Josh Hobbs, vice president at Dalworth Restoration in Euless, knows disasters.
Monday’s rains prompted a flood of calls to the company, which specializes in the restoration of homes, businesses and other sites affected by fire, water, storm damage and mold.
“The freeze of February 2021 is probably the benchmark of insanity, and I would say the rains Monday were about 50% of what the freeze was like in terms of call volume,” he said.
A rising water event like Monday is different from a broken water pipe. A standard homeowners insurance policy typically won’t cover flooding caused by storms.
“Insurance coverage is not the same in most cases, so there’s usually a whole lot of confusion for these homes and businesses getting remediated,” he said.
Dalworth has about 100 full-time staff members but will add several contractors to supplement its workforce during events like Monday’s rain, he said.
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“And then, depending on the need, we may add some others to handle the volume, but we depend on these contractors we’ve worked with before,” he said.
Rising water is considered category 3, or heavily contaminated water, and clearing the areas impacted by that water can be extensive, Hobbs said.
In cases like that, most of the building will have to be replaced down to the studs.
That cleaning will be more extensive in the case of a hospital or medical care facilities.
“When you have a sensitive group of people living within those facilities, it becomes even more important to do everything correctly,” he said.
Hobbs compared Monday’s rain event to the “aftermath of a hurricane.”
“I saw some video of places we were just in, over in Dallas, and water was flowing through that area like a river,” he said.
One issue homeowners often find confusing is how their homeowners policies cover flooding similar to Monday’s downpour, said Richard Johnson, director of communications for the Insurance Council of Texas.
Flood insurance may be purchased through companies that sell policies through the National Flood Insurance Program.
“The biggest mistake is that people think that they’re not in a flood plain, so therefore they don’t need flood insurance,” he said. “If you take Hurricane Harvey, for instance, which was five years ago this week, 75% of the homes that were flooded then weren’t in a flood plain.”
Johnson said events like Hurricane Harvey prove that homes and businesses don’t have to be in a flood plain to need flood insurance.
“It’s not that expensive, and it can be worth it,” he said.
Several cars were also damaged by Monday’s flooding, and Johnson said car owners should check their auto policies as well. If people have the minimally required insurance, they probably don’t have coverage for water damage.
“Some people purchase only the amount of car insurance coverage required by your loan provider, and that may not cover something like a flood,” he said.
If you are filing a claim, Johnson recommends documenting everything.
“Keep any kind of receipts from purchases like tarps or plywood that you make for temporary repairs,” he said.
Document everything you can with receipts and photos, he said.
“There’s no harm in starting a claim to get the process moving,” he said. “The quicker you can get it in, the quicker you can get serviced.”
Bob Francis is business editor for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.