Flood damage to a home or business can be devastating and extremely costly. It’s important to the safety of you and your family or coworkers to quickly contact a flood insurance provider and start the restoration process. Luckily, CompanyCam can help you document and organize your flood damage photos, allowing you to start the rebuilding process quicker.
In 2019, the state of Nebraska faced its worst flooding in 50 years. Agriculture losses from Nebraska flooding could top $1 billion, according to the Omaha World-Herald. Thousands of homes across the heartland will be in dire need of documentation and restoration in the coming months.
Whether you’re a resident or a restoration expert, documenting the flood damage at hand is important for covering loss.
CompanyCam has gathered a list of must-have photos you’ll need to thoroughly document the damages you or your customer are facing. For more information on how to volunteer or make donations, we’ve also gathered a list of resources for Nebraska flood relief.
Here are some photos you’ll want to be taking:
When working on flood damaged sites, keep track of the job site address. This tip comes from Travis Harris of Pinnacle Roofing. Even though some apps, like CompanyCam, will save GPS location data with your images and organize them by job, it’s still a great idea to snap a photo of the actual address on the building, curb, sign, or mailbox. This just gives you more proof that your photos are of the correct property if you’re in a dispute with a particularly difficult customer.
- Inspect for structural and electrical damage from the outside to determine if it is safe to enter.
- Electrical safety is very important in floods. Check for gas leaks and fire hazards.
- Wear sturdy shoes, gloves, and eye protection
- Be watchful of dangerous animals that may be nearby
- If mold is present, wear a respirator that can filter spores
Photos to Take During the First Visit to the Site
Assume flood water and flooded materials are contaminated. Make sure that everyone around you or on your crew is safe from danger. The first reason to start taking photos this early is to document how everything looks before any crews have even set foot on the job site. When you take the right photos, everyone can get a crystal clear idea of what the job will entail.
1. Take Photos for Use as an Inventory
Gather photos that can be used to provide to your insurance adjuster immediately if you have flood insurance even if you have doubts that the damage will be covered. Dealing with a flooded home can be devastating and overwhelming. List damage and take photos with a date and time stamp, luckily, CompanyCam does this automatically on every photo you snap inside the application.
You’ll need written documentation of damage and loss for insurance claims, applications for distorter assistance and income tax deductions. Document losses, writing down all damaged items and begin to start tracking any expenses related to the damage.
2. Try Not the Be Discouraged by the Huge Mess
You’ll want to just throw everything out so you can return to your home or assist the resident customer as quickly as possible. Don’t. Lot’s of stuff can be documented and salvaged. Claim everything on insurance even if you save it. If flood water touched it, you can claim it. Whether you keep it or not is up to you or your customer.
Begin cleanup, salvage, and drying as soon as possible. Do not wait for an adjuster. All steps on this page can be taken before an adjuster arrives. Even though some apps, like CompanyCam, will save GPS location data with your images and organize them by job, it’s still a great idea to snap a photo of the actual address on the building, curb, sign, or mailbox you are working on. This just gives you more proof that your photos are of the correct property if you’re in a dispute with a particularly difficult customer.
3. Each Side of the Building, from a Distance on the Ground
These photos will help you get a full picture of the building you’re working on. These photos need to be taken from a distance so that you can see the ground in the image, allowing you to see each side’s elevation.
To help our customers do that even easier, we built a Before & After feature into our app. As an added bonus, these pictures make for great “before” pictures that you can use to show off the finally restored home or business when the time comes using CompanyCam’s Before & After feature.
4. Electrical Systems
Be sure all electric and gas services are turned off before entering the premises for the first time. Download and carefully review the publication, “Evaluating Water-Damaged Electrical Equipment,” by NEMA.org. Subcontract an electrician to check for grounds and other unsafe conditions before reconnecting the system.
Open flooded walls, even if they appear undamaged, to prevent mold, odor, and structural decay later. Take photos of removed baseboards to document when and how you began to ventilate the interior of the property. Undamaged paneling may be propped open or reinstalled after cleaning. Remove and discard all wet fibrous insulation. Snap a quick photo of all the insulation once removed — even a photo like this can help with the damage estimation process.
