Homeowner’s Insurance and Fencing

Homeowner’s insurance (depending on your policy limits) will cover damage to a fence caused by a hurricane/earthquake/storms/etc. Many times, this is only applicable if the fence is an attached structure, meaning that the fence is attached to the home itself. Fencing falls under “other structures” covered on a policy.

Situations

Your neighbor’s tree falls on your fence: This will depend on state-specific laws, your insurer may go to your neighbor for payment if the tree was deemed to have fallen due to lack of maintenance/negligence on the neighbor’s part. However, if the tree is located on a boundary line and is in both lots, insurance may hold both you and your neighbor responsible for half of the deductible each.

Your tree falls on your fence: If a healthy tree falls on a fence, the homeowner’s insurance will cover it (depending on your specific policy) However, if the tree was sick and deemed to be weakened through lack of maintenance/negligence, it will not be covered. Remember, insurance covers accidents only.

The fence is damaged from mold/fungus/termites: The fence would not be covered. Homeowner’s insurance covers accidents only. If you are worried about termite damage to a wood fence, consider getting a termite bond with a reputable fence company, but be sure that your wood fence is included in the initial inspection and is not excluded from the coverage of the bond. Wood fences require maintenance to prevent wood rot and fungus, see our tips on how to extend your fences life.

A storm blows down your fence: Homeowner’s insurance would cover the damage up to the coverage limits.

A car crashes through your fence: Homeowner’s insurance would cover the damage up to the coverage limits, however, you could likely file a claim against the driver’s car insurance if they have property damage liability coverage.

Before submitting a claim for your fence damage, take pictures of the damage and try not to move any damaged sections unless necessary. Call around and have some contractors give quotes for the repair. Decide if the cost of the repair is too high, or if it’s worth paying for the repair out of pocket to avoid filing a claim (a deductible is out of pocket anyway) An insurance company may pay to replace your fence, but they will only cover the “actual cash value”, so if you’ve let your wood fence rot and deteriorate, you probably won’t be getting much for a replacement.

Paramount Fencing’s Comprehensive Guide to Hurricanes

Paramount Fencing’s Comprehensive Guide to Hurricanes

How Are Hurricanes Formed?

If you are reading this, something is brewing in the tropics. It does not matter if it is a tropical storm, depression, or a hurricane. They are all disruptive and destructive when they arrive. They damper new business and create long-term stress on time, money, and resources. We have a responsibility to ensure that correct and ethical decisions are made along the way for past, present, and future customers. This may seem like a monumental task; however, with understanding and preparation, the right decision always reveals itself. The key to success is preparation and implementing standard protocols and procedures based on the existing level of threat.

All tropical cyclones begin as a tropical depression, which have the potential to grow into a tropical storm and then into a hurricane. For Florida, all potential tropical weather disturbances originate near the equator just off the shores of Africa, and eventually drift west with the Trade Winds toward North and South America. These disturbances occur because of heated ocean water evaporating, causing it to naturally rise upward, creating low air pressure near the surface of the ocean. In the absences of pressure, cool air is pulled inward and forced upward. If the conditions are right, the air continues to rise higher, and begins to twist in the atmosphere. The twisting creates winds, which begin to circle counterclockwise. Once the wind speed reaches 74 mph, this tropical storm becomes a hurricane. What happens to the hurricane and where it goes is dependent on environmental conditions a tropical storm encounters.

Simply put, a hurricane needs to feed. The main food sources water temperature. For a hurricane to sustain or flourish, the water temperature must be 79F or greater. If the water surface temperature less 79F, the winds will gradually slow until they are no longer of hurricane force. Therefore, it is important when analyzing a hurricane to not become mesmerized with the strength or location of the hurricane in the Atlantic Oceans. It is more important to focus on the projected path and conditions a hurricane will travel through. This path will determine the result.

When a hurricane forms, scientists constantly monitor them with both satellites and airplane surveillance. All data is balanced off weather conditions such as frontal boundaries, low-pressure systems, wind directions, and other tropical events. Current weather conditions are the factors that determine a projected path. What lays in front simply determines the strength and speed.

