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Content Pack-Out and Restoration: What to Expect, How to Prepare

Until disaster hits, few of us really understand or appreciate what goes into making a home habitable again; it’s a complicated process, one that should only be undertaken by professionals familiar with how to assess damage, restore items, and bring the property back up to code. As such, you may not be familiar with what content pack-out and restoration is, nor what the steps are. 

Content pack-out refers to the process of removing everything from a house that has experienced water or fire damage, cleaning and disinfecting it, and then repairing it to be both safe and beautiful again. Expert remediators will assess all items that have been affected by the damage, then carefully pack up everything that can be salvaged. All your belongings will be taken to a secure facility, and each object that has been removed from the house will be documented so that you can be assured that nothing is overlooked. 

What’s the restoration process look like?

Using specialized equipment and disinfectants, your Portland water damage restoration company will dry and sanitize all items to remove water and debris, as well as inhibit mold growth so that nothing will pose a health hazard in the future. There are a variety of methods that can be utilized to clean your items, and they vary depending on the particular material being cleaned. For example, delicate upholstery may be dry cleaned, while wooden items might be treated with chlorine to destroy all bacteria. 

Next, all your items will be carefully repaired or refinished, depending on what they need. For example, if upholstery has been scorched due to a fire, they may carefully remove damaged patches and replace them with identical fabric, while wooden items might be stripped and refinished with a similar stain. You can rest assured that your water damage remediation company partners with expert craftsmen who can restore the integrity and beauty of each item that you own.

Once everything has been repaired, it will be installed in your home, which has also been brought back up to its former glory. With new carpet or hardwood flooring, fresh drywall, and a new paint job, all your belongings will be put back where they were before, and soon enough it will appear as if nothing ever happened in your home. 

You can help by documenting the damage and clearing access

Whenever there has been damage to your home and you will require water damage restoration services, you should start by contacting your insurance agency and taking as many pictures of the area as possible. Companies such as PacWest Restoration work directly with your insurance agency, and they will communicate with them regarding what can be repaired and what will need to be replaced. For your most expensive or sentimental belongings, try to get clear pictures of any remaining tags or labels, as this will help both the restoration company and insurance agency to figure out how to repair or replace the items. 

If your home is a bit cramped, do your best to clear pathways for the pack-out process; this can include pushing furniture against the wall, sweeping up debris, and throwing away anything that you know you will not want to keep. This will enable the team to work faster, meaning you can get back to normal that much sooner.

Take the most important items with you and discuss your living arrangements with the company

Next, remove anything that you will need during the restoration process and figure out your own personal arrangements. You will not have access to your belongings while they are in the secure facility, so take things such as identifying documents, purses, medication, and special items with you. 

Depending on the level of damage to your home, you may have to move out during the content pack-out and restoration process; the water damage remediation company will let you know whether it’s safe to stay there while they work. In expectation of this, consider whether family and friends can host you, or if you will need to stay at a hotel or AirBnB. Your insurance company may reimburse you for accommodations, so reach out to them and ask about how much they are willing to pay for your temporary housing. 

Keep lines of communication open throughout the process

While the company will do their best to restore everything that has been removed and stored, they will not know what exactly is most important to you, so you should discuss your priorities when it comes to repairs. For example, if one of your tables is a family heirloom while the other was purchased at a secondhand store, explain to the restoration experts which one is most important to you so that they can begin work on this item first. Similarly, if a certain piece of furniture isn’t all that important to you and you wouldn’t mind replacing it, let them know and they can focus their attention elsewhere.

It’s also important to ask the restoration experts what you can expect from the finished product so that you do not have unrealistic ideas. While the team will do everything they can to return your belongings in pristine condition, some items may not be able to be fully repaired; it might also not be possible to match certain materials, such as paint or fabric. Discussing your concerns and priorities openly will allow the company to do their best to meet your expectations without giving you false hopes.

No disaster is easy to deal with, but it’s much simpler when you work with a great restoration company

Water or fire damage remediation is a complicated process which must be undertaken with the utmost care in order to get the best results; that means you need to work with true professionals with access to experts in a variety of fields. By working closely with the restoration company and openly discussing your concerns, you can ensure that your specific needs and preferences are taken into consideration, making it that much easier to return to your fully restored home.