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Recently, a Rancho Santa Margarita homeowner (referred by a recent roof repair client in Trabuco Canyon) called to get an estimate on modern roof restoration cost, leaking after the recent winter storms here in Southern California. They were aware of talking to their friends and from the web site www.webroofing.com, that we have been specializing in leak detection, repair, and restoration of roofs for the past 10 years from our location in Mission Viejo.

Their Insurance Company was called first and they sent out a water remediation company. A representative arrived, immediately cut a sizeable hole in the drywall ceiling of the garage, apparently in the area of the leak, and then set up several commercial grade fans to presumably dry out the affected area. He also told the homeowner they needed to get a roofer to figure out exactly where it was leaking from the roof. After a couple of days, he returned to “check for possible mold” and remove the fans.

Here is the problem with this scenario:

If there is water building up above a drywall ceiling, in most cases, it is totally adequate to drill a few holes in the ceiling to let the water escape.

Until the source of the leak is fixed, it might be premature to begin drying out an area that is not yet secured.

By having the above work done, the homeowner opened a claim prior to knowing the full extent of the repairs and if it would pay to claim against their deductible.

A better approach:

Had they called Web Roofing first, I personally would have gone out with my foreman to search out the source of the leak, and, if possible, do an emergency repair to stop the intrusion of water. We would have made this a priority and (as we did with dozens of clients during this past siege of storms) create a watertight solution the minute there was a let-up in the storms.

As a safety measure, we would have drilled ample holes in the garage ceiling to prevent water build-up.

In our experience over thousands of repairs, given adequate ventilation, building materials are quite resilient and dry out adequately on their own once the water flow is stopped.

While it is true that it is the obligation, from an insurance standpoint, of the homeowner to lessen possible damages by taking corrective action once a problem occurs; in the majority of leak repairs we have performed, the dollar amount of the repair is either under the deductible or within a few hundred dollars of it.

The point being, if you can handle a matter adequately out of pocket, you would be able to save your claims for more significant situations.