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Drying Homes for Christmas

It’s not even July, yet this morning I already have Chris Rea stuck in my head. Why? Because that’s what one of our customers just asked for, to be home by Christmas!

Once again this week the UK has seen torrential downpours affect much of the country. Flooding has been caused in many locations. Particularly the city of Lincoln and the town of Wainfleet. In Wainfleet over 500 properties have been evacuated, with residents told that they may not be able to return until Friday.

So why Chris Rea? Speaking to a flooded customer in Lincoln, one of Richfords Claims Handlers was completing our Customer Needs Assessment. This assessment helps us understand the customer’s predicament and precisely what they need to recover from the damage caused. As part of this assessment, we seek to understand the damage caused, sentimental and high-value items affected, relevant access requirements and any important dates coming up for the policyholder. Often customers tell us of big birthday’s, anniversaries or weddings planned for the summer and their need to be back in their home before the big day. In this case, the customer asked whether they would be home for Christmas!

It’s June and customers affected by these storms are concerned about being home for Christmas! How can that be? Unfortunately, during the recovery of past high profile flooding events, such as Hull & Gloucestershire 2007, Cumbria 2009 & 2015 and Surrey 2014 the media have focused on cases where recovery was slow, customers properties were extensively stripped of interior finishes and drying times were protracted. There were examples of customers living in caravans for over a year and newsreel footage of customers properties stripped of all internal plasterwork, even the ceilings when the water was 1-2ft deep.

Are these examples an accurate picture of the reality of flood recovery? Or do many properties experience a far quicker recovery?

Like Richfiords, many “Restoration Focused” firms do, of course, dry and restore homes much quicker than the media would have you believe. I guess “Flooded Residents back at Home in Under 30days” just doesn’t sell papers?

How do we achieve this remarkable recovery?
The available range of drying technologies is ever increasing, and the well-equipped restoration company has drying equipment for every job, from small domestic dehumidifiers to trailer-mounted “Super-dehumidifiers” an oversimplified name, but you get the picture these machines deliver over 8000CuM per hour of dehumidified air, into the affected property. This range of equipment coupled with the latest remote monitoring equipment results in highly accurately controlled drying conditions leading to optimised recovery from flood damage.

So customers affected by the recent weather can rest assured that because their insurer has appointed a Restoration Focused company to aid them in their recovery, they will be back at home well before Christmas, maybe before the end of summer, if we get one…

The good news doesn’t stop there. Quicker recovery with minimised strip out and maximised drying provides enormous benefits for insurers also. How much would reduced drying times, reduced alternative accommodation, reduced strip out and reduced contents replacement save you?

Mike Cooper
Business Development Director
Richfords Fire and Flood