Recent Storm Damage Posts
6 Things Your Flood Insurance Will Not Cover
Floods are stressful disasters to deal with. Knowing what your policy does and does not cover will help you be prepared and know what to expect.
Flood Insurance Does Not Cover Everything
Flood insurance is extremely important when trying to make sure you are prepared for a worst-case scenario during a large storm or hurricane. While this type of coverage is worth looking into, it is important to know that there are types of damage that are actually not covered by your policy so you are not blindsided if you ever need to make a claim. Knowing the key restrictions and limitations of your flood insurance policy will leave you better prepared.
1. Water Damage from Internal Malfunctions
A flood that is caused by internal malfunctions in your home such as a pipe burst or overflowing toilets is not covered by a flood policy. Damage will only be covered if the source of water that caused the flood is external, such as an overflowing lake or heavy rain during a storm. Make sure that you are covered for floods from internal malfunctions by having a homeowner’s insurance policy as well. Talk to an agent or adjuster from your insurance policy for more information and questions about the kind of water damage your policy will cover.
2. Landscaping and Swimming Pools
Although your swimming pool may be located outside of your actual home, if your home is flooded by your pool it will not be covered by your flood insurance policy. Also, damage to flower beds, gardens, trees, or any other landscaping on your property will not be covered.
3. Damage from Small Floods
Unless the water that causes damage to your property covers at least two acres or has also affected another property, the water will not be considered a flood by your insurance company. Also, if your home sustains damage from mold or mildew that could have been prevented, you will not be covered for the damage under your policy.
4. Living Expenses and Business Interruption
Any living expenses that you incur from the flood, such as renting a hotel room, will not be covered by your flood insurance policy. Also, if you run a home business and your operations are interrupted, financial losses will not be covered.
5. Money and Important Papers
Your policy won't pay for the value of any currency, precious metals, stock certificates, and other valuable papers that get destroyed in a flood.
6. Improvements and Most Contents in Below-Ground Areas
You will not be covered under your flood insurance policy for any improvements made to your basement, such as finished walls or floors. Also, personal property such as clothing, computers and electronic equipment, kitchen and office supplies, furniture, and other items located in your basement or any other areas below the lowest elevated floor of your home will not be covered.
Flood Insurance Policies for Florida Homeowners
Make sure to get a flood insurance policy 30 days or more prior to hurricanes to ensure that damage is covered!
A common mistake that many Florida homeowners make each hurricane season is the assumption that their homeowner’s insurance will cover property damage that is caused by floods and hurricanes. If your property is in an area with a high risk for damage, such as near a lake, then you may want to consider purchasing a separate policy to make sure your home and its contents are covered.
How Do You Get Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) but can be purchased through your insurance agent or broker through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Availability for these policies is open to NFIP-participating communities that have agreed to pass and enforce specific stormwater and floodplain management laws. To reach an agent, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531.
How Much Coverage Can You Get?
NFIP flood insurance policies can provide a maximum coverage of $250,000 and $100,000 for contents. These types of coverage must be purchased individually but can be a part of the same policy. According to the NFIP, the average cost for a policy typically runs around $700 annually. Additional coverage may also be purchased through private insurers.
Do You Really Need this Policy?
When purchasing a home in a designated high-risk flood zone and receiving a mortgage loan from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase flood insurance.
If you live in a zone that has been designated as a moderate or low-risk flood zone, you are not required to purchase a policy. However, though you are not required to purchase the policy, you may want to consider doing so anyway to protect yourself from paying out of pocket in case of an emergency. According to FEMA, approximately twenty-five percent of flood insurance claims come from areas. That still makes up a large portion of recorded home damage due to hurricane and flood-related disasters!
The good news is that if you do live in a low-to-moderate flood risk zone, you may be eligible for a much lower insurance rate. Some premiums of flood insurance policies for these homeowners have been seen to be as low as $137 per year for both property and contents coverage.
Are Payouts for Contents and Property Different?
Yes, there is a difference in the way insurance companies will pay out for different types of coverage.
- Contents - Flood insurance will pay a cash value for the cost to replace lost or damaged contents. The amount paid out also factors in the depreciated value of used goods.
- Property - If receiving insurance for a single-family home as your primary residence, you can opt for the replacement of damaged or lost property with new property, regardless of depreciation. The amount of coverage for your property is set in advance and is typically either eighty percent of the full replacement cost for your property or the maximum amount available under the NFIP.
