Recently, Guardian’s specialized construction & engineering expertise was required on a commercial property claim in North Carolina. The subject structure is a 12,000 square foot facility comprised of masonry, heavy timber, and conventional wood framing. The exterior is clad with brick, and the roof system is steep slope with asphalt shingles. Owners claimed hail damage to the roof. The carrier depends upon Guardian’s Property & Casualty Group to establish fair, credible cause and origin of reported damages.
Most hail investigations commence with a review of site-specific wind data from a commercial, nationally recognized weather data resource, and this claim investigation was no different. While several wind events in excess of 40 mph occurred prior to the date of loss, records didn’t show anything of the same significance on or after the loss date. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported two incidences of .88” hail but these a few months prior to the date of loss. Equipped with this data, Guardian’s Property & Casualty Group forensic engineer performed an on-site inspection, inclusive of the surrounding land and, of course, the roof.
Among the observations:
>At the exterior, there were no broken windows or doors, nor missing or displaced building materials, nor damaged vegetation or impact marks;
>At the interior, instances of staining to ceiling tiles and the gypsum wallboard were noted;
>On the roof, shingles were in poor condition throughout, including loss of granules;
>Also on the roof, on two different facets the internal fabric structure of the shingles was exposed (mechanical damage).
In addition to highlighting the observations above (among others), the forensic report clearly spelled out the difference between storm-related damage and damage related to, in this case, installation defects, lack of periodic maintenance, and mechanical abuse. While hail greater than .75” likely certainly could have damaged the house if it struck in unfavorable conditions, no such visible hail damage was observed.
A national construction and engineering forensics firm, Guardian Group, Inc. lends its claims experience to property insurance carriers, TPAs, and adjusters who need clear determinations of cause and origin on complex claims. When you need specialized expertise, rapid response, and rapid reporting, you can rely on Guardian Group, Inc.’s over 30 years’ experience. Call on the ones you can count on. Call on Guardian Group today.