Change your Clocks, Change your Smoke Detector Batteries!

November 3rd, 2017 11:52 am

Daylight Savings time is here, whether we like it or not. Did you get all of your clocks changed? And more importantly, did you change all of your smoke detector batteries? It’s easy to let those kinds of tasks slide in the rush of raking leaves, cleaning up your garden beds, getting kids off to school every day and getting ready for the big holiday season to come.

But it’s so important, once a year, to double check that the smoke, fire and carbon monoxide detectors that you’ve taken the time to install are working properly and ready to alert your family in a time of emergency. Cooler weather brings an increased risk as we fire up our furnaces and fireplaces. We’re also in the kitchen more in the cooler months, and kitchen fires are the number one cause of house fires.

If fire strikes, what do you do? Here’s a list of some of the most common questions we receive about house fires:

Q: What are the first things I need to do after a fire?

A: First, call your insurance agent! After that, securing your home and personal property is your number one concern, so contacting Hays + Sons for 24/7 emergency board-up service is the best step you can take to begin to restore your peace of mind.

Q: There is smoke and water damage everywhere. Can anything be saved?

A: While every situation is different, the short answer is YES. Probably much more than you think can be saved. Hays + Sons’ certified, industry-best-practice water and smoke removal methods can restore items that might, at first glance, appear to be a total loss. So don’t panic.

Q: How can I help my kids feel safe again?

A: Fire is traumatic for the whole family. While you’re tending to the tremendous to-do list of putting your household back in order, make sure you’re talking to your kids about their concerns and fears. Keeping them included in the process of restoration will help them take their minds off the disaster. And our caring, empathetic and experienced professionals at Hays + Sons will communicate with you every step of the way.

Having a fire in your home is devastating and we certainly hope that it never happens to you. But if it does, rest assured that the dedicated team at Hays + Sons will be there for you. Call us if you need us. 800-536-4056

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Save Your Possessions: Create a Home Inventory List

October 12th, 2017 3:51 pm

After a disaster that has left you with damaged possessions, it can be extremely difficult to remember every detail about your belongings. Making a home inventory list can help you with any potential insurance claims. Documenting your belongings now can help you recover faster after a loss.

Here are some steps you can take to help create your own home inventory list:

  1. Take the Time
    water damageCreating a complete home inventory list is going to take time. The more detail you include in your inventory, the more helpful it will be when you have to make an insurance claim.

  2. Keep Your Inventory in a Safe Place
    Storing a home inventory list away from your home will ensure that the list does not get lost, stolen or damaged during any disaster at your home. Consider creating your list digitally with photos or videos that you can upload to a cloud-based service.

  3. Remember to Update Your List
    Whenever you make significant purchases, remember to take the time to update your home inventory list. It is best to add the purchase to the list while all the information is fresh in your mind. While updating new information is a good time to remove items that are no longer relevant to your home.

  4. Reconsider Valuable Items
    Items such as jewelry, art, or collectibles often become more valuable with time. If you have items that have increased in value, check with your agent to make sure you have enough coverage for these valuables. We suggest putting these valuable items in a safety deposit box to protect the items from any damage.

We know creating a home inventory list sounds like a lot of work, but trust us, you will be glad you have the list when you need it. Creating a home inventory list is all part of preparing yourself for potential damage from an unpredictable disaster. If you are ever dealing with damage in your home from a disaster, just call Hays + Sons. Our trained professionals will restore your items as quickly as possible. 

Saving Your Possessions from Disasters

September 29th, 2017 10:13 am

Many people don’t stop and think about the possessions they want to protect from disasters. It is easy to think that disasters won’t happen to you and you don’t have to worry about protecting your valuable. It is important to know that disasters can happen to anyone at any moment. You can’t wait until a severe weather storm occurs to protect your home from damages. You need to take the time to protect possessions from potential disasters.

Here are a few steps that you can take to protect possessions of your home.

Keep important documents safe

You should keep all your important documents and original versions in a portable file system or a lock box. That way the information you have is in a convenience place that you can grab and go if you need to evacuate. You may also want to consider making electronic copies of your documents that way you save your information on a trusted hard drive.  