Hurricane Watch: During a hurricane watch, the tropical storm(s) being monitored have a possibility to develop hurricane force winds in a stated area. Experts usually issue a hurricane watch about 48 hours before they expect the winds to begin.

Hurricane Warning: A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane force winds are expected in a stated area. Experts issue a hurricane warning about 36 hours before the winds are expected to give preparation time.

Before a Hurricane:

- Cover windows with plywood or storm shutters
- Move outdoor items to the garage if possible, or secure them
- Listen to the local news for the most updated information
- Create an emergency kit, include items such as non-perishable foods, water (3-day supply for each person minimum), batteries, first aid kit, medications, pet food (3-day supply minimum), a battery or crank powered radio, extra face masks, hand sanitizers, and extra hand soap
- Fill gas tanks in cars and be sure cars have an emergency kit in them in case of emergency evacuation
- Keep your emergency kit packed together in case of emergency evacuation
- Know how to turn off gas/water/electrical on house in case of evacuation

Houses line a flooded street after the effects of Hurricane Dorian arrived in Nassau, Bahamas, September 2, 2019. REUTERS/John Marc Nutt MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES

After a Hurricane:

- Stay out of floodwater if it is avoidable
- Don’t drive in flooded areas
- If you have to be in floodwater, wear a lifejacket
- Wash your hands with soap and water if you have been in contact with floodwater
- Never use a wet electrical device
- If the power is out, use flashlights instead of candles to avoid accidental fires
- Stay away from downed power lines
- Listen to local authorities for advice on water precautions

Cleaning Up After The Storm:

- Prioritize what cleanup is most important and start there. Stop and take breaks when you are tired
- Get help lifting heavy or bulky objects
- Try to cleanup with other people
- If using a chainsaw, be sure to follow manufacturer instructions and wear protective hear
- Inside, clean up and dry your home as soon as possible, ideally 24-48 hours after the storm or flooding ends
- Air out the house by opening doors and windows. If you have power, put fans on wet areas
- To avoid mold, throw away what can’t be cleaned/dried quickly (rugs, carpeting, mattresses, furniture, etc.)
- Remove any drywall or insulation that has been contaminated with floodwater or has gotten wet
- Fix any leaks as quickly as you can
- Clean up any mold you see with a mixture of bleach and water (1 cup of bleach:1 gallon of water) Be sure to have windows and doors open, never use bleach in an enclosed area

Protecting Your Fence Through a Hurricane:

Your fence was built beautiful and strong, and according to the ASTM standards. It is time to see how it will stand up to hurricane-force winds. Regardless, I need you to do a few things that will help protect your investment. This will be the difference between the insurance company picking up the tab or the cost for repairs coming directly out of your pocket. They are listed below:

- Take a pictures and videos of your fence. Make sure you document all stretches both inside and out. You should do this with your home as well.

- If you have a wood fence, the gates can be secured by taking a foot-long piece of wood 2” x 4” and securing it to the gate and latch post on both the top and bottom. Use screws. If you can, fold the gate open and screw it against the fence with screws.

- If you have a vinyl fence, remove the ¾” bolt from the outer portion of the top and bottom hinges. Slide the gate off and store those gates in the garage. Check your post caps. If they are loose, take them off and place them in the garage as well.

- If you have an aluminum fence, simply place a bungee cord around the gate.

- Make sure you check the fence where it meets the house. Make sure the fence is attached to the house. If it is not, go buy a hurricane strap or 90-degree angle bracket and connect the fence to the house. It will be the difference between the Insurance company viewing the fence as an attached structure or detached structure.

- If you have a stretch of fence line which is standalone or not attached to the fence line, brace it. Bracing can be accomplished by taking a 2” x 4” about two feet long and placing it at a 45-degree angle, one end buried in the ground, one end attached to the post with a screw.

- If you have a pool, even if it has a screen enclosure, please purchase an orange plastic safety fence from the home improvement store. It will be hard to find after the storm.

Living in Harmony with Black Bears in Central Florida

Living in Harmony with Black Bears in Central Florida

Black Bears and Fencing

Central Florida is no stranger to black bears, especially if you live in the Longwood, Wekiva Springs, or any Seminole County area. It is not uncommon for a homeowner to see a bear sitting in the backyard next to the pool or a few cubs resting high in a tree. Regardless of where we see those bears, it can create awkward hello when we let the dog out into that backyard.