Why You Should Act Now
Flood insurance works a bit differently than other types of insurance policies. With a few exceptions, your coverage does not typically kick in until you have had your active policy for 30 days. If a disaster, such as a hurricane, occurs within this time frame, your insurance policy will not cover the costs of damage.
Also, there are other benefits to activating your policy early. Aside from hurricane damage, a flood insurance policy will also cover you for damage resulting from heavy or prolonged rainstorms, coastal storm surges, clogged storm drainage systems, and mudslides!
After Receiving Flood or Hurricane Damage
After hurricane damage or flood damage has occurred, you should call your insurance provider and establish a claim. Once your adjuster has been notified, calling a professional restoration company can ensure that your damage is attended to properly and your home gets back to the way it was. SERVPRO is the largest nationally recognized name in restoration and is recommended and trusted by many of the largest insurance providers. SERVPRO of Winter Park is available around the clock for emergency storm damage services and have the fastest response times to begin extracting water from your home and drying the property out. If you receive flood damage, give our office a call at 407-678-5391.
4 Must Do's After Hurricane Damage to Your Home
SERVPRO emergency water damage services are available 24/7 help prevent further damage to your home.
Hurricanes have devastated countless families and homes in Florida in the past. Storm damage to a home from a hurricane is a stressful experience for a homeowner in many ways and can even be worse when they are not sure what steps to take afterward. In the event of your home becoming damaged by a storm, take the following steps:
1. Take Photos and Document the Damage
It is important that all storm damage to your home is well documented to make your insurance claims process much easier. Take as many photos of all areas affected and make sure to compile a list of all damaged items as well.
2. Perform Emergency Repairs
After sustaining damage, prioritize the repairs that have to be made to the property. Your focus in doing so should be to ensure that additional damage does not occur. Some examples of these emergency repairs include covering broken windows with plastic or securing tarps to your roof to prevent rainwater from entering. Any permanent repairs should be placed on hold until your insurance claims adjuster is able to review the damage. Until your adjuster is aware of the full extent of the damage and has all materials accounted for, you should refrain from throwing out any damaged items.
3. File a Claim Quickly
It is important to know that insurance companies sometimes work on a first-come, first-serve basis, especially if overwhelmed by many claims during a hurricane season. Because of this, you should work to get the process started and file a claim as soon as you are aware of the damage. After contacting your insurance provider, provide your claims adjuster with photos, an inventory of affected items, and fill them in on the extent of the damage. Your adjuster will come to your property, further assess the damage, and work to determine the payout amount your insurance will cover.
4. Secure Safe Lodging
Safety should be the number one priority at all times for you and all inhabitants of the home. If the home is uninhabitable, or unsafe for any reason, we strongly recommend finding a safe place to stay while repairs are being made to the home. Keep in mind that if your damage is part of a covered claim, the loss of use coverage in a standard insurance policy will typically help pay for your family's lodging. Ask your claims adjuster if you are covered by your policy.
SERVPRO of Winter Park is a professional storm damage company that specializes in water damage, fire damage, and mold damage. Our emergency services are available 24/7 to assist you at 407-837-8990. Click the following links for more information on our services or general hurricane information.
8 Signs that Can Predict a Falling Tree
Trees that have multiple trunks are a higher risk of splitting and causing damage during a storm.
Trees can be the perfect accent to the appearance of your home or property. However, they are also one of the most common sources of roof damage, especially during storms. With storm season among us in Central Florida it is important that homeowners and property managers alike are able to recognize some of the signs of trees that are more likely to fall.
1. Leaning to One Side
A slight lean of your tree should not be a huge concern since most trees do not grow perfectly straight. However, be wary of trees that lean uncomfortably in one direction, especially if in the direction of your roof. Leaning trees that are very close to the point of falling sometimes have exposed roots near the base and cracked soil on the opposite side of the lean. In some cases, the cause of the lean can be a weight distribution issue that can be balanced by pruning branches.
2. Multiple Trunks
If you have a tree with U-shaped multiple trunks, be sure to inspect for deep cracks and other signs of weakness. Mature trees are most at risk for splitting down the middle during heavy rains and stormy weather. To prevent the tree’s splitting, consider hiring a certified arborist who can attach cables between trunks and braces to strengthen their bonds.
The best offense is a good defense when it comes to protecting your roof from falling trees. Take the time to inspect trees on your property and mark ones that match some of the above warning signs. Don’t be afraid to remove unstable trees, though you should call an arborist before attempting to fell the tree yourself.
