While Nebraska and the Midwest as a whole are known for unpredictable weather, it doesn’t always mean that residents are regularly prepared for the days when the weather gets a little too out of hand and turns severe. When we are not prepared, we risk damage to our important investments, which can cause further damage emotionally and financially.
Severe weather can happen at any time, though we are nearing the season when we are most likely to experience it. To ensure your home is built to withstand these inevitable storms or that it has the adequate coverage in the event that property is damaged, we recommend reaching out to these local experts and taking advantage of their quality services.
Get Adequate Coverage
By coverage, we don’t mean find shelter – or maybe that’s exactly what we mean! Shelter Insurance (shelterinsurance.com/CA/agent/matthewmoorhead) stands out in their industry due to their quality service and years of experience. Based out of Columbia, MO, they are found only in the Midwest – meaning they know how to deal with that Midwestern weather. Matthew Moorhead has been with Shelter for 22 years and, as he says, has seen it all – tornadoes, total loss fires, countless hailstorms, lightning strikes, and fallen trees.
“The best thing homeowners can do to prepare for severe weather is to make sure they are insured properly and understand what coverages they have,” explained Matthew. “Homeowners policies differ from company to company and house to house. This is where having a good agent is important. Many consumers buy a home and get their homeowners insurance through an online site or from a cold call quote just calling around for the cheapest rate. A home is one of your most important investments, and severe weather in Nebraska can cause a lot of damage. In order for you to know what to expect, you need an agent that understands the policy and how it applies to your home.”
When a home is not insured properly, it can lead to high repair costs. With a total loss event, such as a tornado, you would want to be sure you have your home insured for the reconstruction cost – not just what the market value of the home is. Reconstruction cost is generally higher than construction cost and market value. In addition, material costs can fluctuate. To take care of this, Shelter has extended replacement cost endorsement which will give you up to 25% above your homeowners dwelling coverage.
“On a smaller, more common scale, people will get hail damage on their roof. In these cases, the biggest issue I see is percentage deductibles,” Matthew shared. “Some companies use a percentage wind/hail deductible that is 1-4% of the total coverage of the home. So if you have a $250,000 home and a 2% deductible on wind or hail, you then would be looking at paying a $5,000 deductible to replace your roof after a bad hailstorm. At Shelter, we offer a fl at deductible so no matter what the claim, you would have the same deductible. In addition, we give you 24 months to have your home repaired – twice as long as some other companies.”
Exterior Home Repair
While you can’t prevent severe hail and wind conditions from entering the area, you can make sure that you have the proper insurance coverage in place. Frantz Antoine, owner of Antoine Exteriors (antoineexteriorsllc.com), encourages everyone to look into what their home insurance covers so that in the event a storm leaves behind damage, you won’t have to pay out-of-pocket to restore your home back into its pre-storm condition.
“To take it a step further, ask me about our hail/wind-resistant material to upgrade your home,” said Frantz. “Not only does this better protect your home against weather, but most insurance companies will discount your premium anywhere between 15-30%. It’s also key to ask your agent if you have an RCV or ACV policy for your home or commercial property. The reason why this is so important is that not all coverage policies fully cover you. Feel free to contact me for a consultation.”
If your insurance doesn’t cover the damage, you may fi nd yourself having to come up with tens of thousands of dollars out-of-pocket. Furthermore, storm damage to your roof, siding, and/or windows can leave you at risk of water seeping into the interior and leading to additional damage to the drywall, insulation, and paint, as well as the possibility of mold.
“It’s important to choose a company that’s local, licensed, insured, and bonded,” Frantz said. “Dealing with the repercussions of a storm is stressful. Antoine Exteriors is here to relieve some of that stress rather than add to it – that’s important to me. Finally, the important question I will ask when the work is done is, ‘If you had to do it all
over again, would you choose Antoine Exteriors?’ The goal of our team is to make sure you say, ‘Yes!’”
Neemann & Sons (neemannandsons.com) is a family-owned and operated business serving the Lincoln and surrounding communities for over 40 years. Their business was built on honesty and hard work, and their customers are like family, which is why they believe in using only quality materials. Their services include roofing, gutters, siding, soffit, fascia, window replacement, and HALO Lighting.
“My biggest piece of advice is to ensure you are hiring local, reputable contractors that are insured and will be there after the storm,” advised Owner Chris Neemann. “Hiring an unreliable contractor can result in costly expenses. If the contractor does not pay for your material, a lien can be placed on your home. Also, a workmanship warranty is only good if the contractor is still in business. If a contractor installs your shingles incorrectly, your shingle warranty could be void. But maybe the worst is that many homeowners don’t realize that there are some contractors that take money down and leave town without doing the project.”
