Recent Storm Damage Posts

Weathering the Storm: North Central Hailstorms - Minimizing Damage and Insurance Considerations

1/9/2024 (Permalink)

Hailstorms are a common natural occurrence in North Central regions, posing a significant threat to homes, vehicles, and crops. As these storms can result in extensive damage, it's crucial for residents to be well-prepared and informed about minimizing risks and navigating insurance considerations. In this blog, we'll explore practical tips for minimizing damage during North Central hailstorms and considerations for handling insurance claims.

Minimizing Damage

  • Invest in Impact-Resistant Roofing

Consider upgrading your roofing materials to impact-resistant options. Class 4 asphalt shingles, metal roofing, or other impact-resistant materials can better withstand the force of hail, reducing the likelihood of damage.

  • Install Protective Systems

Hail can wreak havoc on windows and skylights. Installing storm shutters or impact-resistant coverings can provide an additional layer of protection, reducing the risk of shattered glass during hailstorms.

  • Maintain Trees and Landscaping

Prune trees regularly to remove dead or weak branches that could easily break during a hailstorm. Additionally, consider using hail-resistant netting to protect vulnerable crops in agricultural areas.

  • Park Vehicles in Covered Areas

Whenever possible, park your vehicles in covered areas such as garages or carports. If covered parking is not available, use car covers designed to withstand hail damage

  • Invest in Hail Covers for Outdoor Equipment

For outdoor equipment, such as air conditioning units or grills, consider investing in hail covers. These covers can provide a protective barrier, minimizing the potential for damage during a hailstorm.

Stay Informed and Seek Shelter

Stay updated on weather forecasts and be prepared to seek shelter when hailstorms are predicted. Move indoors to a safe location, away from windows, to protect yourself and your family from potential harm.

Insurance Considerations

  • Review Your Policy

Familiarize yourself with your homeowners' insurance policy and understand the coverage it provides for hail damage. Take note of any deductibles, coverage limits, and exclusions related to hailstorms.

  • Document Damage Promptly

In the aftermath of a hailstorm, document any damage to your property as soon as it's safe to do so. Take photographs and detailed notes to provide evidence for your insurance claim.

  • Contact Your Insurance Provider

Report the hail damage to your insurance provider promptly. Provide them with all the necessary documentation, including photographs, estimates for repairs, and any other relevant information. Seek estimates from reputable contractors for the necessary repairs. Having multiple quotes can help you negotiate with your insurance company and ensure a fair settlement

  • Understand Your Deductible

Be aware of your insurance deductible for hail damage. This is the amount you'll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Consider whether filing a claim is cost-effective based on the extent of the damage and your deductible.

  • Work with a Trusted Contractor

When choosing a contractor for repairs, opt for a reputable and experienced professional. Check references, reviews, and credentials to ensure the quality of their work.

North Central hailstorms are a force of nature that residents must contend with, but proactive measures can significantly reduce the impact on homes and property. By implementing protective strategies and understanding insurance considerations, you can weather the storm more effectively and navigate the aftermath with confidence. Stay prepared, stay informed, and take the necessary steps to safeguard your home against the unpredictable nature of hailstorms in the North Central region.

Earthquake Risks in Utah

9/12/2023 (Permalink)

Amidst Utah's stunning landscapes lies an often-unnoticed reality: the state's susceptibility to earthquakes. While less frequent than other natural disasters, earthquakes can pose a significant threat to homes and properties. Gaining an understanding of the earthquake risk in Utah is vital for homeowners and property owners to prepare, safeguard their loved ones, and protect their investments. In this blog, we'll explore the earthquake risk factors specific to Utah and provide practical insights for proactive earthquake readiness.

Embracing Utah's Seismic Reality

Utah, nestled within the Intermountain West, experiences its share of seismic activity due to the complex interplay of tectonic forces. The Wasatch Fault, running through the state, is a notable seismic feature. Although not situated in the Pacific Ring of Fire like the traditional "Northwest," Utah's unique geological context still poses earthquake risks.

