Rainwater damage may cause serious structural or cosmetic issues to buildings and other structures. Most rainwater damage is caused due to leaking roofs, leaking decks or old window & door seals. The roofs, decks, windows & door seals may leak due to a sudden or accidental even (i.e. wind damage, tree falling on the house) or due to maintenance issues. Maintaining the roof, decks, windows & doors may reduce the chance of rainwater damage to buildings.
Cleaning the roof valleys and gutters before the rainy season may be one of the most simplest steps to take in order to prevent a possible rainwater leak through the roof. The debris on the roof can create obstacles for rainwater and prevent it from quickly draining off the roof. The slow draining of the rainwater from roof surface can contribute to leaks. Sometimes rainwater damage may occur unnoticed (if it is inside the walls or in the attic). The unnoticed/ not visible rainwater damage may potentially contribute to mold growth in the building.
Decks usually leak through the cracked seals. Painting the deck surface, or resealing the deck can prevent rainwater leaks/ rainwater damage.
The seals on the windows and doors become old and eventually fail due to the exposure to the elements over a period of time. The windows and doors may need to be inspected before rainy season to identify the potential problems and to repair them in order to prevent rainwater damage.
Most insurance policies have certain criteria and conditions which must be met in order for the rainwater damage to be covered under the policy. For example, the rainwater damage that occurred due to lack of maintenance may not be covered under the policy; but the rainwater damage that occurred due to a sudden or unexpected event, it may be covered under the policy. The classic example of a covered rainwater damage claim would be if the wind damaged the roof and rainwater leaked in to the house through the damaged roof.
The property owner should hire a licensed contractor to perform claim related repairs. During the claim related repairs, some additional code upgrade related repairs may be needed. Most policies have code upgrade coverage or Ordinance and Law Coverage. This coverage is very important for older buildings. The older buildings may need to upgrade the damaged items to comply with the most recent codes.
A public adjuster may assist the policyholder in dealing with their insurance company and any other parties who are involved in the claims process and the repairs.
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