The Importance of a Home Inventory and Documentation of Damaged Items for Insurance Claims

A home inventory is a comprehensive list of detailed descriptions of each item of personal property that you own. This document can help you prove ownership in the case of loss. After a home disaster, documentation of damaged items can also simplify filing a claim for damage to your property. As a trusted Indianapolis restoration company, Five Star Complete Restoration wants to share some important tips for creating these documents. This will help ensure that your lists are both accurate and complete.

Home Inventory: Create a Photo Library

The idea of cataloging one’s possessions is intimidating for many people, and this is understandable. It’s taken your whole life to acquire these possessions. Although the first step may seem like the hardest, a simple way to begin is to walk through your home room by room and use your cell phone to take photos of every item of personal property.

Home Inventory: Put It on Paper and Keep It Pertinent

Once you’ve recorded your possessions visually, it’s time to begin writing a home inventory list. Having all of your personal property in a photographic format will make this task much more achievable. As you write your list, be sure to organize descriptions with photos to keep your progress streamlined. This is where you can share the most pertinent information about each item, including the date of purchase, purchase price, replacement value, and the model or serial number.

Documentation of Damaged Items

When you find yourself dealing with damage or loss, it’s important to have a reputable restoration company on your side. Specifically, a professional restoration service can assist with documentation of any damaged items due to fire, flooding, or other disaster. However, it’s also important to be aware of any existing damage to your home due to undetected water leaks in your roof or plumbing systems, problems with the foundation, and other home system issues. When you buy a new home, you’ll want to ensure the seller discloses any issues or that you discover them through a thorough home inspection. For septic system inspections, you’ll need to hire a specially trained inspector. This is especially important if you are buying an older home.

Store Documentation Safely

It’s essential that you store these documents in a safe place, such as a safe deposit box at your bank. However, it’s also a good idea to take advantage of technology and create a digital copy to also be stored outside your home.

It’s never too late to be ahead of the game by creating a comprehensive home inventory to be prepared in the case of loss or damage to personal property. In addition, Five Star Complete Restoration is ready to be your ally to help you document any damages and restore your home to its original condition. If you’ve experienced loss or dam

Why You Need a Basement Dehumidifier

When you think of basement water damage, you may think of basement flooding in your Indianapolis, Noblesville, or Carmel area home. You may also think that as far as you know, the waterproofing on the exterior basement walls is doing a good job.

When You Need to Dry Wet Carpet

Wet carpet’s a problem in your Indianapolis, Noblesville, or Carmel home. If you don’t get it dried out, you’ll end up with that wet carpet smell, rot, or even wet carpet mold.
A homeowner often discovers wet carpet in the basement. If it’s part of a bigger basement water damage problem like a flood, you’ll need a water mitigation company.

Natural Ways to Make Your Home Smell Wonderful

It’s a rare person indeed who isn’t interested in how to make a house smell good. Not only does it make life more pleasant on a superficial level, scientific studies show that smells affect our moods and emotions.

Eliminate the Musty Smell in the Basement

There’s a problem that’s puzzling and annoying many of your neighbors in their Indianapolis, Noblesville, or Carmel homes. Maybe the same thing is baffling and irritating you. What is that musty smell in the basement that persists no matter how often and diligently you clean?

Clean Rugs and Carpets Without Toxic Chemicals

As a savvy consumer, you’re probably aware that some of the products consumers have traditionally used for household chores can create problems themselves. They can be toxic to one degree or another, and when it comes to carpet cleaner or carpet spot cleaner, our pets can be particularly susceptible because they live closer to the floor.

Finding Roof Leaks

Finding roof leaks can be tricky for a couple different reasons. One is the way water behaves once it gets past a shingle, flashing, or joint. Moving generally downhill under the power of gravity, it then flows along the path of least resistance and can cover a goodly distance thanks to surface tension.

Protect Your Pet from Floods

Your Pet and the Threat of Floods

Many homes have pets. According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owner’s Survey, about 85 million US homes (68% of all of them) do, and small wonder. Research has shown that owning pets is good for both our physical and our emotional health.