For those of us living in these areas, it is important to know that black bears are protected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Homeowners can live in harmony with black bears by following some guidelines from the FWC:

 

  1. Do not feed black bears. Bears that are fed by humans can become habituated and begin moving into residential areas. Bears in neighborhoods can become a public safety threat, resulting in relocation or even death of bears. The best thing to remember is “A fed bear is a dead bear”

 

  1. Eliminate food sources accessible to bears such as garbage cans, compost bins, ripe fruit or vegetables on plants, or pet and livestock foods. Bears will not stay in areas with no easily accessible food sources and will move elsewhere to find food. Protect beehives, gardens, and livestock with electric fencing. Homeowners can find wildlife-resistant garbage cans (like a bear-resistant container or caddy ) to help keep bears away from their homes. Put garbage out in the morning rather than the night before.

 

  1. If a bear is causing issues on your property, use a bear spray to repel or scare the bear away. Black bears are protected in the State of Florida, and it is illegal to shoot one without a FWC permit, unless you are protecting a human life.

 

  1. If you encounter a black bear on your property or in any residential area, it’s best to slowly back away and enter a safe location such as a house, business, or vehicle. Do not run, as this could trigger the nears natural instincts, and black bears can run up to 35 miles per hour.

 

  1. And remember, black bears are very non-confrontational and will most likely not attach. Most black bear attacks result from a bear protecting itself, its young, or its food.

 

So, before you install a new fence, or repair a fence, we at Custom Fence Orlando encourage you to remember two simple concepts:

  • First, most homeowners who live in bear territory simply do not think about bears when they are looking for a fence.
  • Second, most fence companies in Central Florida aren’t thinking about bears either.  They just focus on the exchange.

Ask that fence company how the proposed fence can assist in avoiding those awkward bear meetings. Understand, vinyl fences are flexible. They are not bear resistant. A bear can take one paw, apply pressure, and that vinyl picket will pop right out. To a bear, that cheap prefabricated wood fence is like a thin piece of balsa-wood in a human's hands. A fence is only a deterrent when it comes to bears. Some work better than others.

So, when it comes to bears and fences, remember an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Bears, more often than not, are attracted to something in the backyard. Follow the FWC guidelines to living with bears to protect your home, family, and fence from black bears, and to help protect bears as well.

How to Avoid Getting Scammed

How to Avoid Getting Scammed

A guide to choosing a reputable fence contractor in the Central Florida market

Let's be honest.  Let's be real.  Most businesses in the Central Florida marketplace are flat-out disappointing.  We’re often forced to settle or accept substandard customer service, product, workmanship, and even scams.  Rarely are customers left satisfied.

As our owner always says, “Don’t trust all that you hear, but trust 100% of what you see”, which is especially true when it comes to the fencing industry. It’s impossible to drive through any given neighborhood and not find that 80% of the existing fences are falling, warping, wiggling, or discolored. Is this what fences are supposed to do? Should I need to replace my investment every 5 years? These issues bring up many questions, but there’s only one answer.

We noticed potential customers in the Central Florida Market place were starved for information. It did not matter if it was fencing or some other service. All the customer wanted was information. Information beyond what a company’s marketing materials could provide or what a likable salesperson could present. What they wanted was a real conversation with a real person who understood their industry, service, and products. Simply put, they wanted the ability to make a well-informed decision.

That is often difficult to come across in today's market, so we have made it our company’s goal to educate the consumer so that they do not make costly mistakes. This article will cover red flags in the industry that may lead to subpar products or loss of money entirely. Follow these crucial steps when choosing a contractor to help yourself make the best-informed decision possible.

