The best way to weather a storm is to be prepared. We hope these storm preparation tips will help you and your family to be ready when weather strikes and as your life returns to normal afterwards.
Before the storm:
Have an emergency plan: This means an emergency kit with first aid items, clothing, bottled water, flashlights, and blankets. (That is not an exhaustive list!) One of the most common things people forget about is to have a planned meeting point. In the event your home is no longer safe, a pre-planned meeting point is a must. Extended power losses mean your cell phone may no longer have a charge and your communication abilities will be extremely limited. FEMA has a fantastic resource online that covers a variety of emergency scenarios, including inclement weather, here: https://www.fema.gov/pdf/areyouready/areyouready_full.pdf
Protect your belongings: Many family mementos are paper based. Protect them with zip-lock bags and store in secured locations. Facebook has been abuzz with the recommendation to clear dishes out of your dishwasher and using that as a protective area. Back up computer data into a cloud, not the computer the next room over. Secure items that can be affected by high winds and maintain your property by trimming hanging branches. Fill bathtubs with water for emergency use. Close curtains and blinds to prevent glass spray should a window be broken.
Insurance: This is something we often don’t think about until it is too late. Now is the perfect time to take a quick look to make sure your policies are in force. The majority of our customers come to us as a result of storm damage claims. A roof is not cheap to replace out of pocket. (This advice can apply to any home repairs.) It is common to price shop when looking for property insurance as long as it provides the coverage you are expecting.
- Make sure that your deductible has not changed. Many insurance companies hide increases in the fine print for those yearly renewal letters. For us, only $14 a year was the difference of that quietly increased deductible from $1000 to over $2100. A quick phone call put us back at our preferred $1000 level. (This amount is most common in the Atlanta area.)
- You want a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy. If you must make repairs, you want to get full value for them. If you have an Actual Cost Value (ACV) policy, you will only receive money for the “as-is” value. For an older roof, it would be a small fraction of what it will really take to repair it. Example: The roof for your home is $10,000, but the old roof is depreciated and only worth $1500. With an ACV policy you would only get $1500 for repairs. It is heartbreaking for homeowners that don’t realize something so simple affects payout so much.
- You want Code-Upgrade endorsements. When your home was built, there is a high likelihood that some required materials today were not used. Drip Edge and Valley Flashings are the two items that we see affected by this the most. Current code requires them, and not having that simple code endorsement means you could be shorted another $600+ in funds needed for restoration.
How do these 3 line items play out in a real insurance scenario? A fully insured RCV client with a roof worth $10,000 and $1,000 deductible will only owe that $1,000 when repairs are made, plus their insurance chipped in additional funds to cover code upgrades. Their friend with an ACV, high deductible, and no code upgrade policy wouldn’t be so lucky: Their repair bill is $10,600, but they are only holding a check for $1,200 because their insurance paid what the roof was worth, held back the funds for that high deductible, and didn’t pay for code items. Yikes! A quick phone call before the damage happened could have fixed this.
Repairs after the Storm:
Document the damage and take a survey of your property. Are personal items damaged? Is water now leaking in your home? You will want a contractor present during your insurance claim adjustment meeting. This expert opinion will help insure that the repairs are properly paid for. Insurance companies are a business too and you could otherwise be left scratching your head wondering why your funds are short from the true cost required. You don’t want to wait to file these claims! The longer you wait increases water damage in your home, and mold is an even bigger problem you can hopefully avoid.
Total Pro Roofing is experienced with processing insurance claims. Our years of experience mean we can make this as smooth of a process as possible. Please contact us at 770-624-1009 or [email protected] and let us know how we can help. Learn more about us at https://totalproroofing.com