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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Roof Maintenance Tips and What to Do if Damage Already Occurred

Few people think about the roof protecting their home or business until there is a problem. In fact, roof maintenance is rarely performed by most property managers or owners until someone notices a problem. 

Even a small issue with a roof can result in costly repairs and having to file an insurance claim. To help prevent damage, a roof should be inspected for signs of aging and other telltale signs of potential failure at least a few times each year. The insurance claims and building science experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters provide the following roof inspection tips:
  • Inspect the attic for signs of leaks and moisture and be sure there is proper insulation and ventilation.
  • Check for missing, cracked, curled, brittle, blistered or other damaged roofing materials.
  • Examine for any signs of puddles on the roof.
  • Inspect the roof flashing and seals around skylights.
  • Look for cracked mortar around chimneys.
  • Be sure gutters are free or debris and properly draining away from the building.
  • During cold weather, watch for the formation of ice dams. 
  • Check for overhanging branches that could damage the roof and clear away any debris that has collected on it. 

“Spending a few moments a couple of times per year to make sure your roof is in good condition could easily prevent thousands of dollars in damages if a problem has already developed that wouldn’t have be recognized until the next big storm,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “For anyone who does experience roof damage that requires an insurance claim to be filed, it’s important that the situation is examined thoroughly for any hidden damages that may have occurred.  Our experts work on the behalf of policyholders to comprehensively document any roof issues and damages that may have occurred throughout the property.  This ensures that nothing is overlooked and the policyholder receives the full benefits of their insurance policy to repair both the visible and hidden damages.”

Policyholders in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey can turn to Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters for help with roof and other types of insured property damage issues. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Winterize Your Property Now to Prevent Costly Damages

A week into the winter season and many parts of the country have already experienced frigid temperatures.  Other areas have had an exceptionally mild winter so far, but these conditions can quickly change.

Strong winds, rain, snow and ice can all takes a toll on a home or business and freezing temperatures can easily burst pipes.  During the winter season, damage from any one of these may allow moisture to enter a property and cause extensive property damage and even mold growth.

Because winter weather can be so tough on a building, it’s important to take preventive steps now to prepare it for the months ahead.  The following tips have been provided by the property damage experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. They include the following:

·        Insulate exposed pipes and evaluate if the building’s attic, walls, basement or crawl space needs more insulation. This is also a good time to check for any signs of water damage from existing leaks.
·         Be sure the attic is well ventilated.
·       In places with freezing weather, shut off the water to exterior hose bibs and drain those water lines if possible.  Also shut off and drain the yard’s irrigation system.
·         Clean gutters and down spouts to make sure water is able to drain properly and to minimize the risk of ice dams.
·         Make sure water drains away from the building.
·         Check to make sure any fireplaces are operating properly and are not obstructed.
·         Caulk around windows, doors and other opening, also fix any cracks or holes in the foundation.
·         Check for drafts and add weather stripping anywhere it’s worn or missing.
·      Consider having the heating system inspected now to make sure it is operating properly and that there are no carbon monoxide hazards.  This is also a good time to change the air filters and inspect for debris in the ducts.
·         Check the roof, flashing, chimney, siding and skylights for any signs of damage.
·         Trim back any branches that could cause damage to the house during a winter storm.

“If moisture does enter a building, it can allow mold to begin to grow in as short as 24 to 48 hours under certain conditions,” said Tom Allen from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “If mold is found, it can sometimes be removed from nonporous materials, but porous materials will often have to be replaced. Removing these materials improperly could aerosolize and spread mold throughout the structure so it’s important to handle these types of situations carefully.”

People faced with property damage in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey can turn to the insurance claims experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. Their professionals represent policyholders to ensure that all damages are recognized, documented and properly handled.  Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters’ employ not only the best insurance claims experts, but also seasoned building science and indoor environmental quality professionals. This helps to ensure that all damages are addressed so that the home or business gets repaired correctly. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Holiday Burglary Prevention Tips & What to Do if You Become a Victim

The holiday season is a festive time for family and friends to celebrate together.  It is also one of the busiest travel times of the year. Unfortunately, burglars are all too aware of this fact which makes the holiday season a peak time of year for break-ins and thefts.

To keep a home safe from burglars there are simple steps people can take. They start with making sure an empty home, even if the family is just going away for the day, is securely locked. If there is an alarm, be sure to activate it.  During the night hours, turn on exterior lights and place some interior lights on timers.  Motion sensing lights are also recommended.  Keep valuables out of sight and keep trees and shrubs near doors and windows trimmed to preventing them from becoming a hiding place for burglars.

