BBB and local businesses offer tips for ice storm damage

CONYERS – Recent Winter Storm Pax caused some icy damage throughout the metro Atlanta area, including power outages and downed trees in Rockdale and Newton counties.

Dustin Shepard, owner of American Tree Specialists in Conyers, said that although not much damage occurred in the Rockdale and Newton areas, there was significant damage in Augusta, where his company is working on two apartment complexes that were damaged by falling tree branches.

Falling branches are a primary concern when ice storms hit, and Shepard offered a tip for the future: “Keep your hardwood trees, like maple and oak, trimmed,” he said.

Shepard said hardwood trees are likely to be damaged during an ice storm, especially if the branches and limbs aren’t properly trimmed.

Even though last week’s storm did not cause much roofing damage locally, roofs are another concern for homeowners during an ice storm.

Raymond Engineering’s Vice President of Operations Brent Iverson said that he did not receive many reports of damage from the Rockdale and Newton areas, but the Conyers roofing contractor did offer some tips for residents during ice storms.

“Make sure you keep your gutters and valleys clean because pine straw, dirt and debris allow for snow to build up behind it, and it takes longer for it to melt,” said Iverson.

With the destruction that winter storms can cause, there are also scammers who try to take advantage of those in need of help in the aftermath.

Many homeowners are often anxious to get their homes back to normal after an ice storm’s damage caused by falling tree limbs, but the Better Business Bureau advises people to be wary of door-to-door workers who show up unsolicited offering to make repairs. Often these scammers will offer to clean up fallen branches for a small fee, and then shortly after tell the homeowner that more work needs to be completed, which results in much higher costs.

The BBB urges residents to check with their insurance companies about policy coverage and specific filing requirements, and to keep copies of receipts of emergency repairs for reimbursement later. Also, the BBB suggests that homeowners get everything in writing for getting work done on their homes. Preparing a written agreement with anyone you hire can outline the work to be done, materials to be used, and price breakdown for labor and materials. In the contract, avoid using vague phrases such as “repair siding” and specify exactly what work needs to be done.

For a list of BBB accredited tree removers and roofing contractors in the metro area, visit the BBB’s directory of accredited businesses online at www.bbb.org/atlanta/accredited-business-directory.