely clean it up?

Call Distinctive Restoration. We are trained and experienced in safely and thoroughly cleaning up all sorts of contamination, including sewage, blood, body fluids, animal waste and even hazardous chemicals.

Lead Paint

Should I be concerned about lead-based paint in my home or business?

Yes. Structures built prior to 1978 were often painted with lead-based paints. The deterioration of lead paint results in minute lead particles that can be inhaled or ingested. Demolition, sanding and renovation of buildings containing lead paint can also create these hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Environmental Protection Agency warn that lead exposure can cause serious health problems, including birth defects, digestive and nervous system disorders and cardiovascular problems. Children are especially vulnerable to health risks from lead exposure, including brain damage and growth problems. Distinctive Restoration’s technicians are trained and experienced in testing for and eliminating health risks from lead-based paints.

Asbestos

What is asbestos, and why is it dangerous?

Asbestos is a durable, fire-retardant fiber that was used extensively in construction up until the early ‘80s, when extensive research found it to be a highly hazardous cause of lung cancer and other grave illnesses.

How do I find out if my property contains asbestos?

Distinctive Restoration can test your property for the presence of asbestos and advise you of your options to mitigate it, then handle the mitigation project.

Do I have to remove asbestos from my property?

No. You can leave asbestos material in place as long as it is undamaged.

Reconstruction

I received a preliminary lien notice, but my bill is not past due. Why did I get this notice?

Restoration contractors file pre-liens on property damage losses in accordance with state guidelines designed to secure their payment rights.

How does the restoration process work?

Your Distinctive Restoration project manager manages your restoration process from start to finish, providing repair cost estimates, working with your insurance company, scheduling the work and answering any questions you have at any time.

Who makes decisions about construction materials on my property?

Your Distinctive Restoration project manager will work with you to help you make these decisions. We only work with reputable suppliers who carry quality materials and can provide a wealth of information on fixtures, flooring, cabinets, appliances and more.

What do I do with my valuables while my home or business is under repair?

We’ll inventory your personal property, pack it up, keep it in a climate controlled storage facility and return it when your property is restored. We ask you to secure jewelry, firearms, important documents and other highly valuable items.

Our 24hr Response Team is standing by. Call now for a FREE estimate!

(760) 989-4179

WHAT CAN I DO UNTIL HELP ARRIVES:

Water Damage

The water is rising. What do you do?

First call Distinctive Restoration at (760)989-4179

What You Should Do During An Emergency Situation Before Your Professionals Arrive?

Distinctive Restoration will clean up and repair your flooded or water-damaged property like new, but there are some things you can do to help reduce the time and expense necessary to get your property restored and your life back to normal.

Safety First, Always
Make sure you consider possible safety and health hazards that may be present. Common hazards associated with water leaks and flooding include:

  • Electrical hazards
  • Gas leaks
  • Chemical and biological contaminants in flood water and its residue
  • Potentially toxic concentrations of mold and its spores
  • Structural weakening in saturated building materials
  • Dangerous wild animals washed into structures during flooding

These are only a few of the hazards you may encounter in your flooded or water-damaged structure. Make sure that you proceed with caution, regularly assessing areas for these and other risks as you follow these guidelines. 

What to do after flooding?

  • Find the source of the water and stop it, if possible.
  • Turn off the main circuit breakers to the structure. Do not operate electrical equipment in wet areas.
  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.
    Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Remove personal property from the floor that has been affected with the water. Check closets and under beds.
  • Gather loose items from floors.
  • Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands and disinfect tools and equipment used in water damage cleanup.
  • Open doors and windows to allow air into the structure.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform. Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

What NOT to do after flooding?

  • Don’t enter a room or affected area where an electrical shock hazard may exist
  • Don’t attempt to vacuum the water up with any appliances requiring an electrical source. It could be dangerous.
  • Don’t leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods to dry at room temperature.
  • Don’t leave oriental rugs on wet carpet as it can cause staining
  • Don’t leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don’t use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don’t use television or other household appliances while standing on wet surfaces
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.
  • Don’t attempt to handle or touch items that may be contaminated with bodily fluids
  • Don’t run fans or air conditioning if the damage is caused by flooding or a sewage leak. Doing so can spread contamination.

Stay Calm…Distinctive Restoration is on the way!

Fire Damage (after it’s safe to enter)

What to do after a fire?

  • Limit movement in the home to prevent soot particles from embedding into upholstery and carpet
  • Wear a respirator in heavy soot situations while cleaning
  • Keep hands clean. Soot on hands can further soil belongings, walls, and woodwork
  • Place dry, colorfast towels or old linens on rugs, upholstery, and carpet traffic areas
  • If electricity is off, empty the freezer and refrigerator completely, then prop the doors open to help prevent odor
  • Leave HVAC system off until system can be checked
  • Tape and cover air registers to stop particles of soot from entering the HVAC system

What NOT to do after a fire?

  • Don’t attempt to clean any electrical items that may have been close to fire, heat, or water
  • Don’t consume any food or beverages that may have been stored close to fire, heat, or water
  • Don’t turn on ceiling fans. Wiring may be wet or damaged and cause electrical shock. Air movement may cause secondary damage
  • Don’t spray liquids on any metal surfaces affected by soot. Doing so could cause secondary damage to the metals and increase the chance for corrosion.
  • Don’t use any liquids to clean porous surfaces inside the home such as unpainted drywall, unfinished wood products and brick. Doing so could inset the soot into the surface making it more difficult for a professional to remove.
  • Don’t send garments to the dry cleaner. Improper cleaning may set in smoke odor.

Stay Calm…Distinctive Restoration is on the way!

Our 24hr Response Team is standing by. Call now for a FREE estimate!

(760) 989-4179

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