3. A Hole in the Trunk
A cavity can form in the trunk of a tree when the tree prunes itself by dropping a branch. That can lead to decay inside the tree. This doesn’t always mean danger, though, according to the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. If there’s enough sound wood around the cavity, the tree probably won’t fall.
4. Missing Bark or Deep Cracks
An area where tree bark is missing, gashed or indented is called a “canker”. A canker can make a tree more likely to break at that spot, even if the wood looks OK, according to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Deep cracks in the bark are a bad sign, too.
5. Dead or Falling Branches
When trees start dropping bits of branches or entire branches, it’s a clue that something’s wrong. The tree tries to make itself smaller so there is not as much to feed. Dead branches are a major danger and can come crashing down even on a calm day, according to the USDA Forest Service
6. Losing Leaves from the Outside In
When a tree loses leaves in this pattern often it means something is wrong with the root zone. The root zone is where the tree gets nutrients and water — and it’s what holds the tree up. Without a healthy root system, a tree can fall more easily.
7. Rotten Roots
Root rot can be hard to spot. Look for mushrooms growing around the base of a tree. Fungi growing on the trunk can be another clue that the tree is rotting inside.
8. Tight Branch Growth
When branches grow close together in a V-shape, it’s a bad sign. A strong union will be U-shaped. Elm, maple, oak, yellow poplar and willow trees tend to break at weak forks. When the wind blows, these trees can fall apart. This problem is easiest to spot in winter after the leaves have fallen off.
Risks After Roof Damage From Fallen Trees
The roof is a protector of your home. So, make sure your trees are ready to withstand the stormy weather. A damaged roof may make it easier for your property’s interior to sustain additional damage from water and in many cases mold growth. If you have sustained roof damage, make sure to call a professional roofer to repair the damage. Also, should the roof be damaged during a storm, SERVPRO of Winter Park is available 24/7 at 407-678-5391 to extract water and dry your property to prevent further damage.
5 Ways a Roof Can Sustain Storm Damage in Orlando
A lightning strike can cause damage all on its own and can lead to water or fire damage as well.
Whether you are a property manager or own a home, storms in Orlando and the surrounding area can be abrupt and severe, potentially causing damage to your property. Initial damage from these storms can occur in multiple ways including from rain, hail, wind, and even fallen trees. Knowing the possibilities of damage can help you prevent or prepare your property for future storms.
1. Damage from Rains
Orlando is no stranger to heavy and abrupt rainstorms. Strong downpours during a storm have the potential of washing away the granular surface on shingles. The rainwater can also travel under missing seal strips and damaged flashing. Damage from downpours can compromise your roofing system and lead to interior leaking and mold growth as well.
2. Damage from Hail
The size of a hailstone can vary but is usually between pea-sized and marble-sized. The force of these stones pounding down on your rooftop can cause tiny indentations in your roof or dents in the metal flashing of your roof. At a quick glance it may not appear so, but after taking a closer look you may possibly find compromises in the roofing membrane. This particular damage can affect your roof’s ability to prevent water from entering your home. Similar to rain, a persistent amount of hail can remove the granular surface of your roof shingles, which removes their ability to protect your home from UV rays and premature aging. This further increases your likelihood of sustaining extensive roof damage in future storms.
3. Damage from Winds
The most obvious wind damage to your roof is when winds are so strong that they blow your shingles off. Additionally, winds can lift or break a shingle’s sealing strips. Without these strips, water can get underneath your shingles. if not fixed immediately, the water that enters can cause mold growth, roof leaks and damage to interior insulation, plywood, and drywall. Undetected compromises in your roof that are exposed to future storms can even lead to a damaged underlayment causing roof rot to your decking.
4. Damage from Fallen Trees
Trees, or even just tree limbs, can cause damage beyond the visible hole they create in your roof. If the damage occurs during a storm, the hole in your roof provides incoming rainwater with access to other areas of your roof. This can weaken your roof structure and also create mold growth. Even if a fallen tree does not create a hole in your roof, cracks in your rafters or punctures in your shingles or other roofing materials can also lead to water damage.
