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What Happens When Property Damage Exceeds Insurance Coverage?

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property damage exceeds insurance coverage

It’s no surprise that property damage is costly, but that fact hits home even more when total losses exceed insurance coverage. Dealing with these realities can become frustrating, especially when you’re balancing aesthetics, function and safety with financial considerations. As a provider of property damage repair in Michigan, EJH Construction is dedicated to serving your unique needs. Navigating the world of insurance is just part of our commitment to our clients.

Considerations for Homeowners

Homeowner insurance policies come in all shapes and sizes. Most reimburse for claims on physical structures and their contents that are destroyed or defaced by storms, fire, vandalism, theft and some natural disasters. Dwelling coverage is the component that usually pays for home restoration services. Typically, it does not include losses from earthquakes or flooding unless it’s written into the individual policy or the owner purchases separate coverage. Also, some exclude or limit reimbursements for mold or sewer backup claims.

Most dwelling coverage is based on replacement cost valuation, meaning that structures are repaired or replaced regardless of any depreciation. Any construction will be of similar quality to the original materials. However, homeowners tend to purchase amounts based on either their mortgage amounts or their current home values.

Because of these tendencies, it’s estimated that more than two-thirds of homeowners have underinsured their residences. That means their policies may not pay out enough to fully cover restoration work. For repair and restoration expenses that exceed a policy’s upper limits, the homeowner will need to pay the difference out of pocket. A professional cost estimator from a home replacement specialist, realtor or contractor can give you a better estimate of potential restoration costs.

Damage to Commercial Properties

Commercial property insurance works on somewhat similar principles as homeowner’s coverage. Even so, it must reimburse for and protect against losses from a wide range of claim types. Besides physical structures, it must also include landscaping, equipment, documents, signage and inventory. Coverage is generally based on the value of the business’s assets. Some policies also include loss of use or access under their definitions of property damage.

Most businesses’ policy limits are set high enough to pay for repairs and restoration due to covered losses. Keep in mind that some exceptions to this may exist. For instance, additional coverages such as Debris Removal or Pollutant Cleanup could have sub-limits that fall below the total policy limit. Building and Personal Property coverages can also include extensions for Newly Acquired Buildings, but sub-limits could apply to these extensions.

Understanding your business’s indemnity protection is key. Depending on how it’s written, it could have different limits for buildings and BPP, a single blanket limit or sub-limits for individual extensions and additional coverages. Once any claims exceed these limits, your firm will likely need to pay additional costs from its own funds.

Choose an Expert Restoration Company

Selecting the right contractor is key for both residential and commercial restorations. Although insurance companies may suggest you choose from their preferred vendor lists, you are not obliged under Michigan law to choose a company from those lists. The bottom line? It’s in your best interest to hire a licensed qualified contractor with significant industry expertise and credentials from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

EJH Construction is a full-service general contractor with over 40 years of experience in disaster mitigation, damage restoration and commercial renovation. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and certifications from leading industry organizations, EJH is one of the top-rated restoration companies in Michigan. To learn more about your options or get a new project started, contact us through our convenient online form or call our offices at (888) 339-7335.

Water Damage Restoration Tips

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From floods to frozen and cracked water lines, water can cause major damage throughout your home. Extensive water damage could not only ruin materials and belongings in your home, but it could also cause harmful mold growth that could affect your health. If you’ve been the victim of water damage, find out how EJH Construction, one of the leading water restoration companies in Michigan, can help you restore your home.

First Steps of Water Damage Cleanup

Before you take action to clean up your home, make sure it’s safe. Depending on the type of water damage, there are many factors to consider. Here are some basic steps to take to ensure you and your family are safe:

  • Turn off water, power and gas to your home
  • Inspect your flooring for any structural damage, such as a cracked foundation or sagging floors
  • Inspect your ceilings for sagging, cracked or broken areas
  • Be sure your gas lines and water lines are intact before turning back on
  • Be sure your electrical wiring and appliances are completely dry and safe before turning your electricity back on

Once you’re sure you and your family are safe, it’s a good time to call your insurance provider. Explain the situation and see if your insurance will cover any damage. Often, an insurance provider needs to be notified before you take any steps to clean your home, otherwise, the damage may not be covered if you contact any water damage restoration companies.

