Recent Storm Damage Posts

After a Storm Event

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

After a storm, our experience from past storms have shown us that people are resourceful and get anxious to get back home and get their business back up and running. What is important to remember is not to jeopardize your health and safety because you are trying to recover as fast as possible.

Too often claims have been compromised because evidence has been disposed of or altered. To avoid your carrier alleging they didn’t see the evidence of the covered cause of loss or the damaged property, you need to document with photo and video, promptly communicate with your insurance company, and ask them for written instructions on when and how to handle the damage. These best practices sound good but often you can’t reach your insurance company after a storm or get a person on the phone. If this happens to you, continue to document and ensure mitigation but do not throw away items or alter the impact of the damages in the immediate aftermath of the storm. Sometimes it takes weeks before an adjuster comes to the property or even weeks to get access to go back to your property

Here are some ideas to consider:

  1. The insurance company is panicked about this storm and the aftermath too. In part, because the storm cuts into their profits, and because the magnitude of loss and number of claims may be too much for their systems and teams to handle.
  2. This may be your adjuster’s first hurricane assignment.
  3. The representative coming to your property doesn’t have a copy of your insurance policy. Deposition after deposition tells us that the adjuster may have access to a declaration page on an IPad but these adjusters are not studying your coverage and endorsements, but are relying on their “experience”.
  4. You can get another copy of insurance policy from the company and you should ask for the complete copy. If you don’t ask for it, some insurance companies may take your silence to mean that you were familiar with the coverage. Some carriers give the impression that any insured who doesn’t ask for help knows all of the insurance provisions backwards and forward and they don’t assist their insureds.

If you have been affected by a storm event. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are used to speaking with adjusters and can help. We are available 24/7.

Will Homeowners Insurance Pay for a Fallen Tree?

6/19/2018 (Permalink)

If a tree falls in your yard, and no one hears it, is it covered by your insurance? What about the cost to remove a fallen tree? The answer, as it is with all insurance questions, is “it depends”. Policy forms vary.

Did a Tree Hit Your Home or Other Structure?   

If so, you probably have coverage for:

The cost to remove the tree

The damage to your home, fence or other structure

But, not coverage of the cost to replace the tree itself.

Is a Fallen Tree Blocking Your Driveway?

Depending on the edition of your home insurance policy, you may have coverage for at least some of the cost to remove a tree that’s blocking your driveway. Even if it didn’t damage any of your property.

Did a Tree Fall on Your Car?

If so, your auto policy, not your homeowner’s policy, might pay to fix your car. Hopefully, you have Georgia auto insurance, and chose to buy “other than collision” (widely known as “comprehensive”) coverage. The cost to remove the tree is not covered by either home or auto insurance, unless the tree blocks your driveway (see above).

If There’s No Damage, There May Be No Coverage

If a tree falls without damaging any insured structures or blocking the driveway, you will likely need to pay the costs to remove it. Some insurance policies provide a limited amount of coverage for these cases. Check with your agent or insurance company to see if yours does.

Did Your Tree Hit Your Neighbor’s Property?

If so, the damage would be covered under THEIR homeowner’s policy, not yours. If the tree fell due to obvious neglect, your liability insurance might apply.

Tips to File an Insurance Claim for a Fallen Tree

Take photos, preferably from different angles to show the damage.

If utility wires are involved, stay away! Call your electric utility to have the wires cleared.

Call your insurance agent or company to report the claim.

If there has been damage sustained by your home, call our franchises SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southeast or SERVPRO of Gwinnett County Southwest at 770-448-5782 and we will be there to help.

What is Considered a Storm Event

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

A storm event can affect a home in multiple ways. You can have a water loss caused by flooding, a tree through the roof or even shingles being blown off. Each of these situations can allow water to infiltrate your home. If this water isn’t dealt with in a timely manner, it can lead to mold. Mold can start within the first 48-72 hours of a water loss. Sometimes that time frame is shorter if the climate cannot be controlled by your heating or air and it is very humid and warm out. Sometimes that time frame can go a little further if the home is conditioned or it is cold and dry temperatures outside.

Most people hear storm event and think of hurricanes or tornadoes, but a storm event can be just a continuous heavy rain or strong winds or even hail. If you have water coming into your home and you are unsure if it was caused by a storm event or just need some advice, contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are available 24/7 for any of your needs.

Emergency Readiness Plan

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

No one plans on a disaster, but you can plan to be “Ready for whatever happens” by letting one of our Marketing Representatives complete an Emergency Ready Profile on your business or office site. The best way to reduce business interruption following a disaster is to plan for it now. An Emergency Ready Profile will contain the following:

  • Emergency Action Checklist
  • Advanced Warning and Emergency Contacts
  • Emergency Contacts
  • Main Utility Information (Shut Off Locations)
  • Primary Contact Information (Work Authorization Contact)
  • Insurance Contact Information
  • Miscellaneous Contact Information
  • Property Overview
  • Building Access Information

Not too long ago we completed an Emergency Ready Profile on a well-established funeral home, but no one in the office knew where the water cut-off was located. The next day when the owner of the funeral home was on site, he showed our representative the water cut-off. It was under a brick under some azalea bushes! Can you imagine the scope of water damage if the owner were absent and no one else knew the location of the water cut-off. Needless to say, he was delighted to have an Emergency Ready Profile. Now he can enjoy his vacations more knowing that his company has a written emergency plan and a digital one.

