News and Information for Moving Claims Adjusters
Residential Damage Repairs for Moving Claims
by J. Timothy Wilson
- All “residential damage” assignments, if not already including personal property claim items, must first have an inspection performed to verify damage, repairability, and likely acceptable repair options.
- The Wood Works Inc will perform practical feasible repairs to the immediate areas only.
- Application of touchup paint is only as available from homeowner.
- If no paint is available and for small areas, we will apply a practical approximation using artist acrylic colors.
- We cannot guarantee the new home owner’s acceptance of results, only that we have made a good faith attempt to resolve the damage without major disruptions to the home owner or major cost to the mover.
HARDWOOD FLOOR DAMAGE: Red Oak hardwood floors are common, particularly in newer homes. They are usually either natural or stained relatively light. The lighter or higher gloss they are the harder to hide repairs. It is as hard to fix/hide a floor scratch as it is to solve a dining table scratch.
- Scratches are irregular tearing of the finish and not the wood, are usually across the grain and several boards, vary in depth, and usually aren’t as long. Usually caused by sliding a larger item with something sharp or a roughness on its bottom such as a rough leg tip or carton with grit on the bottom.
- Cuts are sharp clean cuts into the finish and not the wood, are usually across the grain and several boards, vary in depth, and can be long. They appear as razor blade cuts. Frequently caused by sliding cartons across the floor with grit of some kind on the bottom of the carton.
- Gouges are irregular, deep into the wood tearing grain, across the grain, and usually not long. Usually caused by a heavy sharp item being dragged across floor.
- Dents are shallow recesses or depressions into the finish, and possibly the wood, without tearing the finish. They come from dropping something heavy.
- Refrigerator “Tracks” are slight depressions caused by refrig’s wheels in the relatively recently applied polyurethane finish that has not totally hardened. Common on newer floors. They are always across the grain. Can not be spot repaired. Not mover’s fault normally.
Repairs of floors are of the same type used on wood furniture. They are as difficult as repairing a dining room table top with cross grain scratches. The repair will be best practical but invisibility can not be guaranteed because it is across the grain, often with light reflection from the opposing side. It will also appear differently when looked at from different distances or views or angles or lighting/sun. The only option is very disruptive hardwood floor refinishing of total floor over usually relatively minor damage.
We have never talked with a hardwood floor "expert" who will do anything about any of the above except to say "the floor needs to be totally refinished". To them that means to remove all furniture, machine screen/sand the entire floor, spot repair,(OR machine sand down to raw wood) and then apply at least a sealer and two new top coats. The home owner has to not be sensitive to the fumes, stay off the floor for several days, and be extremely careful on the new finish for 30 days. Ugh!
We have never talked with a polyurethane "expert" who says that it can be repaired or top coat after 30 days. The new layers will not bond with the sub layer. We have seen floor experts on a newly finished floor repair a speific blemish they missed by reworking the immediate board; but we rarely see floor damage limited to just one board.
SHEETROCK/PAINT DAMAGE: Sheetrock walls with latex paint are common, and in new homes often do not have as thick a paint coating as you would get from roller painting, since house builder's painters use airless sprayers.
- Soiling of flat latex walls are discolorations, commonly from delivery crew sweaty hands or arms or shoulders, an item bumping the wall and leaving a discoloration on the wall, etc. Cleaning the soiling can result in slightly polishing of the flat latex. They can be over scrubbed. Common on stairways.
- Rubs are from something connecting with the wall and while may include a very shallow dent are mostly a polishing of the flat latex. The depression is usually to shallow to resolve.
- Tears are from something sharp or a corner of something tearing thru the paint and ripping the sheetrock paper below. The frayed paper edges have to be cut away first.
- Gouges/Holes are from something punching a hole breaking the sheetrock plaster below. The structural integrity of the hole must first be established.
Repairs are performed to remove the blemish and leveling of the wall surface, where and as possible. We will then apply the homeowner’s paint to the extent that it exists and is usable. That usually requires sorting thru excess cans in the basement and then testing and retesting the paint if usable. Moving claims never seem to know what paint they may have around or not. We can not solve color matching when the paint brand and color is not known, or the paint is very aged.
CEILING TEXTURE/PAINT DAMAGE: Ceiling surfaces are much like the walls, except they almost always have a sprayed irregular texturing. The color is usually white, but it easily discolors with aging and other contaminates such as from smoking. The ceiling may or may not have ever been painted.
- The kinds of damage are similar as for the walls.
INTERIOR TRIM/PAINTED: It is usually soft pine trim with high gloss white paint. Door jambs and face trim are bumped, dented, gouged, or torn from large sharp items bumping them.
- The trim paint supply must also exist.
HARDWOOD TRIM/STAINED/LACQUERED: Usually involves stair railing systems. Large sharp items dent or gouge the finish into the wood.
- The same repair techniques used on wood furniture will be applied.
CARPET SOILING/STAINING: Usually from something leaking, dirty bottoms of appliances like refrigerators, from delivery crew carts or dollies and dirty feet, etc.
- Cleaning is to the immediate area only by a 3rd party carpet cleaning company.
The Wood Works Inc of Overland Park (Greater Kansas City metro), Kansas 66202 —
Should not be used by others without giving due credits.
The Wood Works, Inc. (www.thewoodworksinc.com and themovingclaims.com) is located in the Kansas City metropolitan area. We have been serving our customers for 30 years in the areas of wood restoration and repair, moving claim resolution and repair, cabinet refacing and repair and interior and exterior shutters.