Module 1 – Documentation

Chapter 3: Identifying Damage & Violation Concerns

Identifying Damage & Violation Concerns

The interior and exterior of a property should be thoroughly inspected for any signs of damage from the big six (fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, hurricane or boiler explosions) and/or mortgagee neglect.

As a best practice when encountering damage to a property detailed descriptions, source of the damage, clear photographic documentation, location of damages and bids or eyeball estimates to repair should always be provided.  Damages should be documented and photographed at every visit.  If changes have occurred to the damages or other conditions at the property they should be clearly indicated within reports.  Clear and consistent reporting of damages and property condition can be the saving grace for field service companies in preventing and combating claims.

As a best practice eyeball estimates should only be provided if you are unable to provide an accurate bid or if additional inspection is required by another party to determine if damages exist (i.e. structural damage).  Eyeball estimates are generally considered not to be bids but rather ballpark figures to address damages.  As always a detailed list of the items included within the eyeball estimate should be provided to the client.

Damages from any of the ‘big six’ (fire, flood, earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or mortgagee neglect) could result in structural or other specialized concerns for a property.  If you suspect structural damage or other damages and are not equipped to provide this service it is a best practice to work with your client to request approval to obtain a third party bid.  Client expectations in this area may vary so communication will be key to a successful outcome.

Typical damages include:

Health and /or Safety Concerns

●  Missing handrails

●  Trip hazards

●  Exposed electrical and or gas lines

●  Infestation risks

●  Structural damage

Water & mold damage

●  One of the most difficult damages to pinpoint can be water damage

∙  Ceilings, walls and floors of all levels of the interior and roofs and downspouts on the exterior of the property are to be inspected for any signs of water damage and visible mold

∙  The same type of inspection should be completed on any outbuildings present at the property

●  The following are examples of conditions that may increase the potential for mold and mildew to develop

∙  Floods

∙  Inoperable sump pumps

∙  Roof leaks

∙  Broken or damaged water pipes

∙  Groundwater infiltration including condensation/dampness on walls

●  It is important to note both the cause of the water or mold damage and the length of time the damage appears to have been present with bids to address the source and resulting damages

Fire damage

●  When encountering fire damage it is a best practice to obtain the fire report for submission to the client

●  This report will share details of the fire including the date and cause to be reported to the Servicer

●  Fire damage may pose challenges in securing a property and may also be coupled with water damage

Wind damage

●  Wind damages to the exterior of a structure including its siding, windows, doors and/or roof are common in situations related to hurricanes and tornados

●  Clients will often issue orders to inspect properties after these natural disasters to ensure that the security of a property has not been breached by the extreme conditions

Other exterior damage

●  Gutter damage

●  Siding damage

●  Soffit damage

●  Roof leaks and damage

Other interior damage

●  Missing/damaged water lines

●  Missing/damaged appliances

●  Missing/ damaged HVAC components

●  Missing/damaged water heaters


●  Graffiti

●  Broken windows and doors

General wear & tear