Apartment renovation in Paris after water damages or ‘degat des eaux’: insurance claim & repair

 

Water damage, or flooding is one of the disasters that can happen at any time in your Parisian apartment. Most of the time this unwanted nuisance comes from your neighbors living in an apartment which is located above your home or flat. After the flooding, even its repair is covered by insurance, it continues to disturb your life for months since repair & renovation work can be done only after the walls are dried up. In the meantime, one has to inform the landlord, inform the neighbor from whose apartment this leakage came from, and to report it to the insurance company. In some cases, especially for English speaking expats living in Paris, this situation becomes a recurring nightmare until the damages are fixed and repaired. This article is to help foreign expats so that they can better deal with the problem, once the flooding has incurred damages to their property or home in Paris.




First of all, it is to show how bad such a water leakage or flooding can be. What makes it worse is the fact that practically nothing can be done to fix this issue for months to come.

Following pictures are from an apartment located in 7th district of Paris. This apartment was heavily damaged by the flooding from the tenant living in the upper floor. Water flooding mainly caused damages to the bathroom, but it also affected the walls and ceilings of the adjacent bedroom, living room and the kitchen. Electrical outlets of the bathroom, door and parquets floor were also affected. In other words, due to this water leakage, the owner of the apartment has to renovate the bathroom, bedroom, living room and the kitchen. However, thanks to the detailed and itemized quote ( known as ‘devis dégât des eaux’ in French ), the owner of the apartment could recover all ‘repair and renovation costs’ from the insurance.

Above pictures explains very well the extent and intensity of the damage done by flooding. This picture was taken when our interior renovation companystarted the work in the apartment. It can be imagined in which condition the tenant has to live before the walls were dried out and ready for the repair work.

In the picture above, condition of walls and the ceiling can be seen. Plastering was badly damaged. Following picture shows how bad a wall has become in the living room.

Above pictures were only to show how the flooding or water leakage from your neighbor above can affect living conditions. Now it is to explain how to carry out the repair and renovation work after the disaster has happened.

Once the damage has been inflicted, you have to be methodological to avoid further bad surprises and get the job done at the earliest.

Assess the damages

When you notice flooding or water leakage, do not be panic and try to stay cool. Carefully examine the nature and intensity of the damages. Better idea is to make a list of all the damages which can be of a great help to deal with the insurance and your neighbour later on. Carefully examine if the leakage has damaged only the walls or if the floor is also affected. Also check the electric outlets and also see if the windows and doors are properly closed.

Declare water damages

Depending upon your situation or circumstances, you may have to inform the owner, co-ownership trustee and the insurance.

To be compensated by your home insurance, it is advisable to carry out certain administrative procedures before starting the painting and rehabilitation works. So it is not a good idea to start the rehabilitation or repair work right away even if you badly want it.

Once you have assessed all the damages caused by flooding, you must notify your insurer within the time limit set by your contract (generally 5 working days), by sending a registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. You can also contact your home insurance by telephone to obtain an amicable 'water damage report' as quickly as possible.

Reporting a water damage to its insurer is therefore the priority. Above all, it is necessary to inform your insurer within the time allowed for the renovation and painting work to be reimbursed.

If you are a tenant of the accommodation, you must inform the owner. However if you own the apartment, you must inform the co-ownership trustee or cyndic. The co-ownership trustee must then call in a plumber to determine the origin of the water damage: water leak from the neighbor above, water leak from your ‘plumbing installation’ or common parts. It can be more complicated to determine the origin of water damage according to its location and accessibility.

Make a “water damage report”

Once your home insurance has been informed of the claim, you must now complete a “water damage” report before starting the rehabilitation work and repainting your walls and ceilings. Thus, you will be able to declare the place, the cause or the circumstances of the disaster, as well as the damage caused. It is important to correctly fill out the report.

If the water damage comes from another accommodation than yours, you will have to complete the mutual agreement with the occupant of this accommodation. With this information, your insurance will be able to assess what damage is covered by insurance and also the renovation and painting work to be planned.

In the case of a neighbor who does not want to cooperate and refuses to complete an amicable report “water damage”, you will need to send him a letter of formal notice and send a copy to the property manager.

Losses such as water damage can seriously damage the home, especially ceilings, walls and floors. The plastered walls and false ceilings become waterlogged and swell, damaging the paint thus. An appraisal may be carried out by your insurance expert to ascertain the value of the damage. Remember to gather all the documents necessary to be compensated for your goods (invoices, quotes, photos, …), which you will send to your insurance, or to the expert if he comes to your place.

The expert will assess the damage and the causes of the incident. In the event of water damage caused by a leak in a neighbor, damages may be claimed.

Wait for the insurer’s decision

It is important not to carry out any work before the visit of the expert. You must wait for the insurer’s decision before repainting the walls and ceiling. Indeed, home insurance will offer you an amount of compensation if the damage is well covered by your insurance. You are free to paint the building or repaint your walls and ceilings yourself.

Depending on the documents you send and / or the expert’s visit, your insurance will come back to you quickly to offer you compensation. If you accept this proposal, you will be compensated during the following month. If you refuse, you can carry out the work yourself or ask for a contradictory expert opinion. Compensation will then be calculated by your insurer, in relation to the surface affected, the materials used for the renovation and the time spent.

If painting work following water damage is necessary, you should know that the cost of this renovation is most often entirely covered by home insurance. Indeed, the majority of insurances include the repair and renovation of walls and ceilings after a disaster. If you decide to hire a painter to redo the painting, a quote and an invoice will be requested by your insurance.

Restoration & repainting after water damage

After water damage, how long to let dry before repainting? Unfortunately, water leaves no choice: you will have to wait until the surface dries completely before you can start work without risk. There may also be odors. It will also be necessary to ensure that the cause of the damage has been resolved, to avoid unpleasant surprises. Only start your work if the humidity is below 10%. This can be tested with the humidity meter. Otherwise, you risk degrading the support even more after a few months.

Cost of restoration and painting work.

To calculate the cost of renovation or painting work in your apartment, you can contact interior renovation companies for the quote. This is always a good idea to contact at least 3 different painters for their quote. As you may need to send this quote to the insurance company for their approval, this quote must be itemized, clearly mentioning all the services and products used during the work according to the surface.

If you are a victim of the water leakage, and you need more information to deal with this problem, feel free to contact ourapartment renovation company in Paris. We are also available in Boulogne Billancourt, Neuilly sur Seine, Courbevoie, Vanves, Malakoff, Montrouge, Vincennes, Charenton le Pont, Colombs and Maisons Alfort etc.



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