  1. The first step that many people skip is checking the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, or other trusted sites. It is quite common for companies to use fake reviews on Google or Facebook to help boost their ratings, and the 5-star reviews may drown the 1-stars, but don’t let that blind you. Read those 1-star reviews and take them into consideration. Some sites, such as the BBB, allow the company or contractor to reply to their reviews. Do they own up to their mistakes and try to make it right, or do they argue with the customer? A company that argues with their customer is a red flag.
  2. Look for reviews from customer’s neighbors. It is common to see reviews from neighbors about messes left on lawns, or landscaping that was destroyed. If a company does not respect a neighboring yard, they won’t respect yours.
  3. Look for reviews of bad communications with the company. You may see some that say, “the salesman was responsive and attentive until we signed, and now we can’t reach anyone!” That is a surefire red flag. It is common for fence companies to ask for large “material deposits” (50-60% of total bill), and then disappear, leaving the homeowner out thousands of dollars.
  4. Ask questions about the materials being used. Many companies will advertise high-quality products and provide economy grade materials upon installation, leaving homeowners paying a huge markup for a fence that will need replacement in 3-5 years. A reputable company should be able to provide you with manufacturer and warranty information. Look online for reviews on the material quality before you sign a contract.
  5. Check that the company or contractor you want to work with is licensed. Go to Sunbiz, and search either the company name or contractor's name. If they are listed as “inactive”, they are not currently licensed. Additionally, ask for the company's or contractors' insurance information. If they are not insured and you allow them onto your property, that is a recipe for disaster. If possible, look for a company or contractor who is insured and bonded. The difference here is that the bond works as second insurance and protects the property owner.
  6. Sunbiz will show you how often a contractor has closed and re-opened as another company name every year or two. That is a sign of a scam company. It makes them more difficult to trace. Additionally, look for a contractor with a storefront or physical address.
  7. Lastly, watch out for bogus awards. “Best of Orlando Fences 2018” a company will boast online. It looks great, but is it real? If legitimate, the company should appear when searching for the award name online. Chances are, “Frank’s Fencing” is not the number one rated fence company in your city.

When in doubt, call Paramount Fencing. Our customer service and installation are superior and proven.  We are ranked number one on referral sites such as Angie's List, NextDoor, and the Better Business Bureau. Our number 1 goal is to educate the consumer regardless if they go with us or go with someone else.  That is what we do, and we will still be here for you regardless.

TO SCHEDULE A FREE ESTIMATE CALL!  (407) 341-2720 Family Owned & Operated Since 2003 Veteran Owned and Operated.

 

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fencing Industry

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fencing Industry

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Fencing Industry

2020 has seen many industries impacted by COVID-19, and the fencing industry is no exception. As a family owned and operated company, we have had to make difficult choices. We have been fortunate enough to be included in the essential worker category to continue providing security and protection for our customers. The fencing industry has taken many hits during this pandemic such as tariffs on materials, port closings causing delay of materials, and banning travel on some of our vendors causing delay on deliveries.

 

Lumber:

There is a severe shortage of pressure treated lumber across the United States. This is causing issues for the construction and fencing industries. The shortage is largely due to the spike in DIY home improvement projects and working conditions in factories due to COVID-19.

Most pressure treated wood comes from Brazil. Exports have slowed down due to shipping ports being closed. American umber mills have also been closed or are working with reduced staff. The demand has been higher than the supply, and it’s estimated that it will be like this for a while.

Pressure treated wood prices have skyrocketed between the months of June and July due to the lack of supply, and prices are expected to continue climbing.

 

Vinyl:

Vinyl product manufacturers are facing the same issue: working at reduced capacity. Our vinyl manufacturer is 32,000 panels backordered, putting vinyl shipments out 6-8 weeks from their ordered dates.

There have also been PVC shortages. PVC is a plastic polymer that can be used for many applications. Many manufacturers began using PVC to make PPE for frontline workers during the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. PVC is being used to make face masks and face shields.

Prices on European PVC exports have risen 8.5%, Indian PVC export prices have increased as well. Plant closures across the US has greatly slowed down vinyl production and distribution. The shortage of available vinyl products is causing prices to raise across the board, imported or domestic.

 

Aluminum:

The construction and automotive industries have been heavily hit by COVID-19. American made metal manufacturers are affected by the virus, as well as external factors, such as the Asian metal market. China is already the world leader for steel, and in 2017 they produced more than half of the world’s aluminum.

The construction and automotive industries are facing tariffs on imported materials, as well as long waiting periods to receive supplies.

