Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Roof Repair or Replacment

The cost of re-roofing is something no one wants to think about, but every roof—at some point—will need to be repaired or replaced. The best defense is to conduct regular checks on the roof surface and be mindful of its performance. Discovering minor problems today could mean the difference between repair and replacement tomorrow.
The good news is that you needn’t climb on your roof to assess its condition...We can do it for you for FREE! Just because your roof isn’t leaking inside your home, doesn’t mean you don't have a problem. It's best to have it checked annually, but especially after a bad hail storm.
Here are some indications you need to look for to know when your roof needs attention:
• Water in your attic after heavy rain or ice buildup.
• Cracked, curling, missing or loose shingles.
• Noticeable shingle decay; mold or mildew growth.
• Visible stains on interior walls or ceilings.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The recent wave of roofing scammers!

The Denver Better Business Bureau is warning consumers who were working with Green Star Construction who had many complaints from people needing roof repairs. It has been reported that they have taken payments from over a dozen home owners, and never begun any work. Currently, the owner Anthony Marquez has not responded to the BBB on some of the 2014 complaints.

In another roofing scams this summer, the Colorado Attorney General has indicted five men for offering homeowners in Arapahoe, Boulder, Delta, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa, Monroe, and Ouray counties extremely low prices for roofing work, and even beginning work on some homes without permission.  Then, they inflated the final price claiming that extra work was needed. One man reportedly paid more than 24,000 for work far below standards.

Please be aware that by Colorado Senate Bill 38, roofing companies can’t pay, waive, or reimburse homeowners for their insurance deductible.  Legitimate roofing and construction companies are definitely losing money due to companies operating outside the law, and offering to pay insurance deductibles.

Before you decide to do business with a roofing or construction company consider the following:

1.      Ask to see their business license & insurance, make sure they have these!
2.      Always check them out on the BBB!
3.      Learn about the company
4.      Ask for referrals
5.      Insist on a written contract for everything
6.      Never prepay for services, usually ½ down when signing a contract and ½ upon completion is normal practice. But you can negotiate and do ½ down when materials are dropped & ½ down upon completion. If a contractor won’t work with you then don’t use them.
7.      If an offer looks to be good to be true like the example above, investigate it thoroughly. It probably is.
8.      Don’t be rushed into a decision. Say “No Thank You” when pressured by a contractor to sign now in order to get a discount or a deal.

If you are having trouble getting information about a company, you can contact the Colorado Secretary of State at (303) 894-2200 or look up a business at: www.sos.state.co.us/biz/BusinessEntityCriteriaExt.do

 CJ Restoration is happy to give you a second opinion, or answer questions about an offer from another company. Feel free to call us (303) 690-9253 with any question about any damage you may have on your roof or home.

<a href="http://www.fixr.com/sp.cj-restoration.html">CJ RESTORATION</a>

Monday, June 2, 2014

Tips for Filing a Claim

The old Boy Scout motto “Be prepared” should certainly be applied to homeowner’s insurance as well. Knowing what you need to do and having clear, well-rehearsed steps to follow in case your home is burglarized, damaged, or destroyed will give you that much more confidence as you begin the home insurance claims process. After all, in the stress that follows a burglary, severe storm, or fire involving your home, being knowledgeable about the claims process can help you keep a level head in the midst of it all.

Is It Worth It to File a Claim?

Before filing a claim, ask yourself if doing so is really worth it in the long term. Your home insurance cost could rise significantly after filing a claim, which could impact your long-term finances for years. Filing too many claims can even lead your insurance company to cancel your policy, and make it difficult to get insured through other companies. If your home only sustains minor damage from a storm or only a few valuables are stolen after a home break-in, evaluate whether it is a good idea to file a claim with your insurance company. Sometimes it’s better to pay for the cost of repairs or replacement out of pocket rather than face a higher home insurance cost down the road.
“Consider the value of your claim,” said Rich Roesler, a spokesperson for the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner. “Insurers consider your claims history when deciding whether to insure you or whether to renew your insurance policy. Make sure your claim is worthwhile. You might want to consider paying for the claim yourself if the damage is only slightly higher than your deductible. If you have catastrophic damage, and you’re looking at thousands and thousands of dollars of damage in repair bills, you might want to file a claim.”
Some experts recommend not filing a claim unless the repair costs are three times that of your home insurance deductible.