The Path to Preparedness

Awareness is the foundation of preparedness. Homeowners and property owners in Utah should comprehend the potential repercussions of a significant earthquake, such as structural damage, power interruptions, and water disruptions. Taking preventative steps can substantially reduce these risks.

Strengthening Structures

Numerous homes in Utah were built before modern seismic building standards were established. Retrofitting these structures to withstand earthquakes is pivotal. Engage a structural engineer to identify areas of improvement and fortify weak points in your home's design.

Emergency Plans and Kits

Earthquakes can disrupt essential services and resource access. Construct an earthquake emergency kit with necessities like water, non-perishable food, medications, flashlights, and first-aid supplies. Establish a family emergency plan that details evacuation routes, rendezvous points, and contact information.

Securing Possessions and Furniture

Unsecured furniture and belongings can become hazards during an earthquake. Fasten heavy furniture, bookshelves, and electronics to prevent toppling. Utilize wall-mounted brackets and furniture straps to secure items in place.

Staying Informed

Stay on top of earthquake alerts, forecasts, and readiness resources through local emergency agencies, the Utah Geological Survey, and relevant mobile apps. Early warning systems offer crucial seconds to minutes of advance notice before shaking commences.

While the earthquake risk in Utah may not be a daily concern, acknowledging and preparing for it are fundamental to ensuring the safety of homeowners and property owners. Utah's seismic landscape, especially the Wasatch Fault, underscores the need for proactive measures. Strengthening structures, crafting emergency plans and kits, safeguarding belongings, and staying informed are integral facets of earthquake preparedness. By embracing these measures, homeowners and property owners can better shield their investments and safeguard their families when facing the potential impact of seismic events.

6 Essential Tips for Protecting Your Building from Flood Damage

6/10/2023 (Permalink)

Floods can happen unexpectedly and cause significant damage to your building. Not only can they damage your property, but they can also disrupt your daily operations, leading to lost revenue and productivity. That's why it's important to take steps to protect your building from flood damage. In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips on how to protect your building from flood damage.

Conduct a Flood Risk Assessment

Before taking any preventative measures, it's important to understand the flood risk of your building. A flood risk assessment can help identify areas of your building that are at risk of flooding. This can include low-lying areas, basements, and areas near rivers or other bodies of water. Understanding the flood risk of your building can help you develop a flood protection plan that is tailored to your specific needs.

Install Flood Barriers

Flood barriers are a great way to prevent flood water from entering your building. These barriers can be made from a variety of materials, including sandbags, plastic sheeting, and flood panels. The type of flood barrier you choose will depend on the size of your building and the level of flood risk. For maximum protection, consider installing permanent flood barriers that can be easily deployed in the event of a flood.

Seal Your Building

Sealing your building can help prevent water from seeping in through cracks and gaps. This can be done by sealing doors and windows with waterproof sealant and installing weather stripping around the perimeter of the building. You should also consider installing backflow prevention devices on your plumbing to prevent sewage backup in the event of a flood.

Elevate Critical Equipment

Elevating critical equipment, such as HVAC units and electrical panels, can help prevent damage in the event of a flood. These items should be located on higher floors or elevated platforms to protect them from floodwater.

Install Sump Pumps

Sump pumps are designed to remove water from basements and other low-lying areas of your building. They are a great way to prevent water from accumulating and causing damage. Be sure to have your sump pumps inspected regularly to ensure they are functioning properly.

Develop a Flood Plan

Having a flood plan in place can help minimize damage in the event of a flood. Your flood plan should include evacuation routes, emergency contact information, and a plan for shutting off utilities. Be sure to communicate your flood plan to all employees and have regular practice drills.

In conclusion, protecting your building from flood damage requires a combination of preventative measures and planning. Conducting a flood risk assessment, installing flood barriers, sealing your building, elevating critical equipment, installing sump pumps, and developing a floodplain are all important steps in protecting your building from flood damage. By taking these steps, you can minimize damage and ensure that your business operations are not disrupted in the event of a flood.

4 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Thunderstorm

7/27/2022 (Permalink)

Roof damage caused by high winds Roof damaged by high winds.

