"It's bonkers": Restoration services swamped with disasters

Restoration crews swamped with floods, leaks.

BOISE -- Blizzards and single-digit temperatures, followed by warming trends and rain are a recipe for disaster.

Restoration services and disaster cleanup crews across our area are slammed as the problems keep growing. They're tackling everything from ice dams to collapsed buildings - all of which are becoming major issues thanks to this severe weather.

MORE: Carport at Boise apartment complex collapses

Thousands of home and business owners are dealing with ice dams and frozen pipes that can cause catastrophic outcomes if they go untreated. Now is the time they're seeing that all unfold, and that's when insurance and restoration services step in.

MORE: Ice dams continuing to damage homes

"We're probably now approaching close to 600 calls over the last couple days," Complete Restoration Services Director of Claims Troy Ball said. "Everybody is stretched very thin right now."

Ball says their unprecedented load is not unlike companies in the restoration industry all across the Treasure Valley. The problems are stemming from both severe cold temperatures and ice dams.

"It's bonkers," Ball said. "People were seeing anywhere from a few gallons to gallons on gallons of water leaking into their home."

Roofs and awnings are buckling under because of heavy snow mixed with the relentless rainfall on Tuesday.

Restoration services typically step in once people report a disaster to their insurance agent.

"They're in a state where maybe their ceilings are falling or their crawl spaces are filling up with water, and so they're just looking for somebody to help them out," Ball added.

Like Boise resident Bret Welty whose ceiling came crashing down this week.

"You're just wondering how far is this going to go, how much damage?" Welty told KTVB. "Water went everywhere, into the grand piano and all over the floor."

A massive leak slithered its way through their house - all because of an ice dam.

"Water was in the walls, it was in the ceilings in the basement, the floor of the upstairs. And the bedroom next door around the windows were sweating," Welty said.

Repairs are going to cost thousands of dollars, but insurance will kick in once the Weltys meet their deductible.

"Water is a nasty little devil. It will find its path of least resistance and if it's coming in from an ice dam and it's a trickle, it may trickle all the way down a wall and out onto floor and then people will have hardwood floors warping and things like that. It might come in at a little more rapid pace and cause for part of a ceiling to collapse," Ball said.

Disaster crews can check to see how much water there is and where it has traveled with moisture readers and, occasionally, infrared cameras.

"And then we will bring in a crew that will start the mitigation process: extracting water if it needs to be extracted, drying things out," Ball added.

Then the dry wall, paint and flooring repairs follow suit.

Ball says with the unprecedented number of calls they're receiving, they are having to tell people that they are trying to prioritize their customers, and not downplay their issues.

"When resources are limited, equipment is limited and your manpower becomes limited because of the sheer volume, we have to."

At this point, home and business owners are waiting for their insurance to help them figure out their next steps.

Complete Restoration Services (CRS) is also dealing with and allocating a lot of resources to the Owyhee Plaza in Downtown Boise because of  significant water damage in the building. CRS is seeing a lot of pipe-related issues on commercial buildings, mainly near the Downtown Boise area.
 

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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