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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

What to Do When Property Damage Uncovers Hidden Asbestos in Your Home

A tree limb crashes through a roof, a broken pipe floods a basement, strong winds destroy siding or a kitchen fire causes damage to a home.  For property owners with insurance, any one of these events will have them in contact with their insurance provider.  In many circumstances, the damage incurred will be clearly evident and straightforward, but this is not always the case as there can be unforeseen complications. 

Residential and commercial properties built through the 1970s were often constructed with building materials that contain asbestos.  Asbestos was used in the past for everything from roofing, shingles and siding to floor tiles, insulation material, textured paints and joint compounds. In fact, some reports indicate it was used in over 3000 materials by the 1970s.

For properties with asbestos-containing materials, a simple roof or kitchen repair has now become much more complicated and involves exposure risks to asbestos fibers.  Although conditions associated with inhalation exposure to asbestos can take decades to appear, it is known to cause mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states, “Federal law does not require persons who inspect, repair or remove asbestos-containing materials in detached single-family homes to be trained and accredited; however, some states and localities do require this.” 

Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC, advises people with property damage in buildings constructed up until the 1970s to be on the lookout for asbestos-containing materials before any cleanup and repair activities begin.  “The only way to be sure whether a material contains asbestos is to have it tested,” said Mr. Waldie.  “Qualified asbestos inspectors can be hired to inspect a home or building, assess conditions, take samples of suspect materials for testing, and advise what corrections are needed.  If repair or removal of asbestos materials is required, inspectors can ensure the corrective-action contractor follows proper procedures, including proper clean up and can monitor the air and surfaces for asbestos fibers.”

The property damage and insurance claims experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters understand that what may initially appear to be a simple claim can often have complications.  Their experts treat every case with the precision and expertise necessary to ensure that insured property damage claims are properly addressed and that settlement offers from insurance providers have taken everything into consideration.  The end result provides their customers with peace of mind knowing that their claim was handled properly and that they have received the most accurate and complete settlement.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Potential Indoor Hazards from DIY Repair & Remodeling Projects

Each year, property owners take on countless home repair, renovation and remodeling projects.  While these do it yourself (DIY) projects can bring new life to a home or be essential for repairing damage that has occurred, they can also expose building occupants to potential hazards that many people may not be aware exist in their home.

Many types of repair and remodeling projects will generate a significant amount of dust.  Depending on the home and type of project, this dust can not only spread to other areas of the property, but could also be filled with a number of hazardous substances.  It is important to minimize exposure to these materials by controlling the amount of dust created, isolating the project area from the rest of the house, and wearing proper personnel protective equipment. 

DIY projects can in some circumstances expose people to the following:

·       Mold is a concern in any property that has suffered water damage or elevated humidity levels.  Removing cabinets or opening walls, ceilings and floors can expose areas of mold growth that can be easily aerosolized.

·       Many older homes can have a wide range of building materials in the interior and exterior that contain asbestos.  These materials range from roofing and siding to some popcorn ceilings and various types of flooring to name just a few.

·       Homes built before the late 1970s often contain lead-based paints.  As these materials degrade or become disturbed during repair and remodeling, they can become airborne and settle as dust.

·       Mercury can be found in some old home thermostats and small amounts in fluorescent light bulbs.  If these are broken they can emit a toxic and odorless vapor.

“Even after potential hazards associated with the demolition or removal of old materials has been completed, new materials that are installed may emit chemicals such as formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be a concern,” said Tom Allen of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC.  “Many new materials, including most cabinets, carpeting, flooring and furniture, as well as paints and stains, will off-gas VOCs into the indoor environment.”

For those faced with home repair projects due to an insured property damage claim, the experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters provide their clients with not only insurance and construction expertise, but also with a comprehensive understanding of potential indoor environmental concerns.  Their services help to expedite the claims process and they handle all negotiations with the insurance company.  This means their clients receive full coverage benefits in the shortest time possible.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Monsoon Season Begins with Tips for Property Owners from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters

Today is the official start of the monsoon season in the Southwest.  It begins on June 15th and officially ends on September 30th.  The season typically begins with exceptionally warm weather which is following by an influx of moisture that creates conditions conducive for rain and thunderstorms.

Although the annual monsoon season brings much needed moisture to the arid Southwest, it can also create hazardous conditions and property damage due to extreme heat, dust storms, thunderstorms, lightning, wildfires, strong winds, downbursts, hail and flash floods.  In fact, many parts of Arizona receive up to half their annual rainfall during these few months.

“People should prepare their families, homes and businesses for the powerful storms typical of the monsoon season,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC.  “Pay attention to weather reports and having a disaster supply kit ready is always a good idea.  Because monsoon storms can knock out power in areas, sometimes for days, the kit should include food that doesn’t require refrigeration, water, flashlights, medications and clothing.  Also check for potential roof leaks before the rains come and secure items on the property that could blow away.  This is also a good time to have any trees trimmed near buildings to prevent possible damage from broken limbs.  Last, but not least, before the storms arrive make sure any property insurance is up to date and will provide coverage for the all types of damage associated with monsoon storms.” 

If a monsoon storm does cause damage to a property, the professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters have teams of property damage and insurance experts that can provide assistance at a moment’s notice.  Their professionals help policy holders obtain the most accurate and complete settlement so they can rebuild their homes and businesses and get back to their lives.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim due to Property Damage

A person’s home is their castle so most homeowners maintain their property and have insurance to protect their investment. Unfortunately, weather related and man-made events that are out of a homeowner’s hands can cause damage or loss to a person’s home and belongings.

These events can range from theft and vandalism; faulty plumbing and electrical hazards; to natural disasters such as flooding, tornadoes and hurricanes.  In the event damage does occur to an insured property, a policy holder that has never had to file a property damage claim may be unsure of what steps should be taken next. 

The insurance claims and property damage experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters provide the following advice:
  • If a crime has taken place due to theft, arson or vandalism, report the incident to the police.
  • Notify the insurance company.
  • Make any temporary repairs if they will protect the property from further damage, but do not begin other types of repairs until they have been approved by the insurance company.
  • Consider hiring the services of a licensed public adjuster to represent the claim on the policy holder’s behalf to ensure that all damages are properly valued for repair and/or replaced.
  • Make a detailed list of known damages
  • Do not throw out damaged materials and belongings.
  • If temporary housing is required, keep all receipts. 
“While many homeowners may not be familiar with the services of a licensed public adjuster, these professionals work solely for their customers to ensure that they are treated fairly and that no details are overlooked,” said Tom Allen of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC.  “As public adjusters, we only represent the policy holder so our clients can rest assured that their interests are our only focus.  Expediting the claims process, handling negotiations with the insurance company, and making sure that the client is awarded full coverage benefits are just a few of the things we do to help our clients quickly return their properties to pre-damage conditions so they can get back to their lives.”   

The services of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters are available for residential and commercial policy holders in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.


toll free phone: 800-898-4290

local mesa, az phone: 480-625-3434

fax: 480-656-3501