Long-term flooding or wetness is more likely than not to ruin most interior finishes and contents. Delay permanent repairs until the building is thoroughly dry, which may take weeks. Make a thorough inspection of the house. Layers of submerged plywood or subfloors are likely to separate or swell. Affected areas must be replaced to keep the new floor covering from buckling in. Check for warping, all of this is easy to document. Add notes or arrows in the CompanyCam app pointing out the exact issues you’re seeing as you assess the home.
Photos to Take Repeatedly on the Job Site
There will be several photos you will want to talk each day as the process of restoring a home is underway.
1. Each Side of the Building, from a Distance on the Ground
Taking photos throughout the day and after any major stage of the production or repair process is complete are useful for documenting how the job was done. You can use these photos to show progress to your customers and to prove that no corners were cut.
2. Photos to Prove Specifications and Regulations Are Being Followed
If the job has any specific requirements, such as those defined by an architect, you can save yourself a lot of headaches if you take photos to prove that the requirements were met.
3. Job Site at the End of Each Day
Just like the photos at the start of each day, photos at the end of the day help to show progress and keep your crews accountable. They can also help you make sure that your crews aren’t leaving a mess each day.
4. Yard and Landscaping
Photos of the yard and landscaping are helpful in two ways. First, they’ll show the condition of the yard and landscaping before your crews arrive, which can help you address any customer complaints about the condition their yard or landscape was left in. These photos will also help you document potential obstacles or issues like tree branches touching the roof or steep hills and big bushes.
5. Existing Damage Including Broken Windows, Driveway Cracks, Damaged Garage Doors, Etc
As we mentioned many items on this checklist, it’s important to take photos of any damage you see. Documenting problems like cracked windows, broken siding, and damaged garage doors will help you prove that the damage existed before your company arrived and can help provide proof of storm damage for insurance submissions.
Learn how to win insurance agent referrals through the downloadable below!
How CompanyCam Helps Crews Take and Manage Your Photos
CompanyCam was specifically designed to help companies like yours take and manage photos extremely easily. For this article, we’re going to show you how our app helps with three of the four fundamentals we mentioned above: storage, organization, and communication. But if you want to learn about all the features in the app, click here to check out our features page.
CompanyCam offers unlimited cloud storage to all of our customers. This means you never have to worry about running out of space or paying to upgrade for more room. But we don’t stop there. We also handle the photo uploading automatically so nobody has to worry about sending photos anywhere or spending a bunch of time manually uploading all your pictures from the day.
When CompanyCam uploads your photos for you, it automatically tags it with a location and adds it to the right job. Since photos are tracked to the job, you’ll never have to dig through a long list of folders to find the right one. It’s also super easy to go back and see all the photos for a job with our Project Timelines.
If you need to generate reports, we’ve made that a breeze as well. In fact, our customers often tell us that our reports are their favorite feature. Jeff Hansen of Paramount Roofing told us about a time he had to generate reports for a job that involved 100 units. “It would’ve taken us forever the old way, but with CompanyCam, it only took us about three days. We would’ve spent a few weeks if we didn’t have CompanyCam.”
CompanyCam instantly syncs the photos you take across your entire team so anyone can access them whenever they need to. If someone in the office needs to check in on a project or if someone in the field needs to show a photo to a homeowner, it can be done in a matter of seconds on their phone. Nobody will ever need to send or ask for a photo again.
But that’s not the only way CompanyCam helps your teams communicate. A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but sometimes that’s just not enough. We also make it easy to draw on, annotate, and comment on your photos. Since these photos are automatically synced across your team, everyone can see all the information you’ve included.
One of the things we’ve mentioned throughout this article is how a few of these photos can work great in your marketing efforts. To help our customers do that even easier, we built a Before & After feature into our app. This feature pairs a before picture and after picture together and makes it super simple to show off the transformation you created.
CompanyCam has called Nebraska home since being founded in 2015 and considers all residents affected as family. We’re aiming to help our fellow Nebraskans get back on their feet with the help our own expertise — our app can help you assess damage, make reports to share with insurance adjusters, and keep track of your very own recovery.
With our help and this list of must-have photos, Nebraska can remain strong, organized, and focused on the things in life that matter most. Whether you’re a resident or a restoration expert in Nebraska, documenting flood damage is more important now than ever.