Prepare Your Business for a Thunderstorm

You're probably used to experiencing thunderstorms in your Hurricane, UT, business building. However, you may experience one or more that are potentially dangerous, possibly to the point of requiring storm damage restoration. If this occurs, you'll want to be ready. So, here are four ways to prepare your business for a thunderstorm.

1. Make a Safety Plan
One of the most important things to do in this process is to make a plan of action. First, start by conducting a walk-through of your building. You'll need to find places for everyone to go during a storm with high winds. Look for areas that are away from the following:

  • Windows
  • Highly breakable glass
  • Skylights

Once these spots have been located, be sure to let your employees know about each one. If you can, you may want to create signage as a reminder.

2. Keep Trees Trimmed

Trees can be dangerous during a storm, especially if some aren't kept trimmed. If a strong enough wind blew during a rain storm, a tree or its branches could fall and cause significant damage to your building. Fortunately, trimming trees allows the plants to better resist the wind.

3. Use Lightning Rods

Lightning rods serve as protection for buildings from lightning strikes. Be sure to get these rods installed if your building doesn't have any. If you do have lightning rods, get each one inspected on a regular basis. You don't want your protection to stop working during a rain storm.

4. Learn First Aid

In the event that one of your colleagues is injured during a storm, you'll want to know first aid. Be sure that you or someone reliable on your staff is knowledgeable in this regard. You'll also want to have some backups in case that individual isn't present.

Preparing for a dangerous rain storm is an important task for any business owner. No matter how high or low your area's storm risk is, be sure to give the preparation process your full attention.

What To Know About Crawlspace Flooding and Cleanup

6/13/2022 (Permalink)

Crawlspace Flooding and Cleanup: What You Should Know

Once the storm blows over in Washington, UT, some homeowners may be left with the aftermath of a home flood and other storm damage. While assessing the situation, it’s important not to forget the crawlspace. It may be out of sight, but it shouldn’t be out of mind unless you want lingering water issues.

Common Reasons Crawlspaces Flood
Although a small amount of water isn’t abnormal, any standing water indicates there is a serious problem. Key reasons that this area of the home gets flooded include:

  • Improper Drainage: This may include window wells that are defective, blocked or insufficient gutters and improper grading slope.
  • Sump Pump: If it is not working correctly or isn’t big enough, it will allow groundwater to rise.
  • Foundation Cracks: Even the slightest crack provides an opening to create a home flood.
  • Defective Plumbing: If there is water and no storm, it may indicate there is a broken or leaking pipe.

Consider Using a Restoration Company For the Cleanup

While finding the source of the problem is essential to correcting it, you are still left with a watery mess. Often times these are small spaces, which makes it much more difficult to clean up. Depending on the extent of the damage, it may be worth contacting a water, mold and storm damage restoration company to handle it. Along with removing and replacing damaged materials, it will have industrial-grade equipment to conduct proper water extraction and drying. A certified expert will also have the knowledge and tools to find and address any potential mold issues, which often come hand in hand with water problems.

A home flood in your crawlspace after a severe storm indicates there is a lingering issue. Finding the source of the problem and addressing the cleanup swiftly are keys to avoiding lasting issues.

5 Steps for Cleaning Storm Damage Before Your Adjuster Arrives

6/8/2022 (Permalink)

Damaged roof cause by storm High winds from a storm caused damage to this roof.

Before your adjuster arrives, follow these 5 steps to clean up storm damage.

After a big storm, the devastation can be significant. Your St. George, UT, property may have tree limbs down, roof damage and water damage. Whatever the case, cleanup needs to begin immediately to avoid additional damage. It's helpful to have flood insurance, especially if you live in an area prone to flooding. Many people don't realize that this is not a standard part of a homeowners policy until it's too late. It's essential to follow these basic cleanup steps until the insurance adjuster arrives.

1. Evaluate the Damage

After a major storm, there could be several types of damage, inside and outside your home. Look for water damage inside, such as soaked flooring and wet drywall. Outside, inspect for damaged or missing shingles, damaged gutters, and cracked windows.

2. Take Photos of the Flood Damage

Take photos of the damage as soon as possible. These photos will be helpful to your insurance company when you file your claim.