If traveling for more than a day, have the mail and newspaper stopped or have them picked up by neighbors. It is also a good idea to inform neighbors that the home will be empty so they can keep an eye on it. Some police departments will even offer to periodically check on a home if requested to do so.

Even with the best plans, burglaries still can happen. Victims are advised to immediately call the police if they have been burglarized or suffer any type of theft. 

“Having a police report is essential for starting the insurance claims process when a theft or burglary occurs,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “Many victims are overwhelmed when they have been targeted and are unfamiliar with the claims process and what they need to do to make sure they are treated fairly by their insurance company.  Our public adjusters help policyholders by creating a detailed inventory of stolen or damaged items and understanding what is covered under the insurance policy.  For example, will personal property be covered based on replacement cost or actual cash value. Actual cash value takes into account depreciation which means less money for the policyholder. These are just a few of the reasons a licensed public adjuster who works solely for the benefit of the policyholder can mean the difference between being potentially victimized twice or being treated fairly and getting the most out of an insurance claim.”

Policyholders with a burglary or other type of insurance claim in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are just a phone call away from the experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters. 

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Preventing Holiday Home Fires & Tips for How to Respond if One Occurs

During the holiday season, people gather with family and friends to celebrate.  These gathering often include feasts and the ambience from holiday decorations along with burning candles and glowing fireplaces.

Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a busy time for home fires.  In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 47,000 fires occur during the holiday season.  These fires claim more than 500 lives and result in over $550 million in property damage. They also report that December is the peak time for home fires caused by candles and that 1 in every 3 Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical issues.

“Chimney fires, cooking fires and even children playing with matches are also significant causes of home fires this time of year,” said Tom Allen of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “In addition to making sure that a home has properly operating smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher, people need to be vigilant of fire hazards in their home.  Don’t overload circuits or use holiday lights that are frayed.  Keep heat sources away from Christmas trees and keep real trees moist with plenty of water at their base. Also turn off the holiday lights and extinguish fires and candles when people are going to bed or leaving the property.”

It’s always important that people have adequate insurance to cover any loses due to a home fire and now is a good time to review existing policies.  At a minimum, the insurance policy should be able to cover any damages to the home, furnishings and personal belongings. 

For anyone faced with the aftermath of a home fire, the insurance experts at Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters are just a phone call away.  They offer their services in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to property owners of both residential and commercial properties.  Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters only represents policyholders during the entire claims process and their experts help to ensure that no damages are overlooked.  The end result provides the policyholder with the peace of mind that they will receive the most accurate insurance settlement possible so they can rebuild their home or business.   

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Cold Weather & Chimney Fires – What You Need to Know

With cold weather impacting much of the United States, the risk of home heating fires increases dramatically this time of year.  In fact, according to the U.S. Fire Administration, home heating fires peak in January and decline to their lowest point during the summer months.

From 2008-2010, an average of over 50,000 home heating fires occurred in the United States each year. They resulted in an annual average of approximately 150 deaths, 575 injuries and $326 million in property losses.  The U.S. Fire Administration reports that confined fires, meaning fires confined to chimneys, flues or fuel burners, accounted for 87% of all home heating fires.

One of the primary culprits is due to chimney fires which occur when residue deposits of soot or creosote on the inner surface of the chimney begin to combust.  A chimney fire can also occur if material has been introduced into the chimney, such as a bird nest, that ignites when hot embers reach it.

“Chimney fires can not only damage the chimney itself, but they can in many circumstances spread throughout the building leading to extensive damages or even the complete destruction of a property,” said Douglas Waldie, President of Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters, LLC. “People with homes with fireplaces should take steps to prevent chimney fires from ever occurring.  A properly constructed and clean chimney won’t catch on fire so the number one priority is to prevent the buildup of deposits. To achieve this, the chimney should be regularly inspected and cleaned when a qualified professional indicates it is time to do so.”

If even a small chimney fire occurs that remains isolated from the majority of the home, it can still lead to hidden damages not visible to the homeowner.  Policyholders faced with a chimney fire of any magnitude should consider hiring a qualified and experienced public adjuster. The chimney fire experts from Hudson Douglas Public Adjusters offer their services in Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  They are experienced in identifying hidden damages from small fires and working with policyholders who have suffered a significant or total loss of their home or business.


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