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Storm Damage Assessment: How a Structural Engineer Can Assess Wind, Snow and Water Damage After a Storm

Structural assessments and structural engineer inspections for East Coast hurricane, flood and snow damage.

Storm damage assessment is a process that follows any major storm event. Homes and other structures along the East Coast damaged by recent storms such as Hurricane Sandy or winter storm Nemo may require a structural inspection in order to file or resolve an insurance claim. Summit Engineering can help determine cause of damage for insurance companies, adjusters, and homeowners.

We can assess if damages were the result of:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Maintenance
  • Improper construction or design
  • Flooding
  • High winds
  • Wind-driven rain
  • Snow accumulation

Summit Engineering can also determine if the level of wind and/or water damage is repairable or if the entire structure is a loss.

Summit Engineering conducts structural damage assessments and can provide the documentation insurance companies need to process claims from storms. As an East Coast structural engineering firm, we’ve spent many years working throughout New England and along the Atlantic Seaboard. We have seen storm damage of all types. We can identify structural damage causes and deliver a written assessment of our findings. In the event of litigation, we can provide expert witness testimony.

What you need to know about flood damage

Typical homeowners insurance doesn’t cover damage due to flooding. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers coverage in communities that adopt and enforce minimum FEMA construction standards.

Many homeowners along the East Coast have found themselves both uninsured for flood damage and a victim of hurricanes or other coastal flooding events. Since wind damage is covered under most insurance policies, it often becomes the point of dispute between homeowners and insurance providers. Summit’s structural engineers will assess storm damage and deliver a structural damage report to insurance adjusters. These post-hurricane engineering assessments are crucial to completing insurance claims.

What you need to know about damage due to snow

Most homeowners insurance policies cover outright damage due to buildup of heavy snow. However, most do not cover lack of maintenance. A structural engineer familiar with building envelopes and snow accumulation can determine causes of damage from snow accumulation.

Ice damming is a common problem in older homes. Poorly insulated roofs will melt snow from underneath. The melt water travels down the slope of the roof until it reaches the eave. Given enough snow on a roof, the melt water will eventually form a large dam that will cause water will pool under the roof shingles and eventually leak into the roof cavity. This creates the potential for a host of problems from mold to damage of interior finishes.

Summit Engineering can provide the analysis of damage claims to determine the root cause of the problem. This evaluation can aid insurance adjusters and homeowners in the determination of coverage.

We work throughout the East Coast, from evaluating hurricane damage on the Jersey Shore to roof collapses along the Canadian border. If you need structural assessments for damage resulting from hurricanes, tropical storms, blizzards or other extreme weather events, call us today for a consultation.

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