Navigating your way through the rebuilding process can pose major challenges.
Hurricane Irma was responsible for record property damage in the Central Florida area.
For weeks, trees blocked roads. Stoplights were down. Roof tiles and signage littered neighborhoods for days to come.
As Florida homeowners, you probably had more than a few questions when it came to your insurance coverage. Particularly, when it comes to your pool.
Will my homeowner’s insurance cover damage to my pool? What about the structures surrounding it? What about my neighbor who got their pool replaced? They only had a tree down in the front yard!
Navigating the dos-and-don’ts of post-hurricane insurance claims can be as stressful as the storm itself. And while we do not claim to be insurance professionals, after spending years detecting swimming pool leaks and mending slabs, we’ve seen a few things out in the field.
Here is What Not to Do After a Storm:
Leave Dangerous Debris Near the Pool
If there is debris or other damage that is an immediate hazard, do what you can to clean or mend it yourself. Take photo and/or video of the damage immediately after the skies clear, then get to work at making your life return to normal as soon as possible.
Drain the Pool
Heavy rainwaters and debris can take a beautiful blue pool and turn it into an algae-ridden micro swamp. Your first instinct may be to drain it all and start fresh once things return to normal. DO NOT DO THIS. It is easier, safer and more cost-effective to have the pool cleaned and treated by a professional.
Claims adjusters have gotten pretty good at identifying the signs of man-made damage. In some cases, this has made it more difficult for people with legitimate pool damage to get the help they need. If you are unsure about the status of your pool, you can always call an Orlando leak detection service to inspect for problems.
Assume that Everything the Adjuster Says is Accurate
When it comes to very specific damage, such as that to concrete slabs, the insurance adjuster may not be well-educated on the matter. A slab leak can be catastrophic under certain circumstances. After the adjuster makes their initial rounds, call a professional slab leak detection service to inspect the damage further.
Assume Your Insurance Will Cover Everything
There are few nastier surprises than finding out, after shelling out money on your homeowners insurance, that damages are not covered. Look over the fine print. For example, your pool may fall under coverage limits, but the screen enclosure may not be. After Hurricane Wilma, many insurance companies stopped, or reduced the number, of pool enclosures they cover.
Here is What TO DO After the Storm
Keep Meticulous Records
Repairs can get expensive. And after a storm, tensions are high. Unexpected expenses happen quickly, and are challenging to remember under stress. Do your best to hold on to all receipts, invoices, work orders and supplementary documentation when it comes to your home and pool. Should any issues arise surrounding your insurance claim, it always helps to have a paper trail that supports your story.
Verify the Credentials of All Workers
As if the storm itself isn’t disastrous enough, it does not take long for opportunistic scammers and thieves to prey on Florida homeowners after a storm. Be wary of anyone offering repair work for an absurdly low price. Before signing anything, verify that the company
- Has a license and insurance
- Can provide Photo Identification
- Can provide references, or examples of past work.
- Is a legitimate business. (A quick search should help you find this information.)
- Makes reasonable Promises when it comes to time required for job.
Taking these extra steps can help keep you, your family, and your wallet from risk of shady business dealings.
Shock The Pool
While resisting the urge to drain the pool and start from scratch, balancing the pH of the pool while running the filter will get your pool back to pre-storm clarity. If you are unsure how to do this, your pool maintenance professional should be ready and able to help. Be prepared to wait. Pool, tree, air, and electric services are in their highest demand after a storm. Be patient, and look forward to enjoying your pool again soon.
Have Someone Come Out to Check for Leaks
While it may seem like your pool remained unscathed in the storm, debris could’ve very easily done structural damage to your pool. From Miami to Orlando, people lost roofing tiles, had trees and lines down, and other structural damage. It is easy to see how a stray piece of debris can cause a leak in your pool. Hire an expert leak detection service to survey potential pool issues.
Prepare for Next Time
The last thing Floridians want to think about after a hurricane is “well, what about the next one?” Unfortunately, preparation now may be the defining factor between whether you are able to claim certain damages to your property. Have a plan for any outdoor furniture and fixtures. Cover or lower the levels of your pool before the rain comes. It does not hurt to have the names and numbers of a few credible contractors to call on when things get messy.
Before the storm, after the storm, and every day in between, Certified Leak Detection is there for Florida homeowners, ensuring your pool is in safe working order. If you need swimming pool leak detection in Sanford, Lake Mary, or any other Central Florida city, give us a call today.