 

We at Paramount Fencing remain open, and in the attempt to keep everyone safe and healthy, we have implemented social distancing during our estimates, not to take away our number one goal of educating and assisting each homeowner to help make a well-informed decision. While more businesses are re-opening their operations, we will continue to push through our daily processing of obtaining fence permits and ordering of materials to complete your installation. As of now, most of the local county administrative buildings are still closed to the public and taking longer than normal to approve the fence permits. We appreciate your patience in this matter. We will work diligently to advance with the installation of your fence as we obtain permitting, HOA approvals and materials.

Read Next

Hurricane Preparation for Individuals with Autism

Hurricane Preparation for Individuals with Autism

Hurricane Preparation for Individuals with Autism

With hurricane season quickly approaching, and the increase of more and more summer storms, Paramount Fencing is teaming up with Autism Society of Greater Orlando once again to help better prepare those of us with a loved one with Autism in the event of a large storm.

  1. Begin preparing for a possible hurricane now. Add comfort items to your emergency kit. Be sure to include batteries/rechargeable blocks to the kit for recharging electronics. Get an extra pair of soundproof headphones just in case.
  2. Explain to your loved one what is going on. Tell them everything you can about the situation. Use personal stories if applicable. Allow the individual with Autism to ask questions, and answer them. Validate their concerns.
  3. Keep as many routines as possible, but explain to your loved one that there may be some unexpected changes such as loss of electricity, or a change in diet due to lack of access to preferred foods. Make sure to prepare them for any possibility.
  4. If evacuating, expect bad traffic and try to take a frequent break. If you can, try evacuating to a familiar friend or family member's house. If this is not possible, be sure to pre-register for a spot at a special needs shelter in your county. Service animals will be allowed at the shelters, just be sure that you have updated vaccine/license records available. Don't forget to pack at least a 3 week supply of food/water/medicine for service animals.

To pre-register for a special needs shelter near you, follow the links below:

Orange County Special Needs Registry

Seminole County Special Needs Registry

Lake County Special Needs Registry

Polk County Special Needs Registry

Volusia County Special Needs Registry

 

Note: It is very rare for home insurance policies to cover damages caused by either flooding or hurricanes without specific add-ons. After the above preparations have been made, review your homeowner's insurance policy to ensure you are covered prior to any severe weather indications.

Hurricane Preparation 2020

Hurricane Preparation 2020

Hurricane Preparation 2020

Just as we think that 2020 cannot get any crazier, Florida enters Hurricane Season. This year is expected to have an active season, with an estimated 13-19 named tropical storms. NOAA has predicted that 6-10 will become a hurricane, while 3-6 will become major hurricanes (category 3 or above)

This year’s active season could be escalated due to weather conditions in the Pacific. We do not have an El Nino this year, which is warm sea surfaces in the Pacific that helps suppress tropical storms. There is also a possibility that a La Nina will form, causing the waters to cool and react more severely with the warm atmospheric air.

Mixed with COVID, this could make for a very interesting storm season. The CDC is recommending adding hand sanitizers, hand soaps, cleaning supplies, medicine, and face masks to normal hurricane supplies in case of emergencies. Floridians are urged to begin preparing for storms now.

While many of us have lived in Florida through many hurricane seasons, and know how to protect ourselves, how can we better protect our homes from inclement weather? Paramount Fencing recommends the following:

 

  1. Board up windows with plywood or use storm shutters. Entry points such as windows and doors are the weakest points of a home.
  2. Protect against flooding by using sand bags. If you cannot get sand bags, fill heavy-duty garbage bags 1/3 with water and place them side by side to create a makeshift wall to protect your home. Park vehicles on higher ground if possible.
  3. Secure loose objects outside of homes such as patio furniture, play grounds, etc. Remove anything attached to your fence, such as art, plants, or equipment.
  4. Buy surge protectors to protect home appliances against electrical surges.
  5. “Inventory” your home. This will help with insurance claims if needed. Take pictures of your ceilings, porches, fences, and the serial numbers of electronics.
  6. Trim your trees. Most fence and roof damage comes from falling branches.
  7. Remove gates from fences and place them in the garage. Understand the gate areas are the weakest part of any fence line. They can be easily removed by removing the hinges attached to the gate itself. Simply remove the screws. Do not remove the screws attached to the fence itself.

