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What to do next if you have major damage

Old 09-20-2017, 06:03 AM
  #41  
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Another thing when you get to the rebuilding phase is that you know and inspect where all your materials come from..thousands of people, including myself, were affected by defective chinese drywall after Katrina. It's a health hazard and can screw up copper pipes and wiring. I couldn't sell my remodeled house after Katrina because no inspector would pass it unless I re-sheetrocked my whole house..freaking China!
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:47 PM
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I don't think FEMA will "look the other way". You want FEMA dollars$ You play by FEMA rules!
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Old 09-21-2017, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by jbnport View Post
There is no replacement cost coverage on flood insurance and no code upgrades. Also, most people don't understand that not only is there a $250,000 cap on flood as well. What's worse and I've never understood how people here have got around it for so long down there is the dreaded FEMA 50% rule. It's been enforced for years by my area but obviously ignored in the keys. That is going to stop after Harvey and Irma. In plain English, what this means is that if you own a house with an assessed value of $125k on the building only, you can only spend $62.5k to fix it and you MUST adhere to all the FEMA guidelines, especially BFE, base flood elevation. If you're in an AE 8 or higher flood zone and ground level, they are going to make you pay to elevate the whole house to that level or limit your repairs. If you're 4 feet wet, there's no way you're going to bring that house up to code for less than $100k by the time you re-wire, replace drywall and insulation, cabinets, flooring and impact windows or shutters if you've been using plywood. Window, code upgrades, strapping, etc will unfortunately be out of pocket for flood but may get picked up by homeowners insurance if you also suffered wind damage and have code upgrade coverage... BUT will still be limited by the 50% rule.
Jbnport,Thanks for the great explanation. So what you are kind of saying is if you have flood insurance ( yes I am finding out right now what a joke that is) It definitely is not insurance. I let the adjuster in and he deems what the damage's are and he could or could not total my home.
But if your neighbors don't have flood ins and don't let anyone in, and claim minimal damage and fix it themselves, maybe without all the proper permits, they might be able to keep their homes? Also if you have a mortgage, can the feds condemn your home and the mortgage company foreclose because you cannot afford to rebuild to code, even when you have met all their insurance requirements? Just trying to wrap my head around this.
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Old 09-21-2017, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Jbnport,
But if your neighbors don't have flood ins and don't let anyone in, and claim minimal damage and fix it themselves, maybe without all the proper permits, they might be able to keep their homes? Also if you have a mortgage, can the feds condemn your home and the mortgage company foreclose because you cannot afford to rebuild to code, even when you have met all their insurance requirements? Just trying to wrap my head around this.
Good and valid questions. Too soon to tell.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:13 AM
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I have a ground level and was fortunate that I had minimal exterior damage. Unlike a few neighbors that their homes were basically gone. I did get 27" of water inside and every thing is a complete loss, including all the exterior door. Electrical outlets under water, and a telephone pole that God knows were it came from ripped the power masthead from the meter.

I have not gotten a clear answer on if and when it is safe to turn the power back on. My thought was to replace all the outlets on one circuit so at least I have some power, and turn off all the other breakers. I really am going to need my AC. Hopefully Saturday I have 4 workers to come in and start getting all the furniture and, int doors, appliances, and cabinets and cut the drywall, power wash everything and start the dry out process.
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Old 09-21-2017, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by mikeloew View Post
Jbnport,Thanks for the great explanation. So what you are kind of saying is if you have flood insurance ( yes I am finding out right now what a joke that is) It definitely is not insurance. I let the adjuster in and he deems what the damage's are and he could or could not total my home.
But if your neighbors don't have flood ins and don't let anyone in, and claim minimal damage and fix it themselves, maybe without all the proper permits, they might be able to keep their homes? Also if you have a mortgage, can the feds condemn your home and the mortgage company foreclose because you cannot afford to rebuild to code, even when you have met all their insurance requirements? Just trying to wrap my head around this.
The city is going to come by and inspect every house in the flood zone, just like they did after Wilma. Inspectors will also be making the rounds and if they see people working, they will stop and ask to see your permit. The feds can't "condemn" your home but they can refuse to let you rebuild. 18 years ago in Sarasota there was bad flooding in 2 areas of town along Phillipi creek. These houses had flooded several times over 5 years and they made them either elevate the home or they would refuse to insure it. The damage to these homes was such that damage exceeded 80% of the home so it was totaled. The value of those lots was such that FEMA and the county split the cost of the land and bought them out of their mortgages and set the land aside as parks and flood plains. With land and house, these houses were only worth 125-150K of which the land was maybe 20K. This area totaled maybe a dozen homes.

