Insurance makes us all feel safe. When you pay that check every month, you exhale knowing that your investment is protected. But could you have a gap in your coverage? Many homeowners assume that they are protected against any unforeseen mishaps with their home or property, but then find they have been sadly mistaken when it comes time to make a claim.
There are many ways a gap in coverage could throw a wrench in your home repairs. No matter where the gap is, the result will be the same: you will find insurance will not cover the full cost of the work you need done, and the rest will come from your pocket.
Protecting Everything Against Hail
As Coloradans, we all know that we need wind and hail protection in our policy. What isn’t always obvious is that unless each individual structure on your property is specifically listed on your policy, it may not be covered. If you have a tool shed, a guest house, or a picturesque gazebo in the backyard, it is of course subject to hail and wind damage but may not be subject to the same protections as your house. Check your policy to ensure that when the storm passes, you can get everything back in order, whether it’s your house or an auxiliary structure.
Changing Building Codes
Another hidden gap that snags repairs pertains to changing building codes. Code coverage is an option that you may not know you need until your contractor tells you that your repairs actually require an upgrade. Many policies only cover reinstating your home to its original condition, but the law in your area may require making the necessary improvements to bring it up to the current codes, regardless of what code the structure was originally built for. Only code coverage ensures that your repairs will be covered no matter what additional upgrades are required.
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention
Your policy is meant to protect you in case of unfortunate events. It will not protect you against preventable damages that set in over time. Mold and other kinds of slow acting deterioration are the homeowner’s responsibility to prevent and stay on top of. Your policy will likely not offer any reimbursement for mold or rot damage, or even falling branches from an old or sickly tree.
ACV or RVC?
Finally, one thing we can’t do anything about is depreciation. The fine print of your insurance policy likely refers to ACV or RCV, which stand for actual cash value and replacement cost value, respectively. These are just what they sound like: ACV protection takes into account how much your home or property has depreciated and subtracts that from what it costs you to actually replace your property. RCV protection will give you the actual amount that you need to replace your property regardless of depreciation.
Insurance policies are certainly not light reading, but it is worth taking a close look at your own to make sure that you don’t have a gap in coverage that could catch you off guard later on. A little research now can save you from a big headache later, or at least from a nasty surprise.
Barbecue, baseball, camping— just a few things we love about summer. But, if you’re like most Coloradans, you know it’s also hail season. With hail season comes a lot of uncertainty, and a lot of inconveniences if your home needs repairs. So, what is the best way to be prepared for hail season and protect yourself from any unnecessary aggravation?
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to simply avoid hail if a storm heads your way. You can’t move your house into a garage or move your things out of the path of a storm. Checking the weather frequently and taking pressure and temperature measurements aren’t going to make a difference in the fate of your house’s exterior. What you can do is be proactive about the upkeep of your home, choose quality materials, and protect yourself with good insurance coverage on your property.
You know the saying: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure—the same is true for the maintenance of your house. Hail and wind can do a lot of damage, but the better shape your property is in before the storm hits, the better it will fare during the storm. It is important to have your roof, siding, gutters, windows, and paint checked out for any existing damage or wear and tear you may not have noticed from the previous year. This can be exacerbated in a storm and lead to more severe and costly problems, turning even a relatively minor storm into a major problem. Also, many insurance policies will stipulate how long after the date of the storm you have to file a claim in order for coverage to apply.
Installing impact resistant shingles and siding is a wonderful option to mitigate the damage of hail storms. Most roofs can withstand small hail storms, but we all know that Colorado occasionally gets hit by much more than a few small grains of ice. An impact resistant shingle is designed to absorb the hits of falling ice and has a much better chance of making it through a major storm. Also, ensuring the seals, flashing and caps on your roof are intact and not cracked will prevent any water intrusions into your home, avoiding costly interior repairs.
Perhaps more important than any of this is having insurance so that in the event of major damage, you and your family will be covered. At Genesis Total Exteriors, we have in-house insurance specialists who are ready to work with your insurance company to make sure that no matter what the damage, it gets fixed as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. We will evaluate the damage ourselves before insurance even gets involved to make sure your house is up and running as soon as possible. Call 303-679-8509 to book your FREE estimate!
With springtime now in full swing, there are plenty of tips and lessons to keep in mind for getting your home exterior ready to enjoy the months of sunny weather to come. At Genesis Total Exteriors we have years of experience building, improving and maintaining homes in the Denver area. Our contractors know the ins and outs of what it takes to keep your house looking great and working efficiently, and an important place to start is with your gutters and drainage systems. As we gear up for more spring showers and rain throughout the summer months, here are some of the most important reasons to maintain your gutters, downspouts and drainage paths.
HELPING YOUR ROOF
Genesis Total Exteriors prides itself on installing long lasting roofs for our customers. One of the most important things that homeowners can do to extend the longevity of their roofs is to make sure that all of their gutters are working properly. Gutters and water drainage systems are the first line of defense against wear and tear on the top of your home. Proper water runoff away from the edges of your house will ensure that there is no standing water at the top of exterior walls, which can lead to unnecessary wear and tear on your roof due to cracking, warping, moss and mildew. If your gutter system is incomplete, leaking, or simply too old to do its job, our contractors will be happy to do any repairs or installation to bring it up to date. This will do wonders to extend the life of your roof, which is one of the biggest expenditures for every homeowner.
PAINT AND SIDING
Going hand-in-hand with the protection of your roof, gutters are a key to maintaining the integrity of the exterior walls of your home. The less that your home’s siding—whether it be natural hardwood, vinyl panels or brick—comes in contact with water the better. Water that splashes over gutters, trickles out of cracked downspouts and rolls over eaves is always going to deteriorate the outside of your home. Paint will be more likely to flake and crack, brick will become dirty and moldy, while vinyl siding can warp and darken. All of these problems can be avoided with the installation of a modern drainage system from Genesis Total Exteriors. We specialize in gutter systems that deal with heavy snow and ice buildup that accumulates during Colorado winters.
ELIMINATE STANDING WATER
Apart from an outdoor pool or a scenic pond, standing water is never a good thing to have around your home. Not only do small basins of water provide a breeding ground for pesky mosquitoes and other insects, they can also cause damage. Water that collects around your foundation is likely to cause deterioration to concrete, and becomes a greater problem when leaking into lower levels of your home or basements. The longer that water sits near the base of your home, the greater risk there is of mildew and mold on the inside. Genesis makes it a priority to not only install properly working gutter systems, but also to update runoff drains to ensure that standing water is not an issue even following heavy storms.