As severe weather season approaches, Chris suggested homeowners keep a watchful eye on their gutters. If they are not draining properly, there could be potential water damage to the interior of your home and basement – and no one wants to pay for damage from a storm on both the inside and outside of their home.
“When choosing a contractor, it is a good idea to check online reviews, but even better to ask your friends, family, or neighbors,” suggested Chris. “If you think it’s expensive hiring a good contractor, try hiring a bad one!”
Water Damage Professionals
In the event that water does find its way into your home and you are experiencing water damage, be sure that you are hiring a reputable company to help you get back on your feet. 1-800 WATER DAMAGE (1800waterdamage.com/lincoln, formerly Delta Restoration) is a great place to start.
“Our services go beyond water damage restoration to include mold remediation, sewage cleanup, professional carpet cleaning, fire/smoke restoration, and much more,” explained Owner Jeff Carstens. “When strong weather events hit, we go into action quickly, and the calls just keep coming. When we get a lot of rain quickly, we see lots of flooding into basements. We still have broken dishwasher lines, toilet overflows, and sewage backups, but we deal with rain immediately and get people dried back out. If there’s an emergency, we’ve got you covered!”
The first thing you should do if you get water in your home or business is shut the main water off as quickly as possible. If it is from a storm, go outside and reinforce that water is flowing away from your house, check that your sump pump is working, and try to contain the damage as much as you can. But if it’s coming down behind the walls or through the floors, get ahold of 1-800 WATER DAMAGE as quickly as possible to limit the amount of damage that occurs.
“Moisture can enter your home in large amounts that affect everything,” Jeff said. “Damage can spread, and contents, walls, ceilings, trim, and flooring can be ruined if not acted on immediately. Solid wood, carpet, and stone usually are salvageable, but the rest generally will have to be torn out and redone if action is delayed. If you don’t take precautions—or if you notice water and don’t do anything—your price tag can change from a couple thousand dollars to $30,000 in claims quickly.”
Bounce Back After the Storm
When you hire someone to work on your home or business after a storm, you want to know that they will treat you and your property fairly and with the respect you deserve in already-stressful situations. A local and reputable contractor who will do just that can be found in the insulation contractor Attic Energy Efficiency (facebook.com/atticenergyefficiency).
“I treat every client’s home like it is my own,” said Owner Rex Schroder. “I provide a free Attic Ventilation Analysis on every roof, and I upgrade roof ventilation at no additional cost to the homeowner. I am an attic insulation and ventilation expert who achieves above and beyond the code results after a storm—and any time, for that matter.”
By not keeping your roof, attic, and gutters maintained properly year-round, you risk getting leaks, which can result in high expenses that could be otherwise avoided. Similarly, if you hire one of the many out-of- state “storm chasers” who show up right after damaging storms, you could wind up having sub-par or even no repair work completed.
“I adhere to a high standard of integrity and honesty and will never sell anything to a customer that I do not absolutely believe they need,” Rex said. “We guarantee to fi x your home correctly and do it right the first time, no matter how small or big the job!”
Reinsulate to Keep Extreme Temps Out
Don’t let the hot summer heat and humidity cause your energy bills to skyrocket and force an increased risk to your physical assets. Streamline Energy Solutions (streamlineenergysolutions.com) offers a solution for you: reinsulate and air-seal your home!
“One of the biggest things we recommend to create the maximum impact when someone wants to insulate their home is to air seal it,” said Streamline Co-founder and BPI-Certified Auditor Jen Keller. “We’ll locate all the accessible crevices in your attic, including around your fixtures and top plates, and seal them to prevent conditioned air from leading into the attic space. That preps the attic for us to insulate with blown-in fiberglass. We prefer this product over cellulose because it doesn’t settle over time, does not absorb moisture, and is a lot cleaner product. Of course, the baffles we install in an attic are a crucial step in the process, too, because they keep the insulation from blocking air flow through your soffit vents and provide necessary ventilation.”
With a combined total of 16 years of experience in the industry, Streamline’s co-founders came together to provide a holistic approach to energy efficiency. Their energy auditing services coupled with a variety of weatherization upgrades maximize your savings while minimizing your home’s energy usage. Streamline’s services keep money in your wallet and take it easy on the environment. Reach out to them today to ensure your home insulation is up to code before severe weather and temperatures arrive.
Severe weather season is upon us. We encourage all of our readers to prepare for this time of year by contacting these reputable businesses to ensure your home is properly protected or adequately repaired.