Initial Cleaning

water damage restoration tips

From minor leaks to major flooding, it’s important to assess damage and determine an action plan. You’ll want to inspect every area of your home that could be affected by the water damage. If the water damage is from a burst water line, it may be relatively safe to clean up with towels. Flood water and cracked or overflowing sewer lines can be hazardous. Take great care when coming in contact with these, and consider contacting a water damage restoration company immediately.

In order to establish your water and gas are safe to turn back on, you’ll need to inspect each area. Begin cleaning debris and removing water, if able. Don’t use a personal vacuum to remove water, and be cautious when coming in contact with grey or black water.

Wet/dry vacuums are excellent for removing water, but you may not be able to turn your electricity on if any appliances or walls and ceilings with outlets have water damage. Begin by cleaning and removing water from these areas and don’t attempt to make any electrical repairs on your own.

Common Mistakes in Water Damage Cleanup

With your power out and your home in disarray, many homeowners make dangerous mistakes when attempting to clean up or return to a sense of normalcy. First, don’t attempt to use a generator, charcoal or gas grill or other outdoor cooking devices in your home.

Despite the extensive damage, don’t forget to continue to remove your garbage. Food waste and water together may attract rodents and pests to your home. Finally, don’t let standing water stay in your home. This could not only cause more damage and encourage mold growth but in the summer it could also attract mosquitoes who will breed in your home.

Call a Professional

For major water damage, there’s only so much you can do without the right equipment. At EJH Construction, our team has the latest gear and experience to handle any level of home water damage restoration. From cracked pipes to flooded basements to water-soaked electrical wiring, we can restore your home safely and efficiently.

Water damage can be a trying time. If your home needs immediate and extensive water damage restoration, contact us today. EJH Construction can help you reclaim your home and restore it to a safe and healthy place to live.

What Situations Require a General Contractor for Home Repair and Maintenance?

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home repair contractors

Maintenance and repair are among the most necessary aspects of homeownership, but for many, they are also among the least appealing. When handling home repair and maintenance tasks, you have two basic choices: do it yourself or hire a professional. The type of professional you hire depends on the task itself. A simple, one-task job can probably be handled by a handyman, but a more extensive job may require home repair contractors like the professionals at EJH Construction.

The following situations may exceed the scope of services that a handyman can offer, requiring a general contractor instead.

1. Repairs or Restoration Are Required Because of a Disaster

Whether it is a fire, flood, or a weather event such as wind or hail, a disaster often causes extensive damage that requires home repair contractors as soon as possible. A typical handyman may be over his head in such a situation, unable to make the needed repairs in the timely fashion required. You should think about hiring home restoration services that have experience with these types of emergency situations instead. Because time is of the essence, home restoration companies are prepared to spring into action as soon as disaster strikes.

2. The Repair Involves Multiple Systems

Sometimes an apparently simple repair is a lot more complicated than it seems at first. For example, a plumbing problem may require tearing up floorboards or ripping out walls to fully address. These fall into the category of construction tasks, and neither a handyman nor a plumbing specialist is likely to have the expertise to perform them. General home repair contractors, on the other hand, are the leaders of a team of professionals with specialized knowledge, training, and experience whom they can call in to address each of the issues involved in the repair.

3. The Law Requires a Licensed Professional for the Task

Every home contains complicated equipment, such as air conditioners and electrical systems, that is difficult or dangerous to repair or maintain by anyone but a professional with specialized training, experience, and credentials. In the interest of preventing accidents and maintaining public safety, the law often requires that only personnel licensed with the state perform these maintenance and repair tasks. A handyman who does general repairs is unlikely to have either the particular expertise or the required license.

4. The Repair Task Requires Extensive Renovation

Though each may require the services of general home repair contractors, renovation and remodeling are not the same thing. Remodeling means creating something entirely new, while renovation means restoring a portion of your home to its former condition. This may mean mitigating extensive damage to a widespread area of your home, but it may also mean a cosmetic job to restore an otherwise functional room to its original condition, such as a Victorian home with an incongruously modernized kitchen. In either case, you would probably require home renovation contractors to get the job done right. A basic guideline is that if the job requires demolition and/or a building permit, it should probably be done by a general contractor.