Document Everything

If you already took a thorough inventory of your belongings after purchasing home insurance, filing home insurance claims will proceed much more smoothly. You can simply refer to your personal inventory list when taking stock of what is missing or damaged. It’s a smart move to back this information up online in the event that your carefully crafted inventory list gets burnt to a crisp along with your belongings in a home fire. You should also back up all copies of receipts for your belongings online, particularly for your more expensive purchases, such as appliances, furniture, rugs, curtains, or flooring, including photos of these items as well.
After a peril takes place, Roesler recommends walking through your damaged home with a video camera, recording every last bit of the damage. Taking photos of the damage is also helpful to your insurance company, particularly if you have “before” photos of your home that you can use as a comparison. Keeping copies of your own photos or video footage of the damage could be helpful as evidence if you ever need to dispute facts in your claim later on, as they can help you prove the extent of your home’s damage or loss. If possible, jot down serial numbers and model numbers of appliances and other household equipment.
If you are not prepared with a detailed personal inventory of your belongings, you will have to go room by room through your home and write down any items that are damaged, destroyed, or lost after a covered peril. If your home was a total loss due to fire or other unforeseen circumstances, you will have no other option but to recall your items from memory, a predicament you do not want to find yourself in. If you did not keep an inventory of your belongings or receipts to prove the value of your property, you may be able to reconstruct proof of your purchases by looking at old credit card and bank statements, Roesler suggests, but such a process is arduous and generally only worth it for big-ticket items such as flat-screen televisions.

File Immediately

Once you have decided you have a worthwhile home insurance claim on your hands, call your insurance company or insurance agent immediately to begin the claims process. Remember that home insurance companies reserve the right to deny your claim in some instances if it is not filed in a timely manner.
When filing a claim, cooperate fully with your insurance company and thoroughly answer all questions so that your claim can be processed quickly. Some common questions you must answer are the approximate time and date the damage occurred, how the damage happened, and what was damaged. Your insurance company will assign you a claims adjuster, whose job is to investigate the facts of your claim and determine how much the insurance company is responsible for paying out to cover your claim.
If your claim involves damage or loss from crimes like vandalism, theft, or a home burglary, you will need to file a police report as well. Your insurance company may request a copy of this police report for their files. Other items your insurance company will request are receipts showing how much you paid for items that are missing or damaged, or any other evidence you have that proves the value of the items lost. Typically, you’ll speak with one claims adjuster over the course of your claim, but for more complex claims, you may speak with more than one, Roesler said. Because you may talk to several people concerning your claim, it’s important to keep a record of these conversations.
“Keep a journal handy,” Roesler said. “Any time you speak with someone concerning your claim, write down who you talked to, when you talked to them, and what you talked about. This record comes in handy later if issues come up regarding the claim.”
Along the way, if you need advice on home insurance claims, you can contact your state’s department of insurance. Each state department of insurance will have consumer services staff on hand who can answer any questions you have about the claims process and offer home insurance claims advice.

Do Not Make (Significant) Repairs Yourself

While you do have some responsibility to make temporary repairs to protect your home from further damage, it’s important not to make permanent repairs or throw out any damaged items until after your insurance adjuster has surveyed the damage.
Temporary repairs might involve putting a tarp over a hole in your roof to prevent rain from entering your home if your roof was seriously damaged in a storm, or putting plywood over broken windows after a home break-in. You may even want to mop up excess water after flood damage. Just do not arrange for any serious repairs until your claims adjuster has seen the extent of the damage.
“With storm damage, which leads to water penetration and mold damage, you often get people wanting to get rid of things and throw everything that was damaged out right away,” Roesler said. “But if you throw it out, there’s no way to prove you had that stuff. Wait until the claims adjuster gets there before you start doing major repairs. If you feel like you need to make more significant repairs to prevent more damage from occurring, at a minimum, talk to your insurance company first and ask what you should do.”
If you do make some temporary repairs to your home, be sure to keep receipts for supplies you purchased for the job. Some insurance companies cover such expenses. “You very well may be able to be reimbursed for that without it applying to your deductible,” Roesler added.

Get a Second Opinion for Repairs

Many homeowners find themselves needing to hire a contractor to make repairs after their home is damaged. Once the first contractor has given you an estimate for repairs, we recommend getting a second opinion, since prices can be drastically different among contractors. Depending on the state you live in, you may be able to choose your own contractor to get the job done, rather than using the contractor selected for you by your insurance company, Roesler indicated. However, going with a contractor your insurance company recommends may expedite the process.
“You may want to be open to the contractors your insurance company recommends just to speed things up,” Roesler said. “But don’t be afraid to go to the insurer and say, ‘I know this person ó they do good work, and I want them to be my contractor instead.’ Don’t be afraid to talk to your insurance company about any contractors you prefer to use.”

