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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Hidden Smoke Damage following a Fire in a Residential or Commercial Building

Even a small fire in a home or business can leave behind lasting effects that may not be readily evident to most people.  Clearly damaged parts of a property will need to be repaired, but don’t underestimate the damage from smoke residues that can take place far from the actual flames.

Smoke and soot from a minor fire can spread widely throughout a property.  There are four types of smoke commonly associated with structural fires, they include:
·       Wet Smoke
·       Dry Smoke
·       Protein Smoke
·       Petroleum Smoke

“Each of these types of smoke are dependent upon factors such as the speed and temperature of the fire and what materials were consumed by the flames,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “They can cause discoloration, etching and pitting of material surfaces.  Smoke residues can also leave behind unpleasant odors and particulates that can act as irritants.  One area that few people think about following a fire is the impact of smoke and soot on all the electronics found indoors.  While most people recognize that extreme heat from a fire can damage electronics and wiring, so too can the presence of smoke residues on circuit boards.  Even small amounts of smoke residue can short out circuits that today are found in almost every device in a home or office that is plugged into the wall.” 

No matter how large or small a fire is, policyholders with property damage claims need to be aware of both the obvious and the hidden damages that may be present.  The insurance claims professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters help property owners and managers identify all possible damages so that insurance providers have a true scope of the cost to repair a property.  This ensures that policy holders are treated fairly by the insurance companies and that their claims are comprehensively settled so that all damages and loses covered by the policy are addressed.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Property Damage Claims in Commercial and Residential Properties May Expose Unexpected Hazards

When property damage occurs, one of the first things a policy holder will typically do is call their insurance company.  The insurance company will send out one of their adjusters to inspect the damage and if it is covered under the policy, an offer to settle the claim will usually be made within a short time frame. 

It is to the benefit of the insurance company to quickly settle these claims and for lowest monetary figure possible.  One issue that may arise and could be overlooked in residential and commercial properties that were built up until the late 1970s is the presence of several hazardous materials. Lead-based paints are a prime example. Exposure to lead-based paints are one of the greatest lead poisoning risks for the public. Demolition and repair activities can create potential exposure hazards if the toxic paints are not recognized. Also, properly handling these materials can be exponentially more expensive than dealing with modern paints and finishes.  

“Lead-based paints were commonly used up until 1978 when they were banned for use in housing,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Lead is just one potential danger in older properties as other materials, such as asbestos, are also still present in many residential and commercial properties.  Policy holders of these older buildings need to be aware of these potential hazards and not rush to have repair work completed without taking these risks into consideration. This is why utilizing a public adjuster who is experienced in building construction materials and environmental hazards, in addition to the insurance claims process, can be of incredible value to anyone with a property damage claim.”

Policy holders with insurance claims in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are encouraged to contact the insurance experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. Their professionals represent only policy holders and they not only look for hidden damage that the insurance company may have overlooked, but are also experienced in identifying potential indoor environmental hazards due to the past use of construction materials that may contain hazardous materials.  If these materials are present, the process for repairing any damage needs to follow federal and state regulations to ensure the safety of all existing and future building occupants.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Importance of Flood Insurance for Property Damage Claims

Preliminary estimates of the damages due to the heavy flooding in South Carolina are believed to be over $1 billion.  Unfortunately, many residential and commercial property owners in the impacted areas did not have flood insurance.  In fact, some experts have put the number of people with flood insurance and damaged properties in the state at only about 10%.

Many conditions can result in a flood. Hurricanes, overtopped levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems and the rapid accumulation of rainfall are all common occurrences. Some property owners mistakenly think that just because they haven't experienced a flood in the past they won’t in the future. Flood risks aren’t just based on history, they are also based on a number of factors that include rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures and changes due to new construction and developments in the area.

“A standard homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover flooding,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC.  “While it will likely cover water damage due to a faulty water heater, it won’t be of any help in a flood.  The storm in South Carolina has been called a 1,000 year flood, but it happened and similar events can happen anywhere. This is why it's so important and a good investment to have flood insurance so a home or business has coverage for these types of events.”

Policy holders who encounter water damage due to floods or other reasons have access to the insurance claims experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. They represent policy holders and never works on the behalf of insurance companies. Their clients can expect to obtain the most accurate and comprehensive settlement possible so they can quickly and properly rebuild their homes and businesses.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Prevent Property Damage with Fall Home & Building Maintenance Tips

Fall is a good time of the year for property owners and managers to inspect the condition of their home or commercial property.  It is also time to perform some preventive maintenance tasks to help ensure the building is in good condition to provide a safe, healthy and comfortable environment for building occupants.

“Preparing a residential or commercial property for the cool fall season and the upcoming winter now can help prevent a number of costly repairs and also help to increase the building’s energy efficiency,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Equally important, some of these tasks could help prevent indoor environmental issues associated with mold and moisture, carbon monoxide and other health and safety concerns.”

The insurance claims and building science professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters suggest the following actions:
·       Change filters for the HVAC system and consider having the furnace checked by a qualified professional.  Also inspect the air ducts for the buildup of dust and debris.
·       Check smoke detectors and carbon monoxide sensors and change out the batteries.
·       Properties with chimneys should have them inspected each year and cleaned if necessary.
·       Remove leaves and obstructions from gutters and downspouts to prevent ice dams and be sure that water is draining away from the building’s foundation.
·       Check the siding for any damage or areas that moisture could enter.
·       Check for any damage to the roof and be sure any skylights are properly sealed.
·       Check windows and doors for drafts and be sure they are properly sealed.
·       Inspect and replace any worn weather stripping.
·       Add insulation to any exposed pipes.
·     In places with freezing weather don’t forget to shut off and drain any exterior sprinkler systems.  Also check outdoor faucets for any leaks.
·       Trim trees that could cause damage to the property due to broken limbs.
·       Consider having any asphalt driveways or parking lots sealed.
·       Clean and cover outdoor air conditioning components.
·       When cold weather arrives and the property is sealed, consider having it checked for the presence of radon.

For those who do experience property damage to their home or business, the professionals at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters are experts at negotiating and handling insured property damage claims.  Their services ensure that no damages are overlooked and that policy holders receive the most accurate insurance settlement possible.  They also recently sponsored an educational video with fall maintenance tips to provide a healthy indoor environment and prevent property damage. It can be seen at:


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