The problem here is there a lot of houses and the lots are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, there's no way they can afford to buy them all out. The reality of it all is that they want to force people out of these areas so they don't have to pay over and over again because the home is such a risk. That's why all new homes are on stilts, no exceptions. I sent you a PM with my cell. Call me tonight between 6-8 and I can share things I wouldn't post. Did the flood adjuster give you a number? Do you know what the house, not the land is assessed at?
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Old 09-21-2017, 09:21 AM
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Homes can be lifted. Block or frame..doesn't matter. Retrofitting some existing homes will be cost prohibitive, though. Just raising it above the flood plane is not the end of it...EVERYTHING must meet current code. Structure, electric, energy efficiency...you name it.

I don't think designating your home a historic structure will save you either.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:49 PM
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Your county (or in my case - Parish) may also get involved in the 50% rule.
Notice that we flooded last year Aug 11, and I received a OK to proceed with repairs on Dec 1st.
I was well into repairs by that date - I would have been jailed had they told me to raise my 3000 SF log home or tear it down.

Here's my letter:
Dear COLEMAN, SHANON T.:
The Parish of Ascension's Building Department has made a damage assessment of your recently flooded
residence located at the subject location. The information collected has been entered into the FEMA
Substantial Damage Estimator program. Substantial damages are determined when the cost of repairs are
50% or greater than the market value of the structure.
Based on the results of that analysis, your home has been
determined NOT to have sustained substantial damages.

The percent damage for your property is determined to be 33.2 % Should you disagree with this evaluation
you can file an appeal by supplying the Ascension Parish office of Planning and Development with a
contractor's estimate of the damages or an insurance estimate of the damages and/or a current valuation of
the home prior to the flood.
You may proceed to make damage repairs. Permits are not required for replacing insulation, wall board,
doors, trim, replacing electrical outlets, etc. provide you are repairing back to the pre-flood status after
cleaning and decontaminating for mold, checking for 16% or lower moisture on framing elements such
as wall studs & exterior sheathing. If you are making structural repairs, changing floor plan, install new
or replacing electrical wiring, installing new or replacing plumbing drain lines, changing out Air Condition
units, then permits wiii be required respectiveiy. Any new addition or modification to the floor plan you
must first submit construction drawings to the Building Department for review and permitting before
starting work.). If you have any questions you may call the damage assessment hotline at 225-532-3008.
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Old 09-21-2017, 06:56 PM
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Interesting. So FEMA sets the values. Problem with many older homes is their "improvement" tax assessment is pretty low. Taxable value may be $220,000 with $20,000 house on a $200,000 lot. $10,000 damage triggers the 50% threshold.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:31 AM
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Improvement value is commonly used for the substantial improvement / substantial damage calculation because it is easy to find from property appraiser sources. The problem is everybody wants to minimize their "official" value to pay less taxes.
In the case of substantial improvement such as a major remodel, the value used for the calculation can come from other sources such as a recent appraisal.
In the case of damage I don't see how an appraisal could help unless you had in done right before the storm.
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Old 09-22-2017, 10:48 AM
  #51  
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What a mess. I despise insurance companies; nothing but legalized bookies who are allowed by law to welch on their bets. On another note, are ppl being allowed back onto the Keys? I understand that below Marathon it might be an issue, but I believe I'll just need to prove residency/ownership to enter Islamorada. Confirm or deny? Thx...

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Old 09-22-2017, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by CMP View Post
What a mess. I despise insurance companies; nothing but legalized bookies who are allowed by law to welch on their bets. On another note, are ppl being allowed back onto the Keys? I understand that below Marathon it might be an issue, but I believe I'll just need to prove residency/ownership to enter Islamorada. Confirm or deny? Thx...

CMP
No checkpoint entry into Keys. Only specific streets or subdivisions down south hardest hit are checking for residency.
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:09 PM
  #53  
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I wouldn't accept an insurance company check without having my own adjuster look at the claim. Had a few such claims while living in the Keys 2004-2016.
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Old 09-22-2017, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
Interesting. So FEMA sets the values. Problem with many older homes is their "improvement" tax assessment is pretty low. Taxable value may be $220,000 with $20,000 house on a $200,000 lot. $10,000 damage triggers the 50% threshold.
I don't believe FEMA does. The local municipality is supposed to do this. If they don't, no one knows what happens. This is the case after Sandy. Many towns/villages simply did not make these determinations. Some people who had significant damage did not elevate their houses, just used the funds to repair them. On paper they may not be eligible for flood coverage now. But who proves that? Whose fault is it if they get screwed?

