Storms continue to batter Maryland, and wreak havoc on properties throughout the state. The storms strike fast and leave an aftermath of destruction.
Jill Jacoby had a large tree in front of her house topple to the ground this week. One of the tree’s branches clipped her chimney causing damage.
“We’re just lucky the house didn’t take a direct hit and harm anyone. We can get the chimney fixed,” she added.
Dennis Barnes, owner of Piccadilly Square Chimney Sweeps, which services Harford County, Baltimore County and other locations around Maryland, says that, “We have been very busy because of the storms, and they don’t appear to be letting up. The powerful winds and driving rain can damage flashing, and flying debris can cause structural damage to chimneys,” he added.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, if you suspect chimney damage after a storm, you should have a Level 2 inspection. During a Level 2 inspection a professional chimney cleaner will have to access and assess the chimney from everywhere possible.
“Your chimney inspector will perform a roof inspection as well as enter the home and inspect the fireplace, as well as the crawl space,” Barnes added.
Your chimney inspection may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Contact your insurance agent right away. If the inspection is not covered, it is recommended that you proceed with an inspection. If you forego the inspection, you may pay a lot more in the long run when the effects of the damage later. If the chimney inspector finds damage, then you have the basis for filing a claim with your insurer to fix the problem.
Sadly, these storms have been more than just destructive to property. Last week seven children were hurt and one perished when a tree fell on them while attending a Christian summer camp in Carroll County Maryland.
When the next storm comes raging through your neighborhood, the best thing to do is have a plan. If you are caught outdoors and can see lightening, you are in immediate danger. Immediately go into a building or into a motor vehicle. If you can’t make it to a car or building, stay clear of tall objects and go to the lowest lying area and lay flat.
If you are indoors during a severe storm, unplug appliances, TVs, radios, etc. If you need to use a telephone, only use a cordless phone or cellular phone. Go to the lowest level of the building you are in.