We’ve made it to the other side…

snow storm

I hope this Friday afternoon finds you well and warm, fed, and hydrated. The last week has been challenging for many people all across Texas and several other states as well.

If you’re not in Texas and are watching from a distance… Texans are a strong, resilient bunch and they come together like nowhere else. I first experienced this outpouring of “community” nearly a decade ago when we had wildfires. I have seen so many people stepping up and offering a helping hand when others were struggling and in need. From braving the icy roads in order to rescue families from freezing temperatures to making meals and sharing with neighbors… It’s times like these that make me proud to call Texas home.

For those of you in Texas right now, my hope is that you have your power and water restored and that you and your family are safe.

What comes next is the recovery. Having come from Florida, I know a thing or two about what comes after a natural disaster.
Fortunately, we are on the other side of this storm, but now we need to come together for the next phase of this. Many homes have sustained damage. Many people are unable to close on homes they were supposed to move into because lenders need to be assured that the home is not damaged.

Our director has significant experience in dealing with home insurance issues and has provided the following information for us to share with you.

Ice and snow storms typically cause certain types of damage:

  • Busted water lines.
  • Ice damming on the roof (explained below in boldface).
  • Exterior breaker/fuse boxes being pulled off the wall due to trees falling on electric service lines.
  • Electric masts on roofs being pulled down due to the weight of ice and snow and/or trees falling on electric service lines.
  • Collapse of fences, patio covers, sheds, roofs, etc., due to weight of ice and snow.
  • Refrigerated/frozen food loss (due to power outage).
  • Tree damage (value of trees normally not covered, but damage to physical property (like fences, sheds, homes) is usually covered and some costs associated with removing trees off of damaged property is covered).
  • Roofs are not typically damaged in these storms, but the expansion of ice under shingles and flashing could require some repairs. Also where water gets into the home due to ice damming, roof decking is sometimes damaged by the water.
An ice dam is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home and cause damage to walls, ceilings, insulation, and other areas.

If you have significant damage from busted pipes, consider contacting your insurance agent and asking for the names of 2-3 restoration companies that the insurance company works with regularly.

Restoration companies will handle clean-up, demo, and preparation of an estimate for repairs. They will also help with salvaging, moving, and/or storing personal property items (like furniture, decor, etc.) that might need to be cleaned up and/or moved until repairs are completed. Reputable restoration companies can make the process much smoother for homeowners and often expedite settling the claim and getting the repairs made and paid for.

If you need to have repairs made to electrical lines or plumbing prior to a restoration company or insurance adjuster coming out, encourage them to document the issues with photographs and videos, then keep all receipts related to the repairs to submit to the insurance company.

Whether or not you should file an insurance claim is your judgment call, but it’s a good idea to pull your policy and check your coverages. If you believe the cost of repairs would likely be less than your deductible, you might be better off not filing a claim, but that’s not always the case. You’ll want to speak with your insurance agent to help with that decision.

Inspectors, restoration companies, plumbers, and electricians (and pool repair people) will be in high demand following the storm. I do encourage you to make sure that you are using LICENSED professionals because there will be a lot of people out there that aren’t licensed and may not be the best choice.

Let me know if you have any questions and if there is anything at all that I can do to help you… Whether it’s getting you food, helping you find a warm place to stay, sending some referrals your way for repairs, etc. I’m here to help and support you.

Until next time… keep smiling… be kind… and stay safe out there 🙂


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