5. Lightning Strikes
Although it is not common, lightning has caused damage to residential and commercial properties in the past. In just a few seconds, your home can go from perfectly sound to severely damaged from one strike of lightning. Roofs often take a major hit, and metal gutters are especially susceptible, too. A bolt of lightning can puncture a roof, sear the surrounding materials, and tear through attics. A powerful enough strike can tear off shingles and gutters, leaving the roof a disaster. In addition to leaving your home exposed to water damage, a lightning strike can also potentially cause a fire, increasing the amount of damage.
Has Your Roof Experienced Storm Damage?
If you have sustained damage to your roof and property after a storm, SERVPRO of Winter Park can assist you with water extraction and drying your property. While your roofing company makes sure to fix the damage to your roof, we make sure you are not sustaining long-term damage in all areas of your property. Give us a call at any hour in Orlando at 407-678-5391!
15 Storm Damage Prevention Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
Cleaning your rain gutters regularly can help prevent leaks and water damage to the exterior an interior of your home.
Spring has finally come. Floridians know that aside from a rise in temperature, lots of rain and thunderstorms are on the way. As an industry leader in storm damage, SERVPRO has extensive knowledge of what it takes to both prevent damage as much as possible and thoroughly assess a property for damage once a storm has passed. Here are some tips to help you adequately prepare for the storms to come.
Storm Preparation Tips
Preventing Water Damage
- Perform roof inspections regularly and search for shingles that are loose or curled. This applies to wind damage prevention also.
- Properly grading your lot will help to prevent water from seeping into your property.
- Proper drainage of your gutters is crucial for preventing leaks. Make sure to clear gutters and downspouts of any debris regularly.
- Weather Stripping can be applied around doors and windows for a reduction in air and water leaks.
- Search the property’s foundation walls and basement floor for any cracks and seal them completely.
Preventing Wind Damage
- Minimize potential damage by replacing rock and gravel landscaping materials with shredded mulch.
- Protect windows and glass doors by installing impact-resistant shutters or boarding up.
- Relocate your outdoor items indoors and secure the items that can not be moved.
- Make sure to trim down trees and shrubbery. Weak trees that may fall should be removed completely.
- Park any vehicles away from trees, lampposts, and power lines.
Preventing Hail Damage
- Make sure delicate outdoor items, furniture, and glass are covered and protected from potential hail impact.
- During a hailstorm, keep doors and windows completely closed for the duration of the storm.
- For added protection, install UL 2218 or FM 4473 as Class 3 or 4 roof shingles.
- If you have a garage, keep your vehicles parked inside with the garage door completely closed.
- If you do not have a garage or have more vehicles than your garage can fit, cover your vehicle(s) with a tarp to protect the paint. For added protection against dents and broken windows, try covering your vehicle with a thick blanket prior to tarping.
Local Storm Damage Help
If you follow the tips listed above, you have a higher chance of preventing serious damage to your home and property during a storm. However, disaster can strike at any time, so should you receive damage after a storm, SERVPRO of Winter Park is ready to assist you. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our highly skilled technicians are available for services like water extraction and water damage restoration. For more details, give us a call at (407) 678-5391.
Florida State of Emergency: 5 Steps to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Matthew
Path of the Hurricane
Its been 12 years since Central Floridians were socked with 4 devastating hurricanes: Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne. Charley was the first of these storms to hit Orlando, and the worst to hit Florida since Andrew in 1992. When hurricane Charley made landfall as a category 4, winds got up to 150 mph causing $15 billion in damage. Driving wind and rain flooded homes across the state of Florida.
Once again, Florida is in a State of Emergency and SERVPRO of Winter Park is ready. When the storm rolls In, we roll out. Just as we have been getting ready for the tropical cyclone here in our office, its equally important for you to protect your home.
How to Prepare Your Home for Hurricane Matthew:
- Internet may be out. Searching for phone numbers online may not be an option. Before the storm strikes, make sure all of your emergency contact numbers are listed on paper and posted in a visible place where everyone can see. This includes your insurance agency’s phone number, your policy number and your emergency restoration service provider, SERVPRO of Winter Park: 407-678-5391.
- Put together a good first aid kit, including bandages, tape, scissors, antibiotic cream, aspirin and an antiseptic wash in the event that water supplies become tainted. In addition, have any and all prescriptions filled, in the case your pharmacy might be closed for days or weeks.
- Stockpile hurricane supplies such as canned and dried food, bottled water, batteries, flashlights, candles, matches, propane for gas grills and ice.
- Place sandbags around the perimeter of your home, especially if your house is in low lying or flood zone areas.