3. Mitigate the Loss
You must begin mitigating the damage before the storm damage restoration specialists arrive. Your flood insurance company requires you to take any action possible to avoid more damage. This could include tarping holes in the roof and boarding up broken windows.

4. Extract the Water

If you have standing water in your home, it's crucial to eliminate the water and moisture as soon as you can do so safely. Every second counts when it comes to water damage. The best way to extract it quickly is to use a wet/dry vacuum.

5. Dry the Area

The area must be completely dry to prevent mold damage. Use dehumidifiers, fans, heaters, and fresh air to eradicate the excess moisture.
After a significant storm, your flood insurance adjuster may take a while to arrive on the scene. While you're waiting, these five steps are critical in preventing subsequent loss.

3 Facts That Will Make You Want Flood Insurance

4/13/2022 (Permalink)

Three Factors That Will Influence Your Decision To Purchase Flood Insurance

Business owners from high-risk flood zones have probably seen commercial insurance policies that offer protection against natural disasters. Meanwhile, many business owners in St. George, UT, do not understand this option's importance. These people are too worried about the cost of the policy, which can range from a reasonable FEMA policy to a high-end private one.

They often overlook the fact that a flood can cause excessive damage that needs to be restored by a storm remediation company. If you are in this boat, some facts may convince you that flood insurance is a good idea.

1. Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover Flooding

Even commercial insurance only covers damage from rainwater that has not touched the ground. For instance, if a tree goes through your roof while a storm rages and rainwater ruins your floor, it is covered. Once water hits the ground, it becomes a flood and is no longer covered. In other words, a rising creek caused by rain is not covered. Only flood insurance will cover this type of situation.

2. Every Business Is at Risk of Flooding

Rather than if, you should ask how much flood risk you have. The national flood maps can give you an idea of your exact risk. Certain zones are high-risk. Others are medium- or low-risk. Remember that low does not mean no. You are still at risk for flooding in low-risk zones.

3. Government Aid Is Not Insurance

Unlike commercial insurance, government aid is primarily loans that you'll need to repay. Plus, you cannot receive aid unless your area is federally declared a disaster zone, which happens for only a few major flooding events.

Unfortunately, standard insurance doesn't cover flooding. To protect your business, you'll need a flood policy. To make things worse, you can't rely on government aid for your company. These are simply loans that you will need to pay back. Plus, you can't always receive these loans.

Since every business is in a flood zone, proper insurance is a must. This ensures that any damage you incur to do a flood is covered.

Preparing Your Commercial Property for Extreme Winter Weather

3/5/2022 (Permalink)

Getting Your Commercial Property Ready for Winter Storms

Nowadays, you have access to a wealth of information right at your fingertips, so there’s no reason for the weather in Hurricane, UT, to take you by surprise. The more uncertain matter is what to do in preparation for extreme weather once you know it’s on the way. A heavy downpour or snow storm could still cause problems, but a bit of planning may make things less difficult for your commercial property and the people who use it.

Stock the Necessities

The buildings you own and manage should be outfitted with emergency kits in case anyone is stranded, especially if the power has gone out. Their cases should be easy to move and well-stocked. There are some recommended items to include:

  • Food and water
  • Supplies for basic first aid
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • A whistle

Keep Your Building in Shape

The property itself should also be well-maintained to improve its safety in a snow storm. If the structure of the roof is prone to collecting water and snow, hire a contractor to fix it and prevent collapse. Ensure that the walls are well-insulated. Be prepared to turn off the water valves if there’s a pipe burst. In extremely cold conditions, it’s vital to have an alternate heat source on hand, such as a fireplace or extra blankets.

Consider Your Employees

One of the best ways to make an emergency situation easier is to prevent one from arising in the first place. If you run a business and see an ominous forecast on the news, consider having your employees stay home for the day until it’s safer to travel. If remote work is an option, it may be wiser to have your staff work from home instead of coming into the office.

If your building suffers damage from a snow storm despite your preparations, a professional service can help clean up, restoring safe conditions and allowing business to carry on as usual in a timely manner.