Written by Shaun Bernstein
If your property has just had a major catastrophe like a flood or a fire, it’s probably the last place that you or anyone else wants to be. Smoke damage, standing water, or even sewage backup can make for an unpleasant situation.
The next challenge is communicating to your insurance companies exactly what needs to be done to restore the property back to its original condition.Yet if things are an absolute mess, it’s no easy feat to get exact measurements and specifications of what the property should look like after restoration.
If you’ve ever seen a virtual 360° tour of a luxury hotel or resort, you’ve likely watched the Matterport technology at work. The Matterport camera was first developed in Chicago, and was initially used to take an entire view of a location, and was commonly used both in the tourism industry and in the retail space. However, Matterport is no ordinary 360° camera.
Instead, the Matterport camera uses LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology to take a comprehensive scan of the room while it photographs, including getting accurate measurements of the property. Not only does the camera capture the area visually, but the scans are able to build a complete blueprint of the property, which is then immediately uploaded to a laptop or cell phone. This allows insurers to have a comprehensive understanding of the exact extent of the damage, and allows the restoration team to have precise measurements of the amount of work that needs to be done to restore the property. Most importantly, it has been a complete game changer for our work on insurance claims. Insurers have usually never seen the property with their own eyes, and so they’ve been forced to make assessments based on static photos that do not paint a true picture of the damage involved. This can lead to estimators undervaluing the property, or not appreciating the impact that the damage has had on the owners and their enjoyment of their property. Contractors did not always have accurate measurements before starting a job, and if they over-estimated, insurers were not pleased about footing the bill. The situation often led to anger and hurt feelings that made an already unfortunate situation that much worse. Introducing Matterport imaging into the estimation process has repaired all of that broken communication. When we bring our Matterport camera onto a job site, we are usually the first ones to enter the area (after emergency services, if necessary), and can produce accurate, real-time imaging of how bad the damage really is. We also create an accurate, measured floor plan which can show the full impact of the damage on the property. We can then send these images and floor plans to insurers and contractors which creates full transparency in the process. Adjusters know exactly how bad things are, and can have a more informed conversation with the property owners. Contractors, even though they re-measure before doing installations, have a clear sense of the work that needs to be done and can budget their finances and time accordingly. Best of all, this means that repairs are done much quicker than before. Instead of parties taking weeks to share information between each other, everyone now has the same images and blueprints instantly, and can get to work right away. A sewer backup that would once have taken 4-6 weeks to restore can now be underway in as little as 7 days. Walton Restoration was one of the first restoration companies in North America to use the Matterport camera for property restoration, and we are incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. In our world it is important to get the job done quickly and done right, and using Matterport makes both possible without sacrificing one for the other. When Walton Restoration comes to your door with our military-strength camera case in tow, you know your property is in good hands. Within minutes, we’ll have a full perspective of the damage to your property, and we’ll send that information off to everyone who can help make things whole again.