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Storm Damage Restoration

Overview

Severe weather like hail, lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, strong winds and heavy snow, can cause damaging effects to your home or property. Some damages can be minor while others require intensive restoration.

After the storm passes you might feel overwhelmed by the damage left to your property. Timely mitigation is the key to minimizing your loss. The longer wait the more issues you may have to deal with.

To prevent adding to the restoration problem act  as quickly as possible while making sure your property and structures are properly cared for before any restoration begins.

Whatever the extent of your damages, restoration companies have the capabilities and equipment to reconstruct your property back to the pre-storm condition it was in.

Average Costs

The national average cost is $400 – $1500+

The average cost to hire a local professional will average about $400-$1500, with some consumers spending over $10,000 or more. So choosing the right professional the first time is of the essence.

Billing:

Hourly Rate – Some companies charge by the hour.

Flat Rate Per Job –  Most companies charge a flat rate for the work they do. And will bill your insurance company directly.

Recognize that there are several variables in developing the price. These include:

  • Time that it takes to complete the project.
  • How many technicians are working on your project.
  • Was it an after hours emergency
  • With many more aspects that may add to the cost

Remember, the company quoting a low rate may not necessarily be the right  company for you. Some  companies may offer low hourly rates, but then charge additional “fees” to complete the job.

You may also need to consider that most  companies charge a higher rate for overtime, weekends, holidays and emergency calls.

The best rule of hand is to get an itemized estimate so you know exactly what is expected from the local company.

Basic Information

Before The Storm

Flood Prone
Find out if your property is prone to flooding and find the flood line

Dams and Levees
Evaluate whether they could cause the need for potential storm damage repair.

Evacuation Plan
Know where you will go, how you will get there and what you will need once you arrive

Window Coverings
Hurricane shutters provide the best protection against wind, but another all-year option is the installation of impact-resistant  glass.

Landscaping
Be sure shrubs and trees around your home are well-trimmed.

Garage Door
Reinforce your garage door.

Gutter Cleaning
Clean clogged downspouts and gutters before hurricane season and before winter for snow season.

Approaching Storm
Bring all outdoor furniture inside, as well as garbage cans, decorations and anything else that isn’t tied down.

High Rise Living
If you live in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on a lower floor when high winds are blowing because windy conditions intensify with height.

Different Types Of Storm Damage

  • Tornados
  • Severe Thunderstorms
  • Wind Damage
  • Hail
  • Lightening
  • Sleet
  • Ice
  • Heavy Snow
  • Ice Storms
  • Floods
  • Tropical Depressions
  • Tropical Storms
  • Hurricanes

Hiring the Right Storm Damage Contractor

After a severe storm hits your area, it is always a good idea to get a full property damage inspection and at least three qualified estimates from reputable contractors. Some states do not have a state licensing requirement for contractors and storm damage brings potentially unreliable contractors in from other states.

To protect yourself, make sure all contractors you talk to are reputable, established companies with references in your area. Make sure your contractor has completed numerous local jobs, is fully trained to install all of the materials required to restore your home and has an office in your area.

Remember your workmanship warranty is worthless if your contractor leaves the state and does not have a reciprocal relationship with a local contractor who will take care of you, should you need warranty service down the road.

Regardless of the contractor you choose to restore your home, protect yourself by making sure they meet the following criteria:

  • Established company with a positive track record
  • Fully insured; liability and workers compensation
  • Insurance claims experience
  • Have passed a background check
  • Can provide at least 3 local references

 

Insurance Claim Tips

  • Most insurance policies limit your time to file a claim
  • You can’t be singled out for a rate increase due to storm damage
  • Insurance restoration contractors, represent your best interest
  • Always hire the best contractor, not the cheapest
  • Beware of insurance company “approved” contractors
  • Always do your homework and understand your rights

Beware Of Storm Chasers

After the storm “Storm Chasers” will begin to knock on your door or generally harass you.
Don’t sign anything. Many storm chasers will con you into agreeing to pre-hire them to do storm damage work. Often the storm chaser will tell you that the agreement gives them permission to inspect your roof, or that the agreement gives them permission to negotiate with the insurance company.

In most cases you don’t need to sign any agreements to give your insurance company permission to negotiate on your behalf. These agreements are actually “contingency agreements” or “direct payment agreements”, and while a contingency agreement is not always a bad thing, a reputable roofing contractor will have no problem inspecting your roof without you signing over your power of attorney. If you sign a direct payment agreement, you will never see a penny of your money and the storm chaser will pocket it all.

Storm Chasers Warning Signs

  • A temporary office or P.O. box
  • Out-of-state phone numbers
  • Out-of-state license plates
  • Staying in a hotel, or motel
  • No local references
  • Don’t know your area

Avoid Getting Scammed

Poor quality contractors and scammers can cause permanent damage, devalue your property, steal your money and put you at personal, legal and financial risk… not to mention all the headaches!

Many scams begin with a knock at your door, or an unsolicited call on the phone, claiming to be a contractor. Unfortunately, many scam companies imitate legitimate contractors, so protect yourself by checking your contractor out, before agreeing to an inspection. Make sure any contractor you work with is properly licensed, insured, and provides 3 local references.

Telltale signs of a scammer:

  • Not properly licensed
  • No insurance or underinsured
  • No local office (beware of P.O. boxes and hotel addresses)
  • Won’t provide local references
  • Demands up-front cash or deposit
  • Shows up on convicted criminals and/or sex offenders list
  • A temporary office or P.O. box
  • Out-of-state phone numbers
  • Out-of-state license plates
  • Staying in a hotel, or motel
  • Doesn’t know your area

After The Storm Passes

  1. Take photos of all damage
  2. Have all your insurance documents available
  3. Turn off power to the property (If Needed)
  4. Turn off water to the property (If Needed)
  5. Remove all vehicles in driveways for restoration company trucks

Tips & Advice

  • Ask For The License – Ask for all local and state business licenses.
  • Proof Of Insurance– For your own protection, check proof of both workman’s compensation and  liability Insurance.
  • Business Stability– Find out how long the company has been in business.
  • Check Online Reviews – You’re probably not the first person in town looking for their services. Rely on the internet to get reviews written by people in your community.
  • References – Expect any top-notch company to be able to provide you with references upon request. Once you have these names, contact the clients to get information about the quality service. When you call, ask questions about the work, timeliness, cost and whether the clients would use the company again for future work.
  • 24-hour Emergency Service – Make sure your local company offers emergency 24 hour service. If something goes wrong, it’s good to know that you will not have to wait days for them to come  out and fix it.
  • Over The Phone Pricing –  Honest estimates simply cannot be given over the phone – especially if you aren’t talking with an actual technician when you call.
  • Free Estimates – Most companies offer free estimates. This is important because they can provide you with the costs upfront, so that you are not shocked with a bill after the services are completed.
  • Safety Record – Safety can be a significant factor, so ask the company about their safety records to ensure that any service professional you hire has a satisfactory safety record. You want a company that doesn’t have a high incidence of on-the-job mishaps or injuries.
  • Building Codes– In certain areas you’ll need to make sure that the local company meets all building code requirements.
  • Satisfaction Guarantee – Choosing a company that offers a satisfaction guarantee will ensure that they will get the job done right the first time and will save you money and frustration in the long run.
  • Cleanup – The mess left behind after a project can be major. Ask what cleanup work the company includes with it’s services.
© SameDayPros 2020
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