Inspection Is Always Required

The claims adjuster who is assigned to your claim by your insurance company will pay a visit to your home to inspect the damage that has taken place. Claims adjusters may be employees of your insurer or independent contractors, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Consumer’s Guide to Home Insurance. The insurance adjuster investigates what happened, the cause of the damage, and why the damage took place. After assessing the damages, the adjuster will determine how much your insurance company needs to pay to cover your claim, the NAIC guide indicates.
After the claims adjuster evaluates the loss, he or she will explain to you what losses, if any, are covered by your home insurance policy. The claims adjuster essentially interprets the wording in your home insurance policy and applies it to what they have discovered in the investigation, according to IRMI. The claims adjuster can also help you prove your loss to your insurance company.
It’s important to stay one step ahead of your claims adjuster. For example, before you do so much as mop up a mess after severe weather strikes your home, take up-close photos and video of the damage so that there will always be a record of the severity of the damage from the very beginning. Be proactive in your communication with your claims adjuster, bringing things to their attention as you lead them through your home. Your claims adjuster will also photograph the scene of the damage or loss, but in the event of a dispute over facts, it’s important to maintain your own photos and footage.
As with all other communications with your home insurance company, keep records of all correspondence with your claims adjuster in case you need to file a complaint or lawsuit down the road. If you disagree with your claims adjuster’s take on your home’s damage, it may help to have your contractor meet with you and the adjuster, the NAIC guide suggests.

Don’t Let Your Insurer Dictate the Claim Settlement

During the claims process, your responsibility is to prove to your insurance company that your home or personal property has sustained a covered peril. If you feel like you have satisfactorily proven to your insurance company that you have suffered a loss, and yet are not satisfied with your claim settlement, you are not forced to grit your teeth and accept the offer. You have options.
If you are unable to resolve the issues you have with your claim settlement with your home insurance company, you can contact your state’s insurance department and see if they can help you resolve the issue. You can also file a complaint with your state’s department of insurance if your claim is unreasonably delayed or denied. Your state’s insurance department is responsible for regulating the insurance industry in your state, as well as enforcing your state’s home insurance laws. These departments have the authority to take action against an insurance company that is not holding up its end of the bargain involving an insurance policy or that is not responding to your claim in a timely manner.
Another recourse you have is hiring a public adjuster to give a second opinion involving your home insurance claim. These professionals will assess the damage to your home and provide a valuation of the loss. Unlike a company claims adjuster, who tends to have the best interests of their employing insurance company at heart, public adjusters tend to have the interest of the property owner at heart.
However, it’s important to make sure that any public adjuster you hire is licensed to work in your state if your state regulates these professionals. We have licensed public adjusters on staff to help you! For more info contact us or go to : www.cjrestoration.com for more information.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Not to Say...

Filing a Claim? What Not to Say...

People usually aren't clear and focused when they file an insurance claim. And who can blame them? The claim usually follows a bad incident, like an accident or a flood. But you can make some serious mistakes, and lose out on some big money, if you say the wrong thing to an insurance company.
The good news? It doesn't have to be that way. Use the following tips when filing an insurance claim.
Don't flood the zone, Insurance companies have their own definition of a flood. Just because your finished basement is under six inches of water because of a busted sump pump doesn't mean the insurer considers it a flood.
Review your insurance policy thoroughly to see what your insurer will pay out for water damage. In general, insurance companies deem a flood as water damage from overflow of a nearby river, lake or rain/hail storm. Better to use the term water damage, us the information from your insurance policy on water damage.
Keep your opinions to yourself! Victims of an accident, flood, fire, storm or other actionable incident can easily chatter their way out of a claim. For example, if you're not sure a home fire started in the oven or on the stove, don't venture a guess. Be like a police detective, keep to the facts and only if you're sure you know what those facts are. If you don't, then better to say nothing at all. It's much better to say "I don't know" than to venture a guess that can be held against you later.
Don't admit guilt, Insurance companies will use all the leverage they can to avoid paying out on a claim. So if the first thing you say is "I did it" or "I apologize" an insurer can use that as an admission of guilt ... or more specifically, an admission of fault. It's best to stick to the facts and only those you know for sure. Don't offer up any commentary on fault or responsibility.
In general, the less you say, the better, when it comes to insurance claims. When you do talk, make sure what you say is backed up by the facts.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Recovering from Hail Storm Damage

holes in siding on house

Stay Safe in the Storm First of All!

Hail can occur in any strong thunderstorm, which means it is a threat everywhere. When hail hits, it can shred roof coverings and cause water damage to your ceilings, walls, floors, appliances and personal possessions. Knowing which roof coverings resist impact well can save you trouble and money.

