Getting Ready for Weather
For many across the country — and the world — changes in weather patterns, especially from warmer weather to colder weather, means preparing the home for the inevitable intrusion of wind, rain, and more.
What does that involve? One would be weatherproofing, which means you are proactive in protecting your home from suffering from damage. Even a small freezing-cold draft entering a home and affecting a pipe can freeze it and cause it to burst, resulting in a water damage situation.
Here are some easy time-saving tips to ensure you not only save money on your gas or electric bill but also minimize the risk of damage to your home in very cold weather.
This means start looking for openings — any openings — in your home that can allow air or water intrusion.
For air intrusion, check around doors and windows, and this is pretty easy if you just hold a facial tissue up around potential cracks and crevices. If there is any type of air leak, the tissue move and show that.
For possible water intrusion, look for water stains in basements, around windows, any place that seems possible for water to enter your home. Plug any openings you find with quality materials.
Filters and vents
You want the maximum efficiency from your furnace system so change all filters on a regular basis, usually monthly.
Now might be a good time for a professional inspection of your duct work and having the ducts cleaned, if they are soiled.
Replace old weatherproofing
All your doors and windows should have weatherproofing material. With time and weather factors, these weatherproofing strips can and will age and become brittle and fail.
Purchase quality replacement weatherproofing materials and replace them if you notice they are not providing an air-tight seal. It’s not a bad idea to replace them every few years no matter how they appear.
Prevent to protect
With a thorough inspection and a little work on your home, you can prevent issues from arising during cold weather. Spend the time to do it right.
However, if something bad does occur — it happens! — and you suffer from any type of damage to your home, do the right thing and get professional help right away. Call your favorite restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!
When Insurance Fails
Devastating pipe breaks, failing sump pumps, a smoky kitchen fire, the roof leaking from damage from high winds… no one wants to deal with anyof that.
But it does happen, and when it does, you probably do what is natural – you pick up the phone and call your insurance company, most likely your insurance agent, who may direct you to anyone from a central call center to handle your claim, an insurance adjuster, or perhaps to a local disaster restoration contractor they know.
And then the fun begins.
You aren’t sure yet if you have coverage, because the insurance company is dragging its feet. The adjuster isn’t able to come out for a few days, something you can’t believe. You worry, fret, and wonder if the damage to your home will be covered, and if you will have to pay for some (or all?) of the damage. You know you have to cover the deductible, and that’snot cheap.
The work begins. Everyone is in a hurry because if the damage isn’t fixed right away, other issues will surface. The restoration contractor does what he is trained to do, and the work progresses nicely, and eventually all is well again at home.
A few days late, the adjuster shows up. And he delivers a devastating blow. While you have coverage, the cost to repair the damage is more than the insurance company feels is fair, so they will only pay a percentageof the costs. The rest? You have to pay for that yourself.
What can you do?
One thing is to get another opinion. Hiring an independent insurance adjuster to review the job, all the paperwork, and your insurance policy might shed light on the issue and give you more info you need.
Depending on the new information you receive, you can revisit the issue with your insurance company. Taking this information to the insurance adjuster who you are battling with probably won’t do much good. It’s time to go over his head, as the saying goes.
If the difference between the costs of repairs and the offer from the insurance company is high enough, you can also consider a claim to the state entity (such as the insurance commissioner) that has authority and power to help. Many claim to be subject to bad business practices. You might be advised to hire an attorney, all which will cost you more.
The good news is if you hire the very bestdisaster restoration company, they have the experience to help you deal with all of this. After all, it pays to call a pro!
Triage Tips to Save Contents
The main goal for protecting your home from water damage situations is to prepare and anticipate what can happen.
This means many things, such as keeping your sump pump in good working condition, repairing leaky pipes and dripping faucets, and ensuring that during cold weather your home is snug and tight against intruding freezing temperatures.
But things do happen. Pipes break, spewing water everywhere. Flood waters can enter your home and wreak havoc while you are away. Leaky plumbing fixtures can slowly cause damage and spawn mold growth.
When this occurs, it affects not only the building materials of your home, such as the walls, floors, and ceilings, but the contents as well. You know, the valuables you care so much about. These can be anything from stuffed animals to books to photographs to electronic equipment and more. Even mementos that just can’t be replaced.
If any of this occurs to you and your home, use these tips for best content triage strategies.
Before doing any type of work in your home after a water damage situation, make sure you are safe. This means your electricity and power sources are turned off (if appropriate and the damage warrants this), and water has been extracted or reduced to a minimum level.
Before starting work, and during the work process, take pictures of everything. What you can’t dry and save yourself will no doubt be replaced with insurance dollars. But without proof, you might have a fight on your hands with your insurance company.
When contents get wet, damage is minimal — for now. Get those valuables up off wet surfaces and do what you can to dry them out and set them where they won’t cause more damage and where they can dry. Depending on the items, move them out into the sun for faster drying. Documents, pictures, and other similar valuables will need careful handling and professional care.
There are some items more valuable to you than others, and emotions can get involved. Prioritize what you are going to save. Odd are, if you don’t call a professional restoration company right away, you aren’t going to be able to save everything. Electronics and other valuables may be beyond saving. Don’t waste time on what can’t be saved. That’s what insurance is for.
When you have any type of disaster situations at your home, whether from fire, smoke, floods, or water damage, do the right thing. Contact your favorite disaster restoration company. After all, it pays to call a pro!