According to Voss Law Firm lawyers - the short answer is yes! In Texas at least, property maintenance often comes up during the claims process, as well during underwriting - when seeking coverage. Adequate property maintenance records will benefit the policyholder all day every day, and twice on Sunday! This is often the case for both residential and commercial properties alike.
As a property owner (policyholder), you might ask yourself what one can do to show proper maintenance records and what are the most common maintenance items? We have put together a few tips for both residential and commercial properties.
Below are a few tips to consider.
Have a local qualified roofer/inspector take a look at your property on a quarterly basis, and document the property condition.
As the qualified roofer is documenting the property condition, have them also perform the following maintenance items (as needed):
1. Clean out the gutters- gutters can back up with debris and cause leaks.
2. If gutters have become separated from the facia, re attach and secure.
3. Make sure all downspouts are properly attached.
4. Clean the valleys and around ventilation ducts- Pine needles for example can accumulate in roof top valleys and around ventilation ducts. Pine needles when dry are highly flammable.
5. Clean out the dryer vent ducts – lent builds up over time and is also highly flammable.
6. Tune up the roof - this includes inspecting all ventilation ducts and re caulking where necessary.
7. Any loose shingles need to be reapplied or reinforced.
8. Any ventilation pipes or stacks that have open holes in them, should be replaced.
8. Any obvious rotted decking should be replaced.
9. Any obvious roof penetrations on a flat commercial roof need to be properly patched and sealed.
10. Inspect wall/chimney flashings and seal where needed.
11. Inspect the chimney for any deficiencies.
12. Clean the following of the roof: any loose nails, screws, roofing repair materials that might have been left behind.
13. Have the roofer or service professional also check the insulation levels.
13. If any storm damage is observed, report your claim in a timely manner, and keep notes of the claims process timeline.
If trees are close to the property, have a tree trimming service trim back any branches that might be hanging over or close to the house or structure. This is especially true if the tree or branches are dead (those should be removed all together).
Have plumbing lines/HVAC lines inspected quarterly by a professional. These lines/drainage pans can cause interior leaks as well. Also have these service professionals mark any lines that might be hidden or not build to code. Keep record of where these are. Also have these service professionals make sure these lines are properly insulated for the seasons.
It might also be a good idea to have a quarterly or twice a year mold analysis performed on the property as well (especially in flood prone or winter freeze prone regions).
If there are any ponds or fountains on the property, make sure the drainage system is regularly cleaned of debris, as this could lead to flooding.
Keep all records of the maintenance in a file by date. These records would also include when the roof was last replaced, and any claims history. These records will be of great importance if there is a claim, and also when shopping for coverage.
If you need a referral for a qualified roofer or other service professional (regarding an inspection in your area) feel free to give me a call. In the same token, if you are a qualified roofer or service professional in a specific service area (and we have not met yet) feel free to reach out to me as well.
The Voss Law Firm, P.C. has been protecting policyholders’ rights for the past sixteen years, recovering billions of dollars in settlements for our clients.
Feel free to call, or email today for a free consultation on your file.
We are 100% contingency fee based. No recovery, no fee.
Todd Farr - Director of Client Relations