Know your limits
Most roofing jobs are not for the do-it-yourselfer. Unless you have experience in replacing roof coverings, hire a professional roofing contractor.
Before you reroof, check with your local building officials about local building codes.

Understand your roof covering
If you are replacing your old, worn-out roof covering with new asphalt shingles, make sure they have a Class 4 rating under Underwriters Laboratories' (UL) 2218 standard. A Class 4 rating tells you a sample of the products did not crack when hit twice in the same area by a two-inch steel ball.

The UL 2218 standard is a useful method for testing impact resistance, but it isn't perfect and works better for some roof coverings than for others. The UL standard measures whether a product cracks under impact. Some roof coverings, particularly some made of metal, may resist cracking, but can be dented and dimple.

So, while they test well, they may perform poorly in practice. Keep this in mind when using the UL standard to gauge the quality of a roof covering.

Stay safe in the storm
If you are indoors when a storm with large hailstones strikes, stay there. Because large pieces of hail can shatter windows, close your drapes, blinds or window shades to prevent the wind from blowing broken glass inside. Stay away from skylights and doors. If you are outside, move immediately to a place of shelter.

How to Spot Hail and Wind Roof Damage quickly

How to Spot Hail and Wind Roof Damage quickly from a typical Denver storm

Wind damage from typical Denver storms can range from missing shingles to cracks in the seal between shingles to larger cracks that allow water directly into your home. Hail storm damage can actually bruise and dent you roof in a manner that allows the structure of your damaged roof to be weakened enough to allow water into our home. If you spot roof damage quickly you can reduce the chance that additional damage will occur.

Some roof damage like missing shingles is easy to spot,

Missing shingles from a Denver area hail storm.

while other damage like bruised, dented, or mold damaged shingles can be almost invisible from the road.

Mold damaged roof near Aurora, CO.

If you have binoculars, it may help to use them as you inspect your roof from your yard or road. If you need to get a closer look at your roof you can use a ladder. Do not go on or walk around your roof. It’s possible that you may cause more damage, and the structure of our roof may not be stable if the weather that caused the damage was severe enough.   

Common Signs of Roof Damage
ü  Missing shingles
ü  Bruised or dented asphalt shingles
ü  Sagging ceiling
ü  Visible buckling
ü  Discoloration of shingles
ü  Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles
ü  Granules collecting in gutters or downspouts
ü  Leaks in your roof or ceiling
ü  Dent on vents, gutters, or flashing

Common Signs of Exterior Home Damage
ü  Dings and dents
ü  Cracks and splitting
ü  Holes and breaks
ü  Chipping and discoloration

Common Signs of Window Damage
ü  Shattered windows
ü  Window screen tears
ü  Cracks and holes
ü  Broken panes
ü  Damaged frame

You can use the lists above to assess your damage or you can call us CJ Restoration 303 690-9253 to give you a free, no obligation inspection and report of your damage, advise you if our roof and exterior damage is covered by your insurance, and work hand-in-hand to maximize your insurance claim.

Monday, April 28, 2014

How To Spot a Crooked Contractor

As we've all seen in news reports, natural disasters attract predators. Of particular concern are phony contractors, who knock on the doors of distraught homeowners and offer to repair damaged roofs or remove fallen trees. They take a hefty deposit, but never return to do the work. Of course, these fraudsters don't just come round after bad weather. The following tips from This Old House general contractor Tom Silva and the National Association of Home Builders will help you spot a crook under any conditions. 

Beware of a contractor who:
+ Refuses to give you a copy of his license and certificate of insurance, which should include liability and worker's compensation.

+ Has popped up out of nowhere, literally. You can't verify any of her references or that she even has a fixed business address.

+ Rubs you the wrong way. "Trust your instincts," says Tom. "If something doesn't feel right about the person, then it probably isn't."

+ Is so eager to get things started that technicalities get brushed away—but not the fee. He'll say you don't need to sign a contract and try to get you to pay for the project up front.

+ Asks you to write a check directly to him for products, such as shingles, cabinets, windows, etc. instead of writing it out to the company who is supplying the items. ALWAYS MAKE A CHECK OUT TO THE COMPANY WHO IS PROVIDING THE SERVICE.

+ Offers a bargain in exchange for using your home as an example of their work or tempts you with a low price that's only on the table if you sign that day.

+ Tries to get you to buy stuff you already have. Don't get talked into paying to install a new AC system if yours works fine.

+ Asks you to pay for work that hasn't been done yet. "If you don't see it, don't pay for it," says Tom.

+ Uses scare tactics to get you to sign off on extras. Your walls won't crumble because you didn't get that ultra-expensive siding