 

Hurricane season spans from June 1st – November 30th in Central Florida.  In the event you are impacted by a Hurricane or tropical storm and suffer any damage, let us know immediately. Understand, the previous customers will always have priority over new customers. If you are not a previous customer, make sure you take the opportunity reserve pre-Hurricane estimate. We promise we will work diligently to fix your fence once the hurricane passes.

Our team will be here to help in any way possible. Even if you need assistance in cutting downed trees and removing debris, we are here to help.  We have tractors and chainsaws.

Call us today to schedule a free estimate

407.341.2720

Vertical Vegetable Garden

Vertical Vegetable Garden

Vertical Vegetable Garden

As COVID-19 sweeps through The States, many Americans find themselves quarantined at home looking for new forms of entertainment. One of the newest trends coming out of quarantine is gardening. The searches for “victory gardens” have spiked and many are packing into home improvement stores looking for seeds.

In the early 20th century, the concept of a “victory garden” began. First started around WW1, they were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences to help prevent food shortages. Victory gardeners had little to no gardening or farming experience, as more of the population was now living in cities than in rural settings. Classic victory gardens were about 25’ by 25’.

Today, many Americans are interested on hobby gardening, but find themselves short for space. Apartments, condos, and townhomes offer limited space for gardening and often come with strict landscaping rules. Many homeowners also turn away from the idea of tearing up their yards to create a traditional garden bed.

Paramount Fencing has a solution for renters and homeowners in Central Florida: a vertical vegetable planter. Planters hold approximately 1.5 cubic feet of soil. There is no digging or permanent installation required to garden in our vertical planters. They are perfect for porches, patios, balconies, and yards alike. Portable, lightweight when empty, made of attractive vinyl material, and sturdy when filled with gardening soil, our vertical planters are perfect for hobby gardeners in the Central Florida area.

Want One?

Contact Paramount Fencing today to place an order for a vertical garden

407.341.2720

How To Pick A Fence Company After A Hurricane

How To Pick A Fence Company After A Hurricane

How To Pick A Fence Company After A Hurricane

If you find yourself requiring a fence after a hurricane, make sure you don’t fall victim to the scams.  The market will be flooded with fly by night companies and individuals looking to make a quick buck.  Do your homework. Below is a checklist which will assist you in making a well-informed decision.

  1. Never call a fence company that placed a door hanger on your door unless they have a website associated with the company, a  Facebook, or a Google plus.
  2. Call at least three fence companies and request an in-person estimate. Phone quotes will only set you up for failure.
  3. When selecting the final bid, do your homework and check that company out. Below are few resources:
  4. See if the company has any complaint listed with the BBB.
  5. Join AngiesList.com and read the companies reviews. Try to avoid payment by click websites which claim to be a home advisor who sells your lead to as many fence companies as possible.
  6. Verify that the company is registered and licensed to do business in the State of Florida. Visit Sunbiz.org and do a corporate Search.
  7. Never give a fence company a material deposit in the form of cash or check.  Always, use a credit card.
  8. Do your research on the building method and materials being used.  There is a great resource guide at Paramount Fencing’s Buyer’s Guide
Hurricanes and Fences: The Before, During, and After

Hurricanes and Fences: The Before, During, and After

Pre-Hurricane Florence Estimating Schedule

If you were around for the hurricanes of 2004 and 2017 fences and screen enclosures were the most damaged items.   The increasing need for fence repairs and replacement created shortages of good and reputable fence companies who were licensed and insured.  As a result, homeowners were faced with long wait times for estimates and fence installations.   The homeowner had to settle for fly by night companies, a friend of a friend, and fence companies trying to take advantage of the situation.   More often than not, the homeowner either lost their deposit or ended up with sub-par fences, only to replace it 2 years later.

DONT BE THAT HOMEOWNER WAITING IN LONG LINES.  Take advantage of Paramount Fencing, Inc. pre-hurricane estimating list and reserve your estimate spot before the hurricane even arrives.  Just fill out the form below, click submit,  and your spot will be reserved.  It’s that simple.