Valuables should be in a safe place

Your most prized possessions should be kept somewhere in your house where they are less likely to be damaged by a disaster. For example, you shouldn’t keep extra valuable items in your basement where they can get damaged from flooding in your home. If you have time to prepare before severe weather occurs or a natural disaster, consider covering delicate items with plastic sheeting.

Read your homeowner’s policy

Not knowing what is covered in a homeowner’s policy is one of the biggest mistakes by made disaster-devastated homeowners. Read and review your homeowner’s policy, so you know how much of your damaged possessions will be covered. Different events are all covered differently under certain scenarios so make sure you ask plenty of questions, so you have all the information you need.

Preparedness is crucial for every household. However, if you are not able to keep your possessions safe, you should rest assured knowing that most household items can be restored from damage. At Hays + Sons, we have a detailed and thorough contents restoration process that we use to save homeowners’ valuables. If you are ever dealing with damaged items from a disaster, don’t worry too quickly. Call Hays + Sons, and we will work with you through our contents restoration process to restore your items as quickly as possible.

What to Expect During the Estimator Process

September 5th, 2017 10:40 am

So you have experienced an unfortunate disaster to your home, and you now have a temporary fix to the problem. Right now, you are probably confused about what will happen next. Unpredictable disasters are stressful to deal with, so it can be difficult to understand the whole process completely.

To ease your mind and help your confusion we want to explain what happens after you take the step to protect your home from further damage. We want to work with you to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible, and that is why it is important that you understand and know what to expect.

The first thing that is going to happen to begin the restoration process is a customer service representative from Hays + Sons will contact you to set up an appointment for an estimator to visit your home. The estimator will come to your home and treat your situation with the handle and care that it deserves. This person will be diligent and answer all your questions to be sure you know how exactly the situation will be treated. They will document all the damage and use this information for our estimating pricing program. Our estimating pricing program is the same way insurance companies price their information. This will ensure you that our estimates will be covered by your insurance company.

We want to make sure that you are getting the most use out of your coverage. For that reason, we will take the time to meet with your claims adjuster to be sure everyone is on the same page, and there are no surprises. We will be in full communication with your insurance company and the adjuster to reach an agreement on the price of the work that needs to be done. Once we have a structural repair agreement, one of our experienced project managers will take over and communicate everything that will happen and when exactly it will be happening.

The most important thing to us throughout this whole process is knowing that we are communicating to you clearly and concisely. Communication is a crucial component of our team completing restoration projects the right way. When you work with Hays + Sons, you can be sure that your life will return back to normal before you know it. If you ever need us, we are just a phone call away. If you are looking for more information about our estimator process, you can watch a video about the process here.

Your Tree Fell into Your Neighbor’s Yard: Now What?

August 21st, 2017 9:33 am

In our last blog post, we explained the steps you should take if a tree ever falls on your roof. We hope you never have to deal with a situation like this, but it is always good to be prepared. That’s why we wanted to take the next step and explain what you should do if your tree falls on your neighbor’s house or your neighbor’s tree falls on your house.

We know, it might sound like a stretch, but it could happen when you least expect it. This situation is more common than you may realize, and it could become an awkward situation. That’s why we want you to know how to handle the situation and what you need to do to work with your neighbor.

When your tree falls over onto a neighbor’s property, that neighbor should submit a claim to his or her insurance company immediately. The insurance company is usually responsible for taking care of the damages if the tree fell over due to an act of nature. For example, if a healthy tree falls into your neighbor’s property during a tornado or winter storm, you more than likely would not be responsible for damages to the neighbor’s property. In a circumstance like this, the neighbor’s insurance policy should cover damages inside their property line.

However, there are some cases where you as the homeowner could be responsible. If the tree was dead or unstable and you knew about it, you could be liable if it falls over on its own or during a storm. When homeowners know they have a dying tree it is their responsibility to take steps to prevent them from causing severe damage.  If your neighbor has a dying tree, document requests to have them remove the tree.  This documentation could come in handy with the insurance company.

More often than not, trees fall over due to storms or acts of nature, so many homeowners whose trees fall over do not have to worry about their insurers covering the bill. However, it is always best to avoid having to deal with trees falling over, so you do not have to worry about the hassle of going through this situation. We suggest to check your trees regularly and have them inspected at the first sign of disease or any health issues. If you have any restoration needs due to a fallen tree, don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can trust us to get the job done right and quickly.