Top 10 things your insurance company doesn't want you to know when filing for your Denver hail damage claim for gutter damage
May 8: the hailstorm that raged over west metro Denver is the costliest ever, racking up to $1.4 billion in damages. That’s three times more expensive than the state’s most damaging wildfire. An insurance industry trade group estimates more than 150,000 auto claims will be filed, in addition to 50,000 homeowner’s insurance claims. While their estimate might be conservative, it’s likely to climb on the dollar scale.
While hailstorms are an act of God, they shouldn’t have any effect on your premium. Make sure you have comprehensive auto coverage to safeguard your finances if an event like this ever happens again. If it’s your house, and it comes down from the sky, you’ll most likely be covered. These are some points to cover to make sure your insurance claim goes as smoothly as possible.
1. Hailstorm damage: Make sure you’ve documented everything. Save every receipt and record every phone call - your insurance company does not want to know that you’ve taken all the necessary steps to protect yourself.
2. Take photographs of the hail damage. Don’t rely on the adjuster to take the photographs, taking photographic evidence of everything that happened can be a huge help when filing your claim.
3. Start your hail damage claims process early. The sooner you start your claims process, the better. The backlog of servicing that’s likely to happen can add frustrating delays from just getting the adjuster scheduled to finishing the actual repairs.
4. Ensure necessary hail damage repairs are made immediately. If the hail destroyed your skylight, replace it so interior of your house below it will be protected if this ever happens again. Check your windows, wood fences, chimney, gas vent, and outdoor HVAC system, too.
5. Select a smart damage deductible. Your insurance company would love to charge you as much a they can after this “act of God,” but don’t let them: when you signed up for this insurance, hopefully you’ve selected a high deductible to cover just about everything. If the damage is below the cost of your deductible, you’ll be paying out of pocket for the repairs.
6. Check your gutters immediately after the storm. Rather than conducting the risky roof inspection yourself, hire a professional gutter contractor to tell you how severe the hail damage was.
7. Look at outdoor equipment. Make sure you’ve inspected your grill, gazebos or children’s play sets.
8. Ask neighbors about their hail damage. If their property had different damage than you did, maybe you’ll be interested in checking that same thing out at your house. Also, your local TV station should explain the damage in the area more.
9. Check your automobile. If your car was outside during the May 8th hailstorm, you’ll likely be victim to a totaled car because of damage to the exterior, the windows/glass, or any plastic surfaces. Make sure to check your car for any noticeable issues.
10. Find a reputable gutter contractor. Following these occurrences, scams have become all the rage. Rather than signing a contract with the first guy who knocks on your door, find a reputable contactor for the work you’d like done.
Colorado Seamless Gutters has been providing gutter cleaning and repair services to the Denver Metro area for over 30 years. Contact us today to set up your inspection and gutter cleaning or repair services.
If you live in Denver, then you are no stranger to hailstorms. These sudden yet common occurrences can be anywhere from a mild annoyance to a damaging deluge of ice particles raining from the sky. In fact, according to data from the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association (which monitors this stuff for insurance companies), Colorado has the second highest amount of claims in the country, right after Texas.
But how much damage can hail do? Well, as it turns out, a significant amount. According to that same data, Colorado experiences around four catastrophic (rated as $25 million or more in damages) hailstorms per year, which can add up to a lot of money.
2017 Hail Storm
That all pales in comparison, however, to the most recent storm that hit Denver this year. On May 8th, the skies opened up and released a swarm of gigantic, baseball-sized hail stones that pummeled the area as residents struggled to avoid getting hit by falling ice. It was so thick and so bad that even Coors Field was completely covered in hail, giving the stadium a white blanket of ice.
Considering that Denver is used to this sort of thing, this storm should be much like the others of previous years, right? Well, it turns out that this one set a record for the most damage done in a single hailstorm. Back in July of 2009, a storm hit the area and cost taxpayers about $767 million dollars. This year, that number swelled to about 1.4 billion. Even when adjusted for inflation, the 2009 storm still cost much less than this one, running about $850 million if it happened today. As you can see, it’s obvious that this one was far more devastating than storms of old.
Colorado Front Range Storm Causes and Effects
So why the extra damage? What was so special about this storm that made it the worst in the city’s history? Well, there are a few different reasons that contributed to the lasting effect of the storm. First, the size of the stones was a major factor, as they were far larger than storms past. Although the largest one on record was only 2.75 inches (according to the National Weather Service), there were plenty of larger stones found by residents in the aftermath.
Second, the cost of repairs is much higher than it used to be. As we upgrade to nicer accommodations and vehicles, it is going to take a lot more money to fix them. Considering that the storm happened during peak rush hour, that meant that a lot of cars were out on the road that suffered minor to severe damage. Most of it was related to broken windshields and windows, but there were also plenty of dents and scratches that had to be mended as well. In fact, from this single storm, over 150,000 claims were made for cars alone.