Of course, you probably don’t cherish your dog, cat, or other pet based solely or even mainly on that kind of calculation. You simply love the animal, and because you do, you’d be heartsick if you lost your pet as the result of a flood. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Protect your pet from floodsProtect Your Pet from Floods: Preparedness

Preparedness is key to making sure you don’t lose your pet in a flood.

Plan ahead by checking which local shelters take pets and which don’t. That way, if you need to evacuate, you and your friend can go to one that does. It may not be as difficult to find one as you anticipate. Congress passed a law enabling FEMA to provide funding to states and localities for the creation of pet-friendly shelters and other resources for rescuing and caring for pets in emergencies. You can check on online to see what your area has to offer.

If nothing’s available, perhaps you can make advance arrangements with friends or family outside the evacuation zone to shelter your pet temporarily.

You’ve probably heard that a person should take a Go bag when evacuating. Your pet needs one too. It should contain a week’s worth of food; moist or canned is preferable because it reduces the need for water and stays fresh longer. The bag should also have bowls, medications (make sure you have an adequate supply), a non-retractable leash for a dog or cat, proof of vaccinations to show shelter workers, and anything else that will help your pet feel safe and comfortable. Familiar toys that smell of home can be a considerable comfort.

If you use a pet carrier to transport your pet, make you know where it is and that it’s readily accessible. Put a warm blanket over the carrier if it’s cold; don’t put water inside while the carrier’s in motion.

Cats, rabbits, and other small animals must travel in carriers, birds in cages, and dogs with sturdy leashes.

Arrange for a trusted neighbor to take charge of your pet in case you’re traveling when an evacuation order comes.

If you board your pet while traveling, make sure the boarding facility is not prone to flooding and that there’s a plan in place to protect the animals if it does.

When severe weather is approaching, stay updated by following updates on local TV or radio.

If your pet is a horse out in the pasture, plan an escape route and evaluate whether you need additional gates for emergency access. Put notices with your contact info on the gates. Don’t leave tack on the barn floor.

Finally, understand that in that amid the chaos of a flood, your pet could conceivably get separated from you even though you’re trying your best not to let that happen. Should that occur, identity tags with up-to-date contact information and microchipping will help reunite you with the animal later on. (Identity tags on the collar are actually a legal requirement for dogs.)

Your Pet and Floods: When It’s Time to Evacuate

Take your pet with you, and don’t forget that animal’s Go bag in the hurry. Ideally, you’re both headed for the same place. You’d likely prefer it, and your pet certainly will. If it’s not possible, deliver your pet to the temporary caretaker you’ve identified.

Your Pet and Floods: If There’s Nowhere to Take Your Pet

It’s highly unfortunate but possible that there will simply be nowhere safe to take your pet, yet it will be necessary for you yourself to evacuate. In that case, whatever you do, don’t tie the animal up or leave it outdoors. Put your pet in an upper-story room and don’t restrain the animal there, either. Leave dry bedding plenty of food and water where your pet will have no difficulty getting at them.

If you have more than one pet, put them in separate rooms no matter how well the get along in normal circumstances. The stress of the storm and the strange situation can make them unpredictable.

Post signs on exterior doors to let emergency workers know there’s a pet (or pets) inside the house. The signs should include the animal’s name, your name, and your contact info.

Notify the SPCA and/or the local Flood Warden about the situation without delay.

Your Pet and Floods: The Most Important Rule

Above all, don’t endanger your own life to save a pet. Horrible as it is to contemplate losing your pet, a human life is more important.

But it shouldn’t come to that. Take the measures outlined above, and it’s likely your best friend will come through the flood in good shape.

Preventing Frozen Pipes and What to do When They do Freeze

“What’s worse than a major home maintenance disaster? Try several major home maintenance disasters at once. When a house’s water pipes freeze, the situation is not as simple as calling a plumber.