5. The Repair Involves the Home’s Basic Structure

In other words, a repair involving the basic elements of the house that provide shelter and keep it standing up. Structural repairs to a home may involve the following:

  • Drywall
  • Foundation/basement
  • Insulation
  • Roofing

One More Consideration

Regardless of the professional that you hire for your repair project, choose one who carries general liability insurance. This will protect you in the event that property damage or injury results from the job.

Turn to Home Repair Contractors When Disaster Strikes

At EJH Construction, we specialize in disaster recovery for both commercial and residential properties. Our fully equipped, pre-loaded emergency vehicles, as well as the highly trained professionals on our Disaster Mitigation and Restoration Team, are ready to respond quickly when time is of the essence. You can contact us by calling 888-339-7335, and we are available 24 hours a day.

Is Mold Remediation Necessary?

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mold removal and remediation services

Have you found mold in your home? If not, the rise in mold remediation may have you concerned that your home could be the breeding ground of all types of dangerous mold. In order to better understand this service, and whether or not you need to contact EJH Construction for mold removal, here is a basic overview of mold and mold remediation.

Dangers of Mold

Despite the dire warnings that many mold removal companies use to scare homeowners, not all mold is life-threatening. Some types of mold are particularly dangerous to the health of some individuals, and others are more benign. Unless you are able to distinguish the two, however, it may be beneficial to remain cautious whenever you see mold in your home.

The most threatening mold produces mycotoxins. These can cause all manner of respiratory health issues, particularly for individuals who already have health concerns. Homeowners with asthma are at particular risk when it comes to mold. However, the CDC states that serious health concerns are rare when it comes to common household mold.

Mold Concentration Levels

The best time to call mold removal companies is when your home has a large concentration of mold. More than a three foot square of mold is classified as a health concern that requires professional removal.

While you may be more concerned with an older home, newer homes are actually more prone to mold growth. Newer homes use more airtight and energy-efficient designs, which allows moisture build up that can encourage mold growth. Without proper venting, a new home can quickly foster mold growth.

What Is Mold Remediation?

Professional mold remediation companies use three basic steps to restore your home. You’ll enjoy clean air, surfaces and avoid any health concerns. Here are the three steps for most mold removal projects:

  • Containment
  • Cleaning
  • Addressing moisture and humidity

Dangerous mold growth typically occurs near your vents. Your HVAC system has the potential to allow a minor mold spot to spread mycotoxins all throughout your home. The best way to prevent this is through professional use of air filtration and air scrubbers.

Next, an FDA-approved biocide can disinfect your home. Clearing any existing mold can stop the spread of potentially dangerous spores. While many homeowners use bleach to attempt to remove mold, this isn’t an FDA-approved solution.

Simply removing the mold is ineffective if you don’t also remove the food source. Mold needs water to grow, so the next step of mold remediation is to identify the water source. Some homes need additional venting to remove excess humidity, while other homes have mold growth due to leaky pipes or flood damage. Whatever the case, be sure you choose a mold removal team that offers complete remediation.

Choose an Expert

There are many companies and contractors that offer mold removal services. However, if you choose a service by a general contractor, you may not receive thorough remediation. Because of the popularity of mold removal remediation, many contractors are offering this service without the industry-specific experience.

Expert mold remediation involves highly specialized equipment and an understanding of the many causes of mold growth. They can give you the thorough cleaning and prevention you need. If the source of the issue isn’t properly identified, the mold will continue to reappear.

Finding a Mold Remediation Expert Near You

If you’re ready for expert mold remediation that not only cleans your home effectively but offers prevention, contact EJH Construction today. We work with your insurance provider in the event of a natural disaster, and have extensive experience in identifying the causes of mold growth. Not all mold growth is dangerous, but all mold growth can be effectively removed by our licensed and experienced team.

4 Water Damage Restoration Steps

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water damage restoration steps

Whether due to flooding, a burst pipe, or broken appliance, water damage can devastate your home in an instant. When standing water is left in your home, you’re at risk of mold growth, which ruins fixtures and causes illness in people with respiratory issues. Standing water can also cause mildew, foul odors, and a highly unpleasant home environment overall. Timely intervention is essential in this case. The restoration water damage experts at EJH Construction, Inc. know how traumatic home disasters are for clients in Farmington Hills, MI. That’s why they offer the following water damage restoration steps, which detail each part of their effective and efficient cleanup process.