- Keep heavy duty plastic and tarps handy along with durable tape, nails and a hammer. If any side of your home is exposed to the elements, consider covering windows with plywood.
Once again its time to hunker down, stay inside and stay tuned to your local news station for updates on the hurricane. As always, you can depend on your neighborhood family restoration business, SERVPRO of Winter Park. We are here for you to help make it like it never even happened!
SERVPRO Professionals are the Storm Damage Experts
SERVPRO is ready to deal with any size storm damage. Call today!
Quick Response and High Standards Will Leave you Satisfied after Remediation
When heavy rains and high winds hit hard, property destruction and loss can be devastating to you as a homeowner. Structural damage to the exterior of your home is followed by interior devastation from water and winds. Storm damage is rarely isolated to just a few buildings in an area adding the challenge of finding a restoration company that can respond swiftly to your needs to an already anxiety provoking situation. SERVPRO delivers the help you need swiftly even when a local disaster is widespread as we are able to call upon a network of over 1,650 franchises nationwide to respond if the need is great.
Storm damage in Orlando can feel overwhelming, but your fear and panic will disappear when our team of professionals responds to your water, wind and flooding repair and restoration needs. Your particular situation is of paramount importance to us, and you need not worry that your repairs and restoration will take a back seat even when many in your area are struggling to recover from the same issues you face. Choosing our company puts in motion a vast support system, but our local ownership means you will receive a personalized approach to your particular situation, efficiently returning your home back to its pre-storm condition just “like it never even happened.”
Placing your trust in SERVPRO for your storm damage needs will reap you benefits that less qualified companies simply cannot deliver. We use state of the art equipment to clean, repair and restore your home and in the process, we also restore your and your family’s peace of mind. Our technicians are highly trained and qualified, current in Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IIICRC) for any procedure needed to bring your home back to the comfortable and comforting refuge you deserve. We also work closely with your insurance company, ensuring that all the work necessary is approved and compensated according to the terms of your policy. Our high standards and relentless drive to do the job on time while meeting local specifications means you and your family will quickly return to the quiet enjoyment of your house and neighborhood. We are not satisfied until you are happily back in your restored dwelling.
Once you make sure that your family is safe after a major storm, your first call should be to SERVPRO of Winter Park. Dial (407) 678-5391 24/7 and begin the road to recovery by scheduling an inspection with our storm damage experts.
Tropical Storms can Damage Your Home
Strong winds from Tropical Storms can damage your home.
Damages from Tropical Storms
Tropical storms carry winds from 39 to 73 mph. They can also spawn destructive tornadoes. When wind speeds are lower, then storms are labeled tropical depressions. When wind speeds are over 73 mph, then they are called hurricanes, typhoons or cyclones, depending on where they form. The biggest danger in a tropical storm front is its massive rainfall, causing severe flooding. The winds from tropical storms often lessen as they cross over land because the storms need warm water for fuel. However, they can continue to cause damage as they move inland. Tropical storms slow down as they move over cooler ocean waters.
Tropical storms now carry names like hurricanes and other damaging weather conditions. In the early 1900's, an Australian weatherman began naming their damaging tropical storms after people he did not like. In 1953, the U.S. also started naming tropical storms after women. Since 1979, both male and female names have been used by the World Meteorological Organization. In other parts of the world, like Asia, tropical storms are named for flowers, animals, people, and other things. In the U.S., there are no storms that start with Q, U, X, Y, or Z. If storms outnumber names, then they are named after letters of the Greek alphabet, such as Alpha or Beta.
It does not make any difference if damage to your home or business occurs from a tropical storm or a hurricane. Damages are usually the same to lives and properties. Even though a hurricane produces heavier rains, winds, and flooding, a building is still subjected to substantial damage. A tropical storm's damages include wind, rain, storm surge, mud, debris, etc. Every insurance policy is different, therefore, if you are not sure what types of damages are covered under your plan, speak with your insurance agent to make sure that you have coverage for damages that a tropical storm can cause.
When your home or business is gravely affected by a tropical storm, call us, your trusted leader in restorations and repairs – SERVPRO of Winter Park! We make our customers, our primary concern so that getting your lives and property back to its pre-damaged state is less stressful. After a tropical storm, you need help right away. Since we are near your community, we offer immediate response times. Our Disaster Recovery teams of certified experts are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We will also help you with processing claims to your insurance company. All of our skilled work will be performed to your complete satisfaction!