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Home Repair - WTF should I do?


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Setup:

I have a condo in Barton Hills that I rent out (my former house)

I live in Singapore

Story:

Yesterday, I got a call from the condo owner next to mine saying that our condo was flooding into theirs. It turns out our tenant had gone out of town on Monday and a pipe burst inside the unit (more than likely the water heater).  Because the tenant is not there and is unreachable the property management had to enter the house. They found 1 to 1.5 inches of standing water inside (ground floor it is a 2 story) and the wood floors buckled. The insurance company has not been reachable (no power I guess).

There was also lots of damage caused by the tenant that was shown by the property management people (windows broken, screens ripped, etc). 

First, what the hell do I do?

Second, what the hell do I do?

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1. Burn it to the ground

2. Let insurance handle it

2a. Try to get the tenant to pay for some of it (at very least keep deposit)

2b. Pay someone in Austin to manage as it will require lots of onsite effort to remodel 

2c. Wait it out as construction cost will be insane next couple months if you can afford it. Have it cleaned up and dried out. I am sure the condo association has some insurance to help cover in these instances

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16 minutes ago, Fastbreak said:

Setup:

I have a condo in Barton Hills that I rent out (my former house)

I live in Singapore

Story:

Yesterday, I got a call from the condo owner next to mine saying that our condo was flooding into theirs. It turns out our tenant had gone out of town on Monday and a pipe burst inside the unit (more than likely the water heater).  Because the tenant is not there and is unreachable the property management had to enter the house. They found 1 to 1.5 inches of standing water inside (ground floor it is a 2 story) and the wood floors buckled. The insurance company has not been reachable (no power I guess).

There was also lots of damage caused by the tenant that was shown by the property management people (windows broken, screens ripped, etc). 

First, what the hell do I do?

Second, what the hell do I do?

First, sorry, that sucks.  Second, what kind of insurance company is not reachable?

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2 hours ago, Fastbreak said:

We finally got ahold of the insurance agent, but the tenant is still MIA.

I am available to go & inspect your situation.  Send me an email via:  RestorationEmail@yahoo.com & include all the particulars you feel necessary (address is obv. an important one).

Also, did you reach your AGENT or the ADJUSTER?  I just looked up the time difference & you're 14 hours ahead of us (0800 here = 2200 there).  Calls are going to be wonky, but I can make it work.

I will also need to know if there is any way to gain entry, if there is anyone from your condo assn. that is available to meet (there is an adjoining unit, so... maybe someone home there?).  Also, maybe send info (phone #) for the tenant.
Again, all email?  I'm (finally) going to bed @ nearly 0300 CST.

I can help.

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Sorry for the stress this must be causing.

I guess it's a good time to mention that, if you are an absentee (no judgment, just a term) landlord, your property manager is so key.  They're your representative and agent for this kind of thing.

Your property manager, put in touch with your insurance, should more or less run with this.

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communication is the hard part with the time difference.  We had wanted to remodel when we moved back to Texas, but now it seems like it will accelerate.  I don't want to do a big money remodel for this asshole tenant though.  So we will see what can be done.

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communication is the hard part with the time difference.  We had wanted to remodel when we moved back to Texas, but now it seems like it will accelerate.  I don't want to do a big money remodel for this asshole tenant though.  So we will see what can be done.
Have checked email, nothing there.
Donyou want me to go over?

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I can't believe the adjuster is saying to wait.  Getting them engaged pronto is critical.  Agree with LD, take a bunch of pics / video, etc. and then start the process of getting the water removed and pipe repaired.  Mold is NOT your friend.

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8 hours ago, Fastbreak said:

Insurance agent says wait for adjuster, adjuster says wait for water removal people -- meanwhile, water still sits inside the condo and the pipe is still broken.

The adjuster shouldn't be telling you to wait for the water removal people if they are available.  Does the adjuster have to give his blessing on behalf of the insurance company?   Most are proactive on this part even if they don't pay out a singe cent to cover the actual  property damage.  If so, make sure you have your bases covered because your duty is to try to mitigate further damage and if the adjuster is telling you this, you better bet your bottom dollar they (insurance) should be on the line for further damage..  Thankfully this is not summer time or you would be more in a world of hurt with mold issues unless the temps start pushing the upper 80's or more in the next few days.  

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We were there.  We were inside.  Ready to work.

Fake hardwood flooring is cupping.

Cork under fake hardwood is probably still wet.

Neighbor in adjoining condo has blistering on their paint, their walls were repainted probably 1-1'2 to 2 months prior... new paint is blistering.

I can guarantee that the insulation is wet & adding to the problems.

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After a consutation with 2 of the best legal minds that Shag² has, I sent this to FastBreak's wife & suggested she in turn respond to Snake Farm with this (email only, retain documents vs. phone calls):

. . . . . .

" Use the words "Dangerous contaminants", NOT "mold"

"It is my understanding that you are requiring that I do not proceed with remediation that would limit property losses, both for me & third parties - my tenant, their personal articles & the property of my adjoining neighbor.

Is that my understanding?

We have remediation tradespepple available and to wait 1 week for your inspection prior to advancing with any work will potentially expose your organization to further liabilities, however you are instructing me to not move ahead with sensible procedures that would limit your responsibilities, is all of the above noted description correct?"

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When we left there, we headed over to @AUS-97HORN & got his work started.  Over head line in bathroom broke; we identified the problem, water is already shut off.  Moved contents, did cleanup on exposed & damaged areas, cut sheetrock & baseboard, removed carpeting,   That's all we can do until the adjuster checks this out.

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uggggghhhh!!!!!!!

I think we were trying to go as fast and professionally as possible to save everyone money and problems.  I understand that State Farm has lots of claims, but I'm not sure this is their best course of action.

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From working on the flooded homes in LaGrange a few years ago with that much water you need to:

  1. remove all the wet flooring down to the subfloor
  2. remove the baseboards and cut out the bottom of the drywall several inches above the water line and throw it away.
  3. pull out the insulation that got wet inside the walls.
  4. Run fans, lots of fans and de-humidifiers.
  5. If you see any signs of "dangerous contaminants" have the bleach solution ready to spay.  You can spray the 2x4 base plates and inside the drywall pre-emptively. 

The faster you start this process the better

Edited by TexasEd
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54 minutes ago, TexasEd said:

From working on the flooded homes in LaGrange a few years ago with that much water you need to:

  1. remove all the wet flooring down to the subfloor
  2. remove the baseboards and cut out the bottom of the drywall several inches above the water line and throw it away.
  3. pull out the insulation that got wet inside the walls.
  4. Run fans, lots of fans and de-humidifiers.
  5. If you see any signs of "dangerous contaminants" have the bleach solution ready to spay.  You can spray the 2x4 base plates and inside the drywall pre-emptively. 

The faster you start this process the better

That's 100% what we were onsite & ready to do but Snake Farm apparently bit another customer.  I cannot reasonably understand why they told @Fastbreak to wait.

But... we are doing as requested.  & That's 100% why I suggested the above emailed response because IMO, this is now Snake Farm's responsibility for both the insured as well as the neighbor... with a common wall, it doesn't matter WHAT one side of the wall does - both sides need to be addressed.

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