Inspection

A thorough inspection provides your restoration specialist with a thorough understanding of the scope and depth of the damage. This requires advances tools to determine just how much moisture has seeped into the home, and these tools are placed directly on surfaces when taking readings. With flooding, the water damage restoration steps are often comprehensive, so it’s essential that the specialist checks all areas of the home. This includes ceilings, walls, floors, and baseboards. After reviewing the readings, your specialist will determine whether dehumidifiers are necessary. This equipment removes moisture from the surrounding environment, which is key to preventing the growth of mold and mildew. The duration of the drying process depends on how pervasive the water damage is.

Water Removal

It’s also likely that you’ll have standing water in your home after a disaster. If so, the next step in the water damage restoration steps process entails water removal from all areas where standing water is an issue. Using a high-powered shop vacuum designed for water suction, the specialist will treat every room that’s affected, sometimes using multiple passes to be certain the area is free of water. In rooms with bare floors, the water removal process will be less rigorous. However, carpeted areas will need extensive treatment to ensure water is properly removed.

Drying/Containment

Many parts of the process occur simultaneously to restore your home in a timely manner. Drying involves placing industrial fans in areas where water has already been removed. These fans circulate a large amount of air flow, which dries that area at a much faster rate. If the damage is comprehensive the team may need to take more involved measures. For instance, it’s not uncommon for carpets to be removed to allow water to reach the floor underneath. At the same time, specialists will cordon off those rooms that are still wet. Once a room is dry it will be reassessed for moisture content to ensure the process was effective.

Repair

Of course, once your home is dry you may still be in need of extensive repairs. Fortunately, your restoration specialist can help in this respect as well. Restoring the home to its former state can take a lot of work. For instance, if the floors are badly damaged after drying, you’ll need a new installation. Carpets may also be beyond repair, and in this case, they’ll need to be ripped out and replaced. You may also need to address unavoidable damage caused by the restoration process. For example, it’s sometimes necessary to drill holes into the walls to ensure the home is properly dry. Failure to do so can cause mold growth in the interior of your home, which is a serious issue. If you have insurance coverage suited to water damage, many of these losses will be recouped.

The above water damage restoration steps are only a portion of what EJH can do for you. They’ll also prepare an estimate for your insurance company and manage the claim as it’s being assessed. This offers quite a bit of peace of mind to homeowners, who often find filing insurance claims complex. Businesses and homeowners can contact their 24/7 emergency response line by calling (888) 339-7335 today. You can also visit them online to learn more about their comprehensive process.

Tips to Assess and Repair Roof Storm Damage

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roof storm damage

When disaster strikes, it can be an emotional time. Powerful storms can dramatically affect both your yard and your home. Typically, your roof experiences the worst of the damage. Some roof storm damage is obvious, while issues may not be noticeable until it is too late. If you have a wind damaged roof, find out how EJH Construction can help today.

Common Types of Roof Damage

Your home can be exposed to all kinds of roof damage. Here are some of the typical types of storm damage that can harm your roof:

  • Hailstorms
  • Tornadoes
  • Thunderstorms
  • Strong wind

You may not immediately realize the damage, but there are major consequences if you don’t have your roof repaired immediately.

Signs of Roof Damage

Some signs are far more obvious than others, so take a look through all the common signs and determine whether you need a wind damage repair service. Wait until the storm has passed before checking outside, and don’t attempt walk on your roof if you believe there’s any damage:

  • Attic: Inspect your attic for any leaks. Water damage in your attic is a sign that your roof is leaking and needs repairs.
  • Yard: Check your yard for any pieces of shingles or metal. Thin metal sheet material could be the flashing from your roof, which prevents water from entering your roof line on the edges and seams.
  • Roof: Once the storm has passed, visually inspect your roof from the ground or a safe ladder. Any loose or missing shingles need to be replaced. Repairing your shingles is a common part of hail damage roof repair, because hail can crack old shingles or strip gravel off the shingles.

