Your First Choice For Commercial Restoration
When your commercial property has been damaged, time and money are of utmost importance when considering the best way to approach the repair. After any severe storm or catastrophe the damage has to be thoroughly inspected by a trained professional to assure you that your property is brought back to like-new condition and that you are made whole by your insurance company.
Damage to roofing materials including membranes, spray foam, cap sheets, parapet wall flashing, soft metals, shingles, etc, can be caused by wind-drive hail as small as 3/4" in diameter. Damages often require extensive investigation & testing to include core samples and membrane cut-outs. It is unusual for hail damages to cause immediate malfunction or leaking so do not allow a leak to be your standard for seeking help. If large hail hits your property, you should call. There is a limited window of time to report damages to one's insurance carrier and still reasonably expect coverage. Most hail damage causes failure over time and warrants replacement based on a reduced life span. Building codes generally require all layers to be removed prior to the installation of new roofing materials. Insurance policies generally cover replacement of the entire assembly to include bringing it up to current building code specifications but expect a lengthy adjusting process to include the possibility of Arbitration and the input of an engineer hired by your insurance company.
Damage to roof-top heating & air conditioning assemblies is usually evident at first glance. Crushed condenser coil fins, broken seals, dented or missing rain caps, etc. are often regarded as minimal; marginally decreasing the efficiency of the assembly. However, the extent of the problems that the damages will cause you and your business are usually not fully known for weeks, months, or even years. Usually, at the point of failure, it us unreasonable to expect an insurance company to pay for repair or replacement. For this reason it is important to identify and document these issues at the time you make your Claim.
Flooding or Collapse. Hailstorms usually carry high winds and tremendous amounts of precipitation. It is not uncommon for large hailstones to clog the scuppers and roof drains on a commercial flat roof causing the water to 'pond'. This rapid and extreme water weight increase can overcome even the best roofing assemblies or framing members. Large falling hailstones can injure or kill you so unclogging your roof drainage systems during a hailstorm storm is NOT reasonable and cannot be considered a failure to maintain your property. Documenting the damage IMMEDIATELY after the loss is essential though. Any time a large hailstorm hits your commercial property you should have it inspected as soon as possible. If your property has a flat roof, you should have someone on the roof taking pictures of your drainage areas BEFORE the hailstones melt. The alternative could be a long and brutal battle with your insurance company.
Building Exteriors are often the most under-evaluated feature of a commercial property when it comes to repairs. Chipped paint, cracked windows, dented signage, gouged fences, dented overhead doors, broken light fixtures etc. take a lot of time and legwork to properly inspect, estimate, and repair. The main reason for this is that the damage can be subtle and figuring out the correct method of repair can be challenging. For instance, if stucco walls have chips or stress fractures from hailstone impact they may be repairable with sealant or a small patch. However, in order to gain a uniform appearance and restore the stucco to the condition it was in before the storm (un-patched) it may need to be demolished and re-applied in its entirety. Another issue is how each exterior component affects others when disassembled. For example, if there is siding to replace, what protrusions need to be removed and re-installed? How will this affect power and communications services? If the property is a retail location or warehouse, how will the renovations affect floor traffic and profits? There is a lot to consider and generally speaking, insurance adjusters can identify individually damaged components but have little or no experience pulling everything apart and putting it back together. Utilizing our Urgent Response, Estimating, Claims Processing, Legal, Production, and Quality Assurance teams will definitely make a substantial difference in the outcome of your Claim.
High winds can wreak havoc on your commercial property because quite often, the damage is not detected in a timely manner because wind damage can be quite subtle. For instance, high winds may separate a flashing from a wall allowing wind-driven rain to infiltrate your property and start rotting out a wall (subtle) or half the shingles may blow off your roof overnight (evident). Either way, identifying the Date of Loss can be a challenge if your commercial property is not regularly inspected and maintained. If you suspect that your building was exposed to high winds (50mph or more) it is a good idea to have it inspected right away by a professional. We can document the damage and provide temporary repairs until a permanent repair is agreed to with your insurance company.
Fires are the most challenging Loss that a property owner can experience. Fire kills, maims, and causes emotional trauma. It destroys structure, inventory, records, and essential computer & communications equipment. Fire displaces occupants and causes direct and indirect losses that often exceed insurance coverage. In fact, if not properly managed, recovering from a commercial property fire could put you out of business.
Preparing for emergencies is a good business practice and especially useful when considering the possibility of a fire. Understanding that the majority of commercial property damage and deaths are caused by fires that were set intentionally means that you can be proactive about protecting your property. Reducing clutter, installing a sprinkler system, using a monitored fire & burglar alarm, installing ample exterior lighting, and maintaining access to the building are some of the best ways you can protect your structure. If you conduct business within your commercial property, you need to consider how your business will continue to function if you have a fire. Consider records, communications, finance, logistics - everything that is a part of your enterprise. Keeping excellent business records NOW means that you can better substantiate losses to your insurance company in the event of a fire. If your business is driven by your customers, ensure that you have the means to quickly and easily maintain communication with them if you are displaced. For instance, a restaurant that takes 14 months to rebuild is going to struggle to maintain its customer base. Re-opening after a year and a half could be a disaster. Rather, take action to sustain contact with your clientele and consider relocating your business temporarily or permanently.
How you respond to a fire is critical. Many insurance companies have comprehensive programs designed to help you meet the challenges associated with a structural fire. The wisest thing that you can do is pass off the majority of the associated "busy work" and decisions to a close friend, colleague or attorney. Recognize that you may be emotionally compromised by the loss and likely to regret decisions that you make in the heat of the moment. Make sure that you involve your friends, colleagues, and associates right away and do not rush into any decisions. Property owners who rush into action and try to handle things on their own usually end up pursuing a counterintuitive agenda.
Most markets have limited choices when it comes to choosing a restoration contractor. Many insurance companies have 'preferred contractor' programs that are geared toward getting someone to work on your behalf as soon as possible. Pricing structures have usually been pre-agreed and contractors have demonstrated that they have the capacity to perform the work. There are several phases that are crucial to properly restoring your property which may require independent companies for mitigation, demolition, design, and construction depending upon who you hire:
Water damage is invasive and very difficult to properly identify and scope. A small leak at a plumbing vent in the roof of an apartment building can become a bulging wall three floors down in just a short period of time. Preventive maintenance and keeping open lines of communication with your tenants and building occupants can eliminate half the causes of water damage.
Water damage can be caused by flooding, tornados, fire suppression, broken pipes, improper construction, ice damming, condensation, siding and/or roof leaks, mechanical failure, septic/sewer back-up and more. For this reason it is crucial (just as with hail and wind damage) to isolate the cause/entry point and Date of Loss prior to involving your insurance company. Proper investigation is the key. This includes a thorough inspection using cameras, bright lights, moisture meters and more. Just as important is subsequent communication with your insurance company. We choose our words wisely as should you. For instance, it would be toxic for you to tell your insurance company that a ceiling "collapsed" because "collapse" is exclusionary language used in most insurance policies. Using the wrong words can quickly result in the denial of your claim. It would be much better, for instance, to say that "part of the ceiling fell onto the carpet". As a commercial property owner you are best served by 'coaching' when it comes to dealing with water damage. In spite of your excellent negotiating skills and business background, there is specialized knowledge that you simply lack. Bringing expert help in to deal with water damage will protect your bottom line and free up your schedule to deal with' business as usual'.