When you’re faced with making critical claims decisions, it always helps to have professional back-up. With more than 35 years of combined experience in civil, mechanical, structural and forensic engineering, Jade Engineering can provide the professional back-up you need. Whatever type of claim, you can be sure that we’ll respond quickly to assess the problem and reach independent and objective conclusions, giving your policyholders confidence in your claim handling process.
Using state of the art inspection techniques and research, we can differentiate between foundation settlement damage and earthquake/blasting damage; determine the extent of structural damage due to tornados, hurricanes and tree or vehicle impact; evaluate roofing materials for wind and hail damage; determine the causes of mold, mildew and moisture damage; evaluate building material defects; and we can determine the causes of any type of failure/damage. We are not afraid to enter small and dirty crawl spaces or hot attics, and we will climb steep roofs in order to fully evaluate a situation.
The results of our inspections are presented in professionally bound, typewritten reports using grammatically correct language. We try to write our reports in a manner that will be easily understood by both the adjustor and building owner. To provide proof of our submissions, we often include copies of informative articles and we make reference to published research and standards. In the event of litigation, we will stand behind our conclusions knowing that we conducted the needed inspections and performed the needed research to professionally back-up any conclusion we reached. We do not form opinions or conclusions without reviewing all the facts, and we will not pretend to know the answer in those few instances where there is insufficient information to reach an informed conclusion.
Engineering Services for the Insurance Industry Include
We have evaluated numerous homes damaged by felled trees. In our damage assessments, we develop scaled floor and framing plans of the home and foundation. We photo-document all interior and exterior damages, then perform wall lean and floor level surveys. After this, we study the load transfer from the roof to the foundation in order to trace the load path of the tree impact. With this information, we can determine what damages are associated with tree impact and what aren’t. We can also develop structural repair plans to aid in the adjusting process and assist the repair contractor in his work.
We have been performing blasting damage inspections for more than 15 years. As members of the Society of Explosive Engineers, we keep abreast with the latest technologies and research. We maintain an extensive library which includes all of the important Bureau of Mines’ Reports of Investigations, as well as other recognized treatises on properly evaluating ground vibration and air blast concussion damage. In our damage assessments, we carefully interview the home/building owners, map out the building’s floor and foundation plans, photo-document all claimed damages, perform wall lean and floor level surveys, precisely determine the distance between the building and blast site, research the explosive activities, review shot reports and seismograph records if possible, and perform Scale Distance and Regression calculations if needed.
It is only natural for a home/building owner to take a keen look at their structure following a storm and find damages which they did not recall being present before the storm. By understanding how wind affects buildings, and by using wall lean and floor level surveys, we can quickly determine what damages, if any, are directly related to wind storms. We can also evaluate damage to thermal window seals and determine whether it is related to storm effects or to natural aging processes.
Hail and Wind Damage
We have been performing hail and wind damage inspections of roofing materials for many years. We maintain a library of wind and hail damage research and have been trained by authoritative organizations to correctly perform roof inspections. Using our training and extensive experience, we can quickly determine what are legitimate storm damages and what are signs of material defects or natural weathering and aging. We are also trained to spot intentionally caused damages. After carefully interviewing the home/building owners, we walk the entire roof (using ropes and safety harnesses if necessary).We then section off 100 square foot study areas on each major roof slope and perform close inspections of the shingles inside these areas photo-documenting all deficiencies. We also study the conditions of metallic objects on the roof and around the home in order to gage the sizes of hail which fell onto the property. In addition to our inspections, we perform weather research to further assess the probable sizes of hail stones and to determine which direction the storm traveled.
We have inspected hundreds of leaning chimneys over the past 15 years and have discovered that many problems are due to insufficient footings and/or the construction of footings on highly disturbed or backfill soils. Using similar triangles, we can show that less than 1/4 inch of chimney settlement can result in several inches of separation at roof eaves. From our analyses, we can determine the forces applied to a chimney from wind and gravity to ascertain the cause of chimney movement.
Fire Damage Evaluations
We are often asked to determine the extent of damage from fire losses. We can evaluate each structural member and determine whether the damage is superficial or structural in nature, and we can evaluate the remaining strength. We can also inspect chimney flues with specially designed video cameras to determine whether the chimney liner has been damaged by a chimney fire.
We have extensive experience in determining the source of moisture intrusion problems, leading to mold/mildew growth and/or wood rot/decay. We can ascertain whether the moisture intrusion is related to ground surface run-off water, wind-driven rain, condensation, or construction defects. We have evaluated thousands of homes for leakage through EIFS siding or brick veneer and have unsurpassed knowledge of the weaknesses in these exteriors, particularly if critical details of construction are not followed. We can also analyze the heating/cooling or ventilation systems and ducting to isolate the causes of condensation problems.
Other Services Provided for the Insurance Industry
We also perform floor covering failure evaluations, lightning damage evaluations, flood and wave damage evaluations, product/material failure evaluations, freeze/ice damage evaluations, basement/retaining wall failure evaluations, swimming pool damage evaluations, and septic system failure evaluations.