Civil/Structural Engineering, Vashon, Washington, USA 206-463-5311
Ellisport Engineering Blog
Ellisport Engineering Provides Nationwide Assistance in Disaster Situations


Ellisport engineers, Eric and Steve, have recently begun providing investigative engineering assistance in areas hit by natural disasters.  When these disasters occur, large numbers of people are affected.  Insurance companies need to settle these claims as soon as possible, to allow people to repair their homes and get on with their lives.  Local engineers cannot handle all of this work in a timely fashion, so out-of-state engineers are called in to help.  The work is a nice change-of-pace, challenging, and taxing.  Typically, we will see about 6 projects in a weeks’ time.  Our final product is a detailed report to the insurance company, explaining the cause(s) of the damage.  From this report, the insurance company can then determine coverage related to the damage.


In March and April, both engineers visited New England, primarily MA and CT, to investigate insurance claims related to the heavy winter snows of early 2011.  In New England, we saw mostly roof and leak damage, resulting from heavy snows and the formation of ice dams.  Ice dams result from periodic thawing (generally caused by poorly insulated and ventilated roofs) and re-freezing of snow/ice, creating a dam that obstructs water from flowing to the gutters.  Instead, it backs up under the roofing shingles, often prying them up, and eventually leaking into the attic space. 


In mid-May, Eric visited Tennessee to investigate high wind damage to buildings.  This is likely peripheral damage from the plethora of tornadoes that occurred over the last month.  We will soon provide an update on what he saw.


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