Fall is almost here, and with the change of seasons comes storms. In Minnesota we typically get major storms in the spring and again in the fall. This year has been a stormy year, and in between hail storms, we have seen major wind storms as well. If you have been in one of the major storm paths, this would be the time to schedule an inspection. If there is snow on your roof, the insurance adjusters will not come out until spring. So if you suspect damage, call Integrity Exteriors for a FREE inspection by our local insurance storm specialists.
In the last week we have gotten large hail in the Big Lake/Elk River area, and would love to serve you in any way that we can. Call us today at 763-753-2244 and we will schedule an appointment.
We now have a representative up in Baxter, MN, so we welcome Jeremy Leonard to our team! He is an experienced professional that has been working with storm claims since 2006 and would be happy to help you with your claim anywhere in the Brainerd/Nisswa area. Our number for Brainerd is 218-270-9944.
Another word about the approaching winter… Make sure that you have adequate insulation and venting for your roof, to prevent possible ice dams. If you would like someone to look at that, we do provide spray foam insulation and can give you a quote. More on that later…
We have seen a number of weather events in the last few weeks. One was huge hail in the Nisswa area, up to 4 inch by the National Weather Service. However, I believe that it was larger than that. I saw one car with a hole in the windshield that a basket ball could have fit through. However, the hail was not the only story. We had high winds up to 70 mph along with the hail, and the high winds alone could cause major damage to a house’s exterior roof or siding. I am showing a couple of pictures to the right of houses with major damage caused by high winds.
“Every thunderstorm has a straight-line burst of wind,” says Walt Zaleski, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “At 50 to 60 mph, you start seeing damage to homes — trees toppling, power lines coming down, debris blown from your neighbor’s house.”
After a storm passes, check with your insurance company and a local contractor to assess any damages from wind, hail or other sources. If a tree falls on your home, get out of the house and call a contractor to make temporary repairs.
Some of the obvious signs of damage by wind are if shingles are missing, laying on the ground, or siding or fascia is missing or loose. Check to see if you have any leaks anywhere. If flashing around vents or chimney is damaged, you could have water damage from a leak.
Consider calling Integrity Exteriors & Remodelers (a licensed general contractor) to see if the damage is more than just a few shingles missing. If it is structural, you will need more than a roof replacement, and we can help you with that. Please stay safe. Avoid going up on the roof yourself.
Now that you have made the decision to replace your roof, there are some things that you have to decide on like the materials that you will use and the color selection. The most popular materials are asphalt shingles. You don’t want your home to stick out like a sore thumb, and you do want it to blend into your environment, making it attractive and adding to the resell value of your home.
One of the popular shingles that homeowners choose are Timberline HD shingles by GAF, and some of their colors are:
One thing that might be helpful is an online simulator, so that you can visually see what the colors and styles might look like together. Here are a few virtual home remodeling links. These links will open in a new window.
On our last post we went through some of the things to watch for when doing a retail bid. On this post we will go through the insurance process if you have storm damage. The insurance process might be overwhelming to those home owners who have never been through it before. But if you have the right people working with you then it should help alleviate some of that.
Not all of the storms will be like the one in the video on the left, but I thought it would be entertaining to see this one… However, if you get large hail it will damage your roof, siding and other parts of the exterior of your home.
Say you had a major storm with high winds, hail or other damaging events. The first thing that you should do is have a professional inspect the property. They should look at the roof, siding, windows and wraps. The insurance company will inspect the home from top to bottom, and that is what your inspection should be from a licensed contractor. If the inspector finds recoverable damage to the house exterior, they will have you start a claim with your insurance company. They can help you call the insurance company and make sure that you tell the insurance company that you want the contractor to be there when the adjuster comes out. Find out when the adjuster is going to be there, and notify the contractor of the date and time.
When the insurance adjuster comes to your home, they will start the inspection, and the contractor will point out some of the damage. When the inspection is complete, the insurance company will either approve the claim or deny it. If the claim is denied, and you and the contractor disagree with his findings, you can ask for a second adjuster, and ask for a different adjuster than the first one. Many times if a claim is denied the first time around, it will be approved on the second adjuster’s findings.
After the claim has been approved, two things will happen. You will receive some paperwork from the insurance company called a breakdown sheet, which will list exactly what they are paying for, what your insurance deductible is, what is the Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Cost Value (RCV) on the claim, and your first check. The insurance payments are broken down into several payments. The first check you get up front to get the job started, and that check most generally goes to the contractor. The final check is paid after the job is completed and the contractor gives the insurance company the final bill and requests that the depreciation amount be released, along with additional supplements that have been submitted to insurance. You are still responsible for your deductible, and by law no contractor can cover that for you.
After the first check is issued and given to the contractor, then you can pick out your materials for shingles, siding, fascia, etc. The permits for the work are obtained by the contractor and posted on your door. The permit must remain posted until the work is done and the final inspection by the city is completed. The materials are ordered, the job is scheduled and the work is done. The contractor will then request the depreciation money be released from the insurance company. Then you settle the final bill and enjoy your home!
Now that the weather is warmer, and the leaves are turning green, you probably will see sales people going through your area and knocking on your door. If you have an insurance claim for damages on your property, that is one thing. In an insurance claim, the prices are set by the insurance company, and you can select the contractor that you feel will do the best job for you. That contractor can negotiate with the insurance company if they feel that something was forgotten in the insurance scope, or the prices are not enough to do the job. In any event, the home owner is still responsible for their deductible on the claim no matter who does the job.
On retail sales for home improvements, it is a good idea to get several bids for the work. If you don’t do that, some companies have been known to take advantage of home owners who do not know what the going rate is. One case in point, this last week I got a call from a member of a business networking group that I am in. The man was concerned about an elderly lady that had a door to door sales solicitation from a company that offered to install a new door and patio door for $14,000. They latter went down to close to $9,000, but for just a door and patio door, that is still out of line. He was wondering if there was something that we could do to help her. The installer also had missed two appointments.
We did some background investigation, and made some calls. The other company finally did go down on the price more in the usual range, around $5,000 and they did install her doors. We were happy to help get this resolved, but here are a couple of things to remember when some one approaches you with a door to door sale like this.
Do not sign anything until you get a couple of estimates
What they are having you sign is a real contract agreement between you and their company and is binding
Do not give them any money until you are certain that this is the company that you want to do the job.
If there is no money exchange, there is no contract
In Minnesota you have 3 days to rescind, or cancel the contract
You should have been given a Notice of Cancellation form that explains the rights that you have as a home owner
One other thing that I can add is to make sure that you check the contractor’s licenses, references, and if they have good reviews on places like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. Another thing that I always do is google the company.