This is from FEMA's web site:
>>
In the Hurricane Sandy Claims Review, FEMA does not make “substantial damage” determinations, which can require a homeowner to rebuild to current community standards. The determination of whether a structure has sustained substantial damage is the responsibility of local floodplain management officials, under local regulations and codes
>>

FEMA does not have the boots on the ground to get into this. FEMA has the hammer of community rating to make municipalities do the leg work.
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Old 09-23-2017, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Leeroyjenkins View Post
If anyone has homeowners claims questions I am happy to help. I don't do a lot of flood stuff though or I would chime in.

I have an HO 03 HO policy which includes wind coverage. Are you familiar with that form? Through various endorsements it appears to cover water damage from surge water, which of course is water driven by wind, not just rising flood waters. Do you know anything about that issue of flood vs wind coverage in this context?

My home lost the roof and front wall of the upper story, which of course allowed all of Irma's rainfall to penetrate the lower living area. Then I got about 3' of storm surge water into that area as well. Furniture floated around, refrig fell over after apparently floating. In other words, all of the downstairs contents are toast. Surge water topped my electric golf cart. Toast.

So,I'm thinking these content losses mainly go under my HO policy rather than the flood coverage, which is pretty limited. Any thoughts on that?

Also, can you stack the coverage, ie, cover losses on one from the other policy once the coverage limit is reached?

Any insights you might share are appreciated.
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Old 09-23-2017, 05:56 AM
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What was done by adjusters in the New Orleans area after Katrina,
They made a line on the wall where the flood waters had been and anything below it was from flood damage and anything above it was from the named storm.


It was a slightly different event since the flood came to most after the storm had passed. There was plenty of roof damage and rain that fell in those houses. The flood came the next day, but anything below the water line was chaulked up as flood damage whether you had your roof on or not.
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Old 09-24-2017, 05:09 AM
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Mike,
If you need a place to sleep, PM me.

I Think the first reply was pretty spot on. I had flooding lower area, but living space is on stilts. So I am doing cleanup, Lost the AC in a post storm power spike, Worked for 1 day after my return, then blew motor on inside unit, which was high and dry.

The only think I would add is about mold. Bleach does kill it but also causes spores to release, thus spread it, Get it dry fast fast fast. Then focus on mold. I believe inthe soak it in borax method. Kills is slowly (day or 2) but does not cause it to release spores. I still have not cut into walls, but most are open on one side. Thus hopefully will not be a big issue.

Oh borox method..... 1 cup of borox 1 gallon of water, weed sprayer and soak surface and let it dry out, Best to repeat at once.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by highflier1 View Post
Mike,
If you need a place to sleep, PM me.

I Think the first reply was pretty spot on. I had flooding lower area, but living space is on stilts. So I am doing cleanup, Lost the AC in a post storm power spike, Worked for 1 day after my return, then blew motor on inside unit, which was high and dry.

The only think I would add is about mold. Bleach does kill it but also causes spores to release, thus spread it, Get it dry fast fast fast. Then focus on mold. I believe inthe soak it in borax method. Kills is slowly (day or 2) but does not cause it to release spores. I still have not cut into walls, but most are open on one side. Thus hopefully will not be a big issue.

Oh borox method..... 1 cup of borox 1 gallon of water, weed sprayer and soak surface and let it dry out, Best to repeat at once.
Be careful of "toxic black mold". Only grows on cellulose. Resistant to bleach. Toxins can be absorbed thru skin.

I find it occasionally in remodeling. Spray bleach on it, nothing happens. Time for professional mold remediator.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:24 AM
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Cat - A - Holic, I'm not sure what endorsement you're looking at, but flood damage is specifically excluded in HO3 policies. With your roof ripped off, as you say the contents were toast possibly b/f the storm surge hit which brings the contents under your HO policy. If this is the case, then those items covered under the HO policy should be excluded from coverage under the flood policy and vice versa, meaning you can't stack coverages for some of these items. But, if you had 3' of storm surge you're likely to have damages caused by the flood that are excluded under your HO, allowing you to make recovery under both policies.
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Old 09-28-2017, 09:26 AM
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Ok now the impossible. We have done all we can do at this point, ripped everything out of our house including all the cabinets and drywall 4' up. We pressure washed all the exposed framing and floors and treated it for mold. I have the air going and fans running and the inside humidity is down to 51%.

Can any one suggest a good contractor that will work in Marathon, that can give me a bid on redoing my entire home? We will probably end up replacing everything. Just trying to get an early start.
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