Repairing Your Roof After a Storm

There are two basic types of roof repairs. Which one is most effective for you depends on your roofing material, size of roof and the age of your shingles. When in doubt, EJH Construction can help you determine the best way to restore your roof.

A new roof may only need minor repairs. If your shingles are only a few years old, you may not need to replace the entire roof. Professional contractors can patch your shingles to provide a consistent, like-new finish. This is particularly common if you have a, alternative roofing material, like steel sheeting.

Most roof damage, however, requires a complete replacement of your roof. This will ensure that you won’t have leaks. The old, damaged roofing material will have to be removed first before a new layer can be installed. Choose a professional roof restoration company that can clear the debris effectively and install shingles efficiently.

Contacting Your Insurance Company

If your roof was damaged from a storm, your insurance may cover the damage. Every insurance policy and carrier is different, so it’s important to contact your provider if you have experienced hail, rain or wind damage.

Not all construction companies are willing to work with insurance agencies. When you’re receiving an estimate for your roof, don’t forget to mention your insurance provider and ask if they are willing to work with you.

Some providers will cover the entire cost, while many require you to pay a premium. Either way, you could save thousands of dollars by working with your insurance company and choosing a construction team that accepts your insurance.

Restore Your Home Today With EJH Construction

Don’t wait to receive immediate assistance from EJH Construction. Our team of fast and efficient contractors are experienced with all types of storm damage, and we can respond 24/7 to any roofing emergency. Rain or shine, contact us to restore your roof and avoid the disastrous effects of water damage caused by a leaking roof.

Wind storm brings down large tree onto an 1800 century farmhouse causing structural, roof, interior, and exterior damage.

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Kinnunenbefore farmhouse-wind-damage-restoration construction

Name: The Kinnunen Family
City: Canton, MI

Describe Damage

A terrible wind storm in March brought down a large tree onto the Kinnunen home, which was an 1800 century farm house. The weight of the tree caused structural, roof, interior, and exterior damage.


EJH’s Solution

EJH’s experienced construction team repaired the roof, trusses, siding, and trim. An engineer was brought in to address the structural damage and to ensure it was repaired properly. The interior restoration included drywall repairs and paint. In addition to the restoration construction, EJH made several improvements to the farmhouse including adding a covered overhang above the entrance, new windows and shutters.

Building Renovation Services in Canton Township, MI

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building renovation contractors provide service to Sky Zone facility

orange sky zone image logo

EJH Construction Provides Building Renovation Services for Sky Zone

The EJH Construction building renovation contractors team recently had the privilege to renovate the Sky Zone facility in Canton, MI. This massive building renovation project included adding and updating over 14 of the attractions at the location. Customers of all ages now have even more possibilities, including new trampolines, obstacle courses, and a variety of new activities. With a large number of younger attendees to the location, safety was paramount to EJH’s approach with these updates. See the renovation process in action in the gallery below.


 

Vehicle drives through the storefront of a Citgo Gas Station

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building restoration contractors provide service to Citgo gas station

Name: Citgo Gas Station
City: Troy, MI

Building Restoration Service Provided in Troy, MI

During the middle of the night, an ATM heist was attempted when a vehicle intentionally drove through the storefront of a Citgo Gas Station. The driver drove through the building to steal the portable ATM machine housed inside the convenient store of the gas station, but the “smash and grab” was unsuccessful. The vehicle damaged the exterior of the building, destroyed the glass storefront entrance, and did significant damage to the interior of the convenient store. Store fixtures and merchandise were tossed about and unsalvageable.


EJH Provides Building Restoration Service for the Gas Station

EJH was called in the next morning to secure the property and clean up the interior of the store. An EJH dumpster arrived within the hour and EJH’s building restoration contractors removed all the damaged materials and glass. Once the dumpster was filled, the damaged material was removed from the property. In order for the gas station to remain open, the store interior was thoroughly cleaned, shelves were put back, and any salvageable merchandised was put back on shelves. A temporary storefront was constructed within a few hours. Over the next few weeks, the interior and exterior of the building were restored. Cabinetry and counter tops were replaced. Before the glass storefront was installed, a second entrance was built. Masonry and exterior repairs completed the restoration process. Because EJH specializes in commercial property recovery and restoration, the Citgo Gas Station was able to remain open with minimal impact to normal operations and revenue.