There are many reasons why your insurance company will deny a claim. One of the biggest is that the damage has more to do with the condition of the home. In other words, the insurance adjuster believes that the damage is due to poor maintenance rather than a storm or a burst pipe. That’s why, at Aftermath Adjusters & Consulting, LLC, we recommend that Florida homeowners think about home maintenance issues.
Here are several to consider before the hot, wet weather arrives this summer.
Check on the condition of your home’s gutters. Things to look for include:
- Are gutters securely fastened to the home? Loose gutters are not effective.
- Do the gutters leak when it rains? Leaking gutters can cause areas of water damage.
- Are the gutters clogged with leaves and other debris? Clogged gutters often lead to overflow, which, like leaky gutters, can lead to water damage.
- Do all downspouts drain away from the house? If not, pools of water can damage the foundation.
Trees and Shrubs
This is the perfect time of year to trim trees and shrubs. Things you want to address include:
- Are there branches or limbs too close to your home? These can easily damage the roof and siding in a storm.
- Do branches or limbs touch utility wires? If so, contact the utility company or a professional tree expert. Never try to remove limbs from live wires.
- Is the landscaping free from dead trees? Dead or diseased trees are more likely to fall in a storm and damage your home.
- Are shrubs and other plants far enough away from the foundation? Plants can easily grow into existing foundation cracks, causing even more damage.
Decks, Balconies, and Fences
Living in Florida means enjoying the beautiful weather. However, that means that homeowners need to inspect decks and balconies, especially if they have been unused during the cooler months. Things to look for include:
- Are there any loose boards or railings? These should be fixed immediately to prevent liability issues.
- Do you see any rot? Damaged wood is not safe and can also lead to insect infestations.
- Are bolts, chains, and other metal pieces free from rust? Rust is often the first noticeable sign of wear and tear.
Keep in mind that staining and/or resealing wood structures will help them last longer.
You should also look at concrete to see if there are any cracks or other signs of movement. Things to look for include:
- Does water drain away from the home’s foundation? Standing water near the foundation can easily lead to water damage.
- Are cracks visible? If so, fill them with concrete crack filler.
To help concrete last longer, consider power washing and sealing concrete surfaces each year.
Your roof keeps the elements out, so it is important to check it for damage. Look for things such as:
- Do shingles show signs of damage? Are shingles missing? This can lead to water problems during storms.
- Does the roof have mold, mildew, or algae? This may be a sign that water is pooling or that the frame beneath the shingles is beginning to rot.
- Does your attic show signs of roof leakage? Moisture or water stains will show you if you have a roof leak.
Always have a professional inspect and repair your roof if you find a problem.
Windows and Doors
Just as with a roof, windows and doors keep the elements out. It is important that you inspect them to be sure they are doing the job.
- Are windows and doors properly sealed? Not only will this prevent water damage, but it will also lower your energy bill.
- Do screens have holes? Screens are meant to keep bugs out while letting the breeze inside.
Completing this checklist will keep your home safe and limit the likelihood of an insurance claim denial should you have property damage. Of course, if you do experience damage and need help with your claim, we are hear to help. Call us today!