How long does the job take? What does it cost?

The length of time from the beginning of a restoration or remodeling job to its completion is affected by a number of variables.  Generally, the biggest delays in all insurance jobs lie in getting the correct scope of work agreed to for approval and payment from the insurance company. This is very common for complete restoration jobs that require reconstruction of demolished materials. Insurance companies are in business to make money, and they don’t like to let loose of it easily!


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The work itself doesn’t normally take a long time.  However, that also depends on the extent of damages or remodeling work. After a period of time, you may be able to speed up the process by invoking appraisal (if the policy allows it) or obtaining a lawyer.  But, that can cost extra to the home or business owner and this isn’t done until a great deal of time has already passed.

The best answer is to stay on top of your insurance company from the beginning to make sure they know that you want their attention.  You want them to resolve your problem as quickly as possible.  You also want the insurance company to pay all invoices due as soon as possible.  This will avoid any potential for the restoration company to be forced to place a lien on the property.  A construction or restoration company only has 90 days in which to submit a lien if that becomes necessary to protect their lien rights.  No contractor wants to put a lien on a customer’s property.  However, that contractor may be left with no other option if the insurance company drags their feet for too long!

Water Damage.

For water and mold, pre-approval from the insurance company is not required before work can begin.  Allowing the situation to remain wet or moldy can result in additional damage.  If you wait to have the repairs done, you may actually be liable for the additional damage. Also, there may be limits on the restoration processes for water and mold.  Emergency Mitigation Services (EMS) has a limit of 1% of the home value or $3,000, whichever is greater.

EMS is the initial steps taken to stabilize the damage while continuing with necessary water mitigation to rapidly dry out your home or business. This is the first day of water mitigation.  This is  where the basic mitigation services and setup of necessary equipment for drying, air cleaning, etc. is put in place.  Continued water mitigation efforts are separate from the EMS and are invoiced separately.  So, for water damages with both EMS and subsequent mitigation efforts, there will always be more than one invoice.

For water damage jobs, this continued period of drying out the wetted and dampened materials that don’t have to be removed is above and beyond EMS as stated above.  Generally, mitigation processes require the demolition of a certain amount of materials such as drywall, baseboards, floating floors, vinyl floors,  and carpets.  Then, the remaining materials such as wood framing and sub-floors must be dried out.  This can take some time to accomplish.  But we are talking days to maybe a matter of weeks here, as again, the insurance company does not have to pre-approve the work.

So, the initial mitigation efforts of a water job generally do not take more than a couple of weeks. And, this must be done quickly in order that additional damage and/or mold does not occur due to not taking care of the problem.  Note:  In the event of wet materials that are bound, it may be more cost effective to remove and replace the materials than to take the time to dry them out.  This is especially true with double layer drywall, vinyl flooring, and floating floors.

Mold Damage.

For mold damage, there may be a $10,000 cap on the insurance payment, depending on the policy.  Some policies allow up to $50,000.  In either event, there is a potential for the home or business owner having to pay anything over that amount out-of-pocket.  We strive to ensure this does not happen.  However, in a large loss situation, it may not be able to be avoided.  And of course, this assumes the home or business owner’s insurance policy covers mold.  That is not always the case.

In any event when the mold job is expected to exceed the statutory limit, the home or business owner will be advised that they will need to pay the excess over the limit.  And if the homeowner wishes to wait and see what the insurance company will agree to pay before having ORC Services remove the mold, then a mold waiver must be signed as the home or business owner will be liable for any additional damages incurred as a result of not removing the mold immediately.  We recognize the dilemma that the home or business owner faces with this, and we do our best to avoid the situation.  But if we end up here, there will be a delay in getting the job done.

Fire Damage.

Fire damage has no monetary caps other than the limit of insurance coverage.  Time for completion is strictly a matter of the extent of damage and cleaning/repairs required.  As fire damage can be extensive and can involve structural damage, repairs can be a major undertaking.  Also, smoke damage is very intrusive and can extend much further than one might think.  Therefore, cleaning and repairs can take some serious time.

Crime Scene/Trauma/Bio-hazard Cleanups.

Bio-Hazard cleanups of any kind are normally undertaken as quickly as possible.  Accordingly, they are often done on an emergency basis.  However, there are many circumstances wherein they are not handled on an emergency basis when that is not necessary.  The customer may not want to incur the extra costs of emergency services during off-time hours. These cases are handled very quickly, most often the same day.

Hoarder Cleanups.

Hoarder cleanups are generally self-pay, so no insurance company may be involved.  However, the cleanup process may run into problems with biohazards, mold, and other problems where an insurance claim might be viable.  If the damage is a direct result of the hoarding, there may not be insurance involvement.  The length of time to clean up the hoarding problem as well as any damages caused by it, is generally done quickly. However, this is contingent upon payment to ORC Services.  Cleanup takes less than a week on average, and the remaining time depends on the type and extent of damages discovered.


Reconstruction and remodeling will normally not be undertaken prior to ORC Services receipt of full payment on all cleanup and mitigation actions. Additionally, we require a 50% deposit on the reconstruction amount.  We also require a 50% deposit for a remodel.  Reconstruction time is dependent upon the amount of damage incurred. Remodel time is dependent on the extent of demolition and reconstruction required.  Either can take some time, and it is very difficult to estimate how long without the specifics of the job.