Industry Terms

Here are some terms used in the Restoration industry and what they mean:

ACV check – An initial claim payment for structure repairs made by the insurance company on a sizable loss, not equal to the full amount of the estimate.  A final payment is generally issued by the insurance company  upon completion of the restoration project.

Air Movers – Commercial-grade equipment used to create air movement and accelerate the drying process and return the structure and indoor environment to its pre-loss condition.

Air Scrubbers– Commercial-grade equipment used to filter the air of contaminants.

Bio-hazard – Biological contamination which is generally considered to pose a health hazard to others.   Bio-hazard certification is given to Hammer Restoration through ABRA (The American Bio Recovery Association).

Certified Firm – Hammer Restoration is a Certified Firm with the IICRC (The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, Restoration & Certification), which is a collective body that sets standards of performance and protocols for performance within the Restoration Industry.  Certified Firms hold to a Code of Ethics prescribed by the IICRC.

Certified Technicians – Hammer Restoration encourages and pays for specialty classes offered by the IICRC to insure a high level of competence and professionalism during the restoration process.  Certifications are offered in a wide variety of processes.  Some of those processes include Water Restoration, Applied Structural Drying, Fire and Smoke Restoration, Odor Control, Carpet Cleaning, and Applied Microbial Remediation, to name a few.  Certified Technicians must pass rigorous testing upon completion of intensive coursework in each category.

Change Order – A deviation from the original estimate agreed to between the insured and the Project Manager.  This may include one service traded for another service, an upgrade in materials, or additional services not related to a loss.  Change orders should be signed for your protection.

Code upgrade – A possible requirement of the local municipality’s code enforcement division, following a loss.  Code upgrade coverage may or may not be included in the insurance policy covering a loss.

Contents – All the belongings within a home or business that are not part of the structure.  Contents include furniture, small appliances, computers and other technology devices, clothing (including accessories), linens, dishes, décor, toys, memorabilia, personal items, etc.  Generally anything that isn’t fastened to the walls, ceilings, or floors.

Deductible – An amount chosen by the insured when purchasing an insurance policy.  This is the portion of the repair expense that the insured agrees to pay out of pocket.  After the deductible is paid toward the repair, the insurance company picks up the balance, subject to any limits of coverage outlined in the policy.

Dehu’s (or dehumidifiers) – Commercial-grade equipment used to accelerate the process of restoring the structure and indoor environment to its pre-loss condition.

DKI – Disaster Kleenup International , a network of pre-qualified independent restoration contractors, considered by many as the best in the industry.

Emergency services –  Services provided by Hammer Restoration to protect a property from further damage once a loss has been discovered.  This may include a board-up, a water extraction, or other necessary services.  Emergency services do not require an estimate, and are billed on a time and materials basis.

Board-up – Boarding over holes left in a building following damage from various sources such as fire, vehicle impact, storm damage, etc.

Water extraction – Removal of water (often contaminated by various factors) from floors, walls, hidden spaces and cavities, as well as the air (indoor environment) following a loss.  Water extraction is essential to stop the progress of water damage and minimize or prevent permanent damage following a loss.

Industrial hygienist – a qualified professional, capable of testing for presence and quantities of mold and other harmful environmental contaminants.

Insured – A person or business who has insurance coverage on property they own.

Insurance Agent or Agency – This is the company or person who sold you the homeowner’s, property,  or renter’s policy that covers your house, business, and/or belongings.

Insurance Adjuster – The insurance company employee who handles the claim process.

Independent Adjuster – An independent contractor, specializing in handling claims on behalf of an insurance company.

Public Adjuster –  An independent businessperson, hired by an insured to become their legally recognized representative in dealing with an insurance company after a loss has occurred.  A Public Adjuster receives a fee equal to as much as 10% of the claim payment for their services, and once hired will be named on the claim payment checks, although mortgage documents to do not allow for them to be paid out of the claim payment.  Once hired, the insured has only 3 days to change their mind and rescind the services of a public adjuster.

Loss – Damage to property from any of a variety of causes, such as fire, smoke, flood, storm, vehicle impact, mold, bio-hazard, wind, etc.

Loss Inventory – For personal belongings damaged beyond repair, an inventory list to be submitted to the insurance company.

Loss payee – a person or entity named on the insurance claim payment check, whose endorsement must be secured to pay for restoration services.

Microbial growth – a general term used when the possibility of mold exists but has not yet been identified by a qualified professional.

Mitigation – The interruption or restoration of damage, often associated with water damage or mold damage.

Mold –  any of various forms of fungus, which may be hazardous to health.

Mortgage Company – A bank or other financial institution holding a mortgage on the property suffering a loss.  The Mortgage Company will likely be named as a payee on the claim payment check(s) for structural repairs, and will generally require certain paperwork and even an inspection of the repairs once the restoration services are complete before endorsing the claim payment check.

Negative air – the use of negative air pressure to prevent the spread of contaminants to unaffected areas.

Preferred vendor program – A service offered by some insurance carriers, intended to offer a choice of pre-qualified restoration companies to the insured following a loss.  Hammer Restoration is a preferred vendor with a number of insurance carriers.

Project Coordinator – A Hammer Restoration employee who works under the supervision of the Project Manager to coordinate the restoration process.

Project Manager – A Hammer Restoration employee responsible to meet with property owner(s) to write a scope of loss and an estimate for repairs.  The Project Manager oversees and schedules all aspects of the entire process of restoration from beginning to end.

Punch List – A list drawn up by the insured and the project manager upon reaching substantial completion to address any items still requiring completion as outlined in the estimate.

Remediation – the process of restoring structural and contents damage to pre-loss condition.

Salvage – Personal belongings deemed to be non-restorable.  When the insurance company pays to replace these items, they become the property of the insurance company, which may choose to sell them to a salvage company.

Selections –  Choices made by the insured regarding materials, fixtures, colors, etc. in the restoration process as called for in the estimate/scope of repairs.

Substantial Completion – A term used to define the status of the project when it has reached a point when the property owner(s) can resume normal use of the building or rooms affected by the loss.  At this point, a final inspection by the mortgage company can be scheduled (if required).