Finally, the other contributor to this being the worst storm (financially) in history is that Denver has been experiencing a population boom. More and more people are flocking to the city and the surrounding areas of Lakewood, Golden, and Westminster, to name a few. This influx of new residents means that there are a lot more people affected by the storm, whereas just a decade ago the numbers were much lower.
Unfortunately, this all adds up to a troubling sign of the times. Considering that only one of these factors could potentially change (having a storm at night or during non-peak traffic hours), it seems that the residents of Colorado are going to have to face a higher cost of living as insurance for this kind of damage will only increase. Most likely the Denver area will suffer even more damage in the future, which means that this record will be broken sooner rather than later.
What to Do in a Hail Storm
So, what can you do to prepare yourself? Well, unfortunately, there is not a lot you can do for your car, as most manufacturers don’t offer extra protection from blocks of ice. However, for your home, you can invest in impact-resistant roofing and thicker windows and gutter protection systems that could sustain damage without having to be replaced immediately.
If you’re caught out in a storm, be sure to find cover and pull off the road if you are in your car. The ice will make conditions much more slippery than usual, so it’s best to pull off as soon as possible rather than trying to make it under cover. If your car is at an angle, then it will direct most of the stones toward the windshield, which is stronger than the rest of the windows. Also, keep your back to the glass in case it does break so that you don’t get injured from it.
Overall, if you live in Denver or its surrounding neighborhoods, preparing for hail is simply a fact of life. The more you can do to protect yourself the better off you’ll be in the long run
Repairing a gutter system takes a lot of work that no amount of duct tape could fix. Depending on the extent of the damage, entire gutter systems may need to be replaced. Other times, the problem can be fixed by resealing or re-securing the gutter. In any case, the first step to solving your gutter problem is figuring out what the problem is in the first place.
Signs That Your Gutter Needs Fixing
You never realize how essential your gutter is until it stops working. Before you know it, your gutter is sloshing water in places it shouldn’t be sloshed. The gutter doesn’t quite get the credit it deserves. A beautiful roof and a well-kept lawn add value to your property, but a non-functioning gutter can create a pool of costly problems.
When your gutter is working the way it should, water is neatly diverted. Without a gutter, water runs straight off the roof, eroding your soil and staining your exterior walls. A faulty gutter can cause foundation and structural issues, and if left unattended, can cause leaks inside the home. Water might be good for you, but it’s not so great for a home that’s meant to be warm and dry.
If you’ve noticed land erosion, that’s a sign that your gutter is in need of repair.
When to Repair
If the damage in your gutter is localized to a couple of sections or less, you can probably get away with replacing just those segments while keeping the rest of your gutter intact. Sometimes rust creates small holes or cracks that don’t allow the water to flow the way it should. If you spot a small hole, patch it as soon as you can. Be sure to patch it with a metal flashing that matches the gutter material. Sealing up small holes and cracks can save you from having to replace an entire gutter section that has been largely rusted through.
If a gutter joint or seam is leaking, make sure that the two connecting sections are fastened correctly. You can fix loose hangers by tightening them with a drill, but if the hangers are bent, they’ll probably need to be replaced. Hiring a professional is going to save you money, time, and energy.
When to Replace
If your gutter is maintained, you can probably catch small problems before they get out of hand. Unfortunately, some of these small problems are easily missed, and before you know it, large parts of your gutter are goners. Rust is an irreversible process If you’ve several rust spots throughout your gutter system, it might be worthwhile to replace the system altogether.
If your gutter hangers are just hanging on for dear life, it might be time to replace your gutter. A loose hanger can sometimes be fixed by fastening the screws, but if the fascia boards are rotting or deteriorating, you’ll probably need to get a gutter contractor in to fix the issue.
A sagging pitch is not usually something that can be “repaired” without starting from scratch. By hiring a gutter contractor, you can get new gutters installed that are correctly pitched so water is diverted properly.
There are many other reasons why hiring a gutter contractor to come and diagnosis your gutter problem might be worthwhile. Some other issues including water damage, denting or buckling, will likely require full-on gutter replacement.
Search no further than Denver Metro's Colorado Seamless Gutters. We can diagnose and offer solutions to fix your gutter system. If your gutter needs to be replaced, our gutter contractors can get you a sturdy and efficient gutter system that keeps your home and lawn water-damage free.
Colorado loves to flaunt its seasonal weather. Rain, snow, hail, and strong winds bring heavy winters and lush springs, and beautiful weather in between, but the elements take a serious toll on residential gutter systems. You can replace rusted sections or patch them up, but doing so requires frequent upkeep and financial investment. Rust is irreversible, and replacement is usually the only way to fix the problem.
What type of gutters are people investing in that aren’t as efficient?