Flooding in Comonfort, Guanajuato, Mexico (C) 2009 Daniel Friedman Building Damage Inspection & Repair

  • BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR - home - CONTENTS: procedures for evaluating the condition of buildings following natural disasters, fires, floods, and other catastrophes. We discuss inspection procedures, inspection safety, & how to set priorities of repair action or salvage actions to limit further damage. Health & Safety Recommendations for Building Inspection, Diagnosis, Repair in Disaster Zones - Key articles provide guidance for disaster relief/assistance & advice on emergency building repairs, building entry, electrical, plumbing, heating, water and septic system cleaning & restoration
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Building damage assessment & damage repair or restoration procedures.

Guides for entering, inspecting & repairing buildings damaged by earthquake, fire, flooding, hurricane, windstorms. Here we discuss building safety & damage assessment following earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, windstorm or similar catastrophes. The articles in this series explain safe building entry procedures, priority of action or repair, and also damage prevention.

Each article includes citations providing authoritative information on damage assessment, codes, safety procedures as well as sources of emergency or re-build assistance.

This article series provides residential & light construction building damage assessment procedures for buildings following disasters such as from earthquake, fire, flood, hurricane, tropical storm, or wind damage.

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Earthquake & Other Disaster Damaged Buildings: assessment, damage prevention, safe building entry procedures

Photograph of building damage near Los Angeles 2000 © Daniel FriedmanFEMA and the ARC as well as home & building inspection associations provide extensive training and written guidance to assist engineers and damage assessment workers asked to evaluate the condition of buildings following an earthquake ot other disaster.

In addition, your homeowners insurance company may, as does USAA, offer an online property risk assessment tool that can check the degree of risk to wildfire or storm surge damage.

We discuss safe building entry procedures, setting the priority for repairs, and we give more detailed building inspection advice for building structures such as foundations & framing, and inspection and restoration of building mechanical systems. We discuss initial or rapid steps to minimize building damage such as proper procedures for water removal, dryout, prevention of avoidable mold growth control, mold cleanup.

We also include links and citations to expert sources for emergency relief (FEMA, ARC in the U.S.), and we cite scholarly books and articles on building damage prevention. Our page top photograph illustrates frequent flooding conditions in Commonfort, Guanajuato, Mexico, in this case in 2009.

Additional References for Prevention of Earthquake Damage to Homes

How to Avoid Disreputable Conractors When Peforming Disaster-Related Repairs

Our insurer quotes the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in offering several basic tips to reduce the risk of being taken advantage-of by unscrupulous contractors who offer repair services following a natural disaster:

Protect your privacy: do not give out personal information before you are convinced that it is necessary. If someone is asking for personal information, check their identification card and certification or authorization. before allowing them into your home.

Identify the contractor's home base: check trucks or vehicles for local addresses and license plates; record the name, address, and contact information of contractors with whom you are considering doing business.

Get multiple repair estimates: it's a good idea to ask for repair estimates from at least three different contractors. And if your home has had a condition of property inspection by a supposedly unbiased independent expert, make double sure that your home inspector has no relationship with the contractors who bid on the work.

Contractors' insurance: check that your contractor carries general liability and worker's compensation insurance.

Watch out for good deals: disasater sales offering discounted goods and services may be providing shoddy, damaged, or dangerous goods.

Do not pay the contractor off completely until you are certain that all of the work has been completed satisfactorily. When we had some plumbing work performed we came home to find leaks all over the place, wet floors, junk and debris not cleaned up. We called the contractor. "I've got your check right here, ready to pay you ..." I began. The contractor was elated. "I'll be right over" he replied. "But I'm really sorry, I just can't pay you ..." I continued, " ... because even though your man left a bill and said he was finished, there are leaks and water and mess all over the place. As soon as the job is actually complete, I'll have your check." The contractor himself came by to fix the leaks and clean up the mess until we were satisfied. Be nice, be fair, be firm.

Fire Damaged Buildings

We have moved our home page for building fire damage information to FIRE DAMAGE - home page.

Flood damaged homes

Flooding in Comonfort, Guanajuato, Mexico (C) 2009 Daniel Friedman

Our home page for articles giving in-depth information about building flood damage assessment, cleanup & repair procedures, and flood damage prevention & protection has moved.

See FLOOD DAMAGE - home page

Hurricane Preparation

Rapid removal of soaked materials from a storm-flooded building (C) 2013 Daniel Friedman

See HURRICANE DAMAGE - home page. Excerpts are below.

When to leave your home in the face of a coming storm

Fire Damaged Buildings

Fire damaged home - electrical cord under carpet (C) Daniel FriedmanSee this topic home page - FIRE DAMAGED BUILDINGS.


Our photo at left shows a Rhinebeck NY home that was destroyed by fire caused by an electrical cord that had been run beneath the carpeting.




Windstorm or Tornado Advice

Very basic advice and some simple steps can substantially reduce wind damage to a building includes recommendations to trim back, cable-tie, or remove trees close to the building and have an arborist (tree specialist) inspect the health of large trees near the building.

See WIND DAMAGE topic home page.


Continue reading at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS or select a topic from the More Reading links or topic ARTICLE INDEX shown below.

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BUILDING DAMAGE ASSESSMENT & REPAIR at InspectApedia.com - online encyclopedia of building & environmental inspection, testing, diagnosis, repair, & problem prevention advice.

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