By implementing an Emergency Ready Profile for your business, you can benefit from SERVPRO’S 40 years of experience in reducing the impact of any natural or man-made disaster. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 to get started.

When Storms Hit

5/18/2018 (Permalink)

When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.   Storm damage can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “Like it never even happened.”   Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling.   Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South. Dial 770-448-5782 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.

Like it never even happened.

5/17/2018 (Permalink)

When it comes to fire & water damage, or specialty cleanup needs, it’s the SERVPRO brand that comes to mind. The SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South works endlessly to make sure our customers are happy. We have one objective in the aftermath of disaster: to make their loss “Like it never even happened.”

No matter the job or the size, our SERVPRO teams are ready to handle any size loss. With 1,700+ franchises nationwide, we have access to numerous highly trained personnel and thousands of pieces of equipment. Our SERVPRO Disaster Recovery Teams are strategically placed throughout the country to respond when needed. Our teams have a proven track record for success, assisting with the cleanup of floods, tornadoes, wildfires, and damages caused from frigid temperatures.

Whether it’s a major storm event, or faulty appliance, we will be there with one call. Contact SERVPRO of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 for any of your mitigation needs.

A Few Types of Storm Damage

5/10/2018 (Permalink)

Wind Damage Restoration Hurricane damage sometimes includes severe wind damage. Roof damage in this situation may range from a missing roof, to harsh winds and rains shearing away asphalt tiles. Roof repair of obvious defects usually ensues in the wake of hurricane damage and storm remediation. Correcting roof damage may challenge homeowners after a disaster, since a roof leak may not appear obvious. How can a roof leak and roof damage escape easy detection in this situation? Wind damage may loosen flashing, eventually causing another roof leak weeks after the storm. Even a subtle roof leak of this nature can produce moist, moldy conditions inside the home. Obtaining fast roof repair may prevent long term interior damage. A wind damage home restoration expert may assist clients in receiving comprehensive roof assessments and roof repair services when hurricane damage afflicts an area. Their expertise helps property owners address storm damage and roof damage more effectively.

Flooding And Recovery Flood water frequently poses a risk in coastal areas. Yet heavy rains may cause river flooding miles inland also. If the surrounding terrain cannot absorb ground water, runoff contributes to flood water. Even residents of mountainous areas sometimes sustain varying degrees of flood damage if frozen pipes rupture. Flood pump failures contribute to basement flooding and contaminated ground water in some locations, too. Flooding may disrupt municipal water systems. Experts need to assess ground water and evaluate the condition of pipes following flood damage. By relying upon a trained specialist, you'll usually obtain faster storm remediation. These experts may suggest ways to help mitigate flood water damage in the future, for instance, by requesting backup flood pump installation.

Call SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782 for any of your storm concerns.

Severe Weather Readiness

3/2/2018 (Permalink)

Are you ready for Severe Weather?

Severe weather is unpredictable and SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South wants you to be safe no matter the season! Below are some severe weather readiness tips to help guide you, no matter what type of disaster you may encounter.

Weather Radios: Weather radios are the most reliable way to receive notifications of severe weather in your area. Although cellular phones, weather apps, social media as well as wireless emergency alerts (WEA’s) are what the majority of us depend on to keep informed, the truth is those devices can have their limitations during severe weather and can be interrupted. Mobile devices rely on towers and those towers can be damaged and cease to function during severe weather. A weather radio, WITH CHARGED BATTERIES, is the most reliable way to be informed of severe weather. Be sure to properly program your weather radio so you only receive the alerts you want for the counties you want.

Emergency Supply Kit: Having an emergency kit can be a life saver. Most emergency management agencies recommend supplies for up to three days. The following is a list you can use as a guideline:

  • Water – 1 gallon per person per day
  • Food – non-perishable
  • Manual can opener
  • Battery operated radio, preferably a weather radio
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries for radio and flashlight
  • Frist Aid kit
  • Whistle to signal help
  • Clothing, blankets
  • Dust mask or bandanas
  • Plastic sheeting, garbage bags, and duct tape
  • Wrench or other tools to shit off utilities
  • Hygiene items
  • Important documents. (Copy of insurance policy, bank account info, identification, etc.)
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in waterproof case
  • Cash

Make family plan: Make sure all members in the household are aware where they are to go in the event of severe weather. If for some reason the family is separated in the event of a severe storm, have a meeting place established as to aid in finding each other amidst devastation.

Call SERVPRO® of Gwinnett County South at 770-448-5782. We are here to help!