The aftermath of a storm can be traumatic and put you at a loss.
Knowing what to do after a storm hits your area can vastly change what happens in the following days. A storm can impact your critical assets, from home and furniture to vehicles. Hence, failing to make the right decision immediately after a disaster can put your family, belongings, and finances at risk.
As challenging as recovery from a hurricane or storm can be, you can take comfort in that many homeowners as you have gone through similar experiences. It makes finding the direction you need a bit easier.
Once you know what to expect, you must learn all you can before a storm hits your area to be more prepared to restore everything to normal as quickly as possible.
This article discusses storm damage repair steps for your home or business so you can mitigate some of the expected damage. Please read on. This article is for property owners like you!
Steps to Storm Damage Repair
Prepare your home against the coming storm with these tips.
Check Your Home for Storm Damage
When the storm subsides, you must check your home to determine the extent of the damage. When you check your property, be cautious of slippery areas such as broken or exposed electrical lines, loosened floorboards or ceilings, tiles etc. Therefore, before you do an extensive walk-through, keep the following safety tips in mind:
Before going outdoors, check the local news to ensure that your area is safe.
Be on red alert for hazards such as broken glass and exposed nails.
Always assume that downed broken power lines are a risk and dangerous. Stay at least ten feet away and alert the police and utility company.
Keep away from standing water, especially if there are downed power lines nearby.
Avoid checking for water or storm damage in pitch dark at nighttime. But if you need to carry a flashlight with you instead of a candle or open flame. A battery-powered light mitigates the risk of a fire or explosion from possible damaged gas lines.
Strong winds and rain can create hazards such as collapsed roofing materials, walls, window damage, or standing water in the basement or indoors.
If you smell gas like carbon monoxide or suspect a leak, you must immediately shut off the main gas line. Open the windows and go outside along with your household. Notify the utility company and the proper authorities of your situation, and do not go indoors until they declare your home safe.
After a storm, are there significant damages to your home or business? We can help you with all your roofing needs and everything else. Don’t hesitate to contact us!
Prevent Further Damage to Your Property
Once you have taken the proper safety precautions, you must secure your property from further damage. After a severe storm, you might have broken windows, leaks, and floodwaters on your property. Hence, doing all you can to secure your property immediately could make the storm damage restoration process more straightforward.
Board up windows that are leaking water in. It is also recommended that you remove valuable possessions at risk of getting damaged. Stagnant water can cause severe problems and render your property temporarily unlivable.
Furthermore, water that permeates into a structure could lead to mold growth which is harmful to the health of its occupants. Remove flood water as possible from your premises to prevent mold growth.
If securing your property from further damage seems like an overwhelming task, you should reach out to emergency restoration professionals for assistance.
Assess the Damage to Your Home
Before contacting your insurance company for your claims, you need to take pictures of the extent of damage to your property. In many cases, these pictures can help insurance adjusters assess the damage. Take note that several areas in your property or home are most vulnerable to storm damage.
Roof storm damage
The roof is the most susceptible to costly damages. If a tree or heavy debris falls on your roof during a storm, your home might suffer structural damage. Look for the following signs of roof damage:
- Split seams
- Missing, broken, or dented shingles
- Granules that collect in the gutters or downspouts
- Leaky roofs or ceilings
Take your time to scrutinize the outside of your property. Damage can sometimes go unnoticed.
Look for wind damage to your siding and window frames. If you have an outdoor HVAC unit, check it for signs of damage.
Although this documentation process may seem like a big hassle, it is critical if you want to recoup your losses.
Fix What You Can
When it is time to start the repair process, begin with pieces you can fix yourself. In many cases, a storm will not have damaged your home entirely, and many things can be restored with repairs.
If you feel you can successfully repair some of the damage, you should do so immediately. Seek professional repair services for other parts with more severe damage.
Getting down to repairs immediately prevents minor damages from escalating. If water and wind are blasting into your home through a broken window, you should board up the window ASAP to prevent more harm to your property.
Hire the Right Restoration Company
It is crucial to hire a professional and trustworthy restoration company to help you recover your home from damage. A poor or incomplete restoration puts you in a high-risk home that might be unlivable for you and your family – mitigate further damage and health risks.
A restoration company can ease your burden and take some responsibility off your shoulders. Reliable restorers will handle all communications between contractors and insurance companies and begin the storm damage repair process.
A significant storm event is traumatic and devastating to your family or business, but storm damage restoration experts can get your property back to pre-damaged condition. These services often include a free quote and time estimate of the damage repairs required.
Items to Consider to Maximize Your Insurance Claim After a Storm Damage
If your home or business has suffered damage because of a severe weather event, you must follow these steps to get the restoration insurance claim process started.
- Homeowners away from their homes during the storm must not enter their homes until it is confirmed to be safe by experts. In this case, a storm damage restoration professional can help you determine if your home is sound and livable. Call a disaster restoration service provider and your insurance company immediately.
- If the storm causes severe damage to regions or cities in your area, ask your insurance company if special teams of relief workers, contractors, and insurance agents will be sent to your location.
- Check your insurance policy, take note of what actions you need to do after a disaster, and follow it. If you do not follow the instructions, you might have your claim vastly reduced by your insurance provider.
- Please thoroughly inspect your property for damage and take pictures of them.
- You must also document damages to nearby properties. Comparing neighboring damage to your property may help you in the claims process. It prevents the insurance provider from downgrading your claim. Your provider might declare the damage to your property as neglect or caused by some other unrelated circumstance to the storm.
- Make sure to keep track of every communication between you and your insurance provider. Save emails and record phone calls.
- Keep the receipts for all materials of repairs you did yourself and the receipts of repair services you hired.
- To avoid scams, check the identification of the insurance adjuster.
- If authorities in your area declare that you must evacuate your property, do not be afraid to ask for funds upfront from your insurance against her claim. If your insurance provider agrees, they will provide a check adjusted from the final payout.
- Review any insurance settlement carefully. If there are conditions you do not feel comfortable with, decline them immediately and continue with the entire claims process. In some cases, insurance providers will provide a partial settlement early on.
- Getting the services of a public adjuster may be to your benefit. Adjusters from the insurance company might be looking to save costs and cut down your claim.
Quick Fix DIY Tips After Storm Damage
The following are some do-it-yourself fixes you can perform after storm damage while waiting for the professionals to come.
Check pipes and irrigation systems inside and outside your property.
Shut off the water valves of toilets and sinks. If necessary, close all water systems in your home.
If there is sewage backup in your shower or under the toilet, your main sewer line could be clogged or damaged. In this case, avoid using other sinks or toilets.
Check the condition of your roof. But do not risk life and limb by going up your roof even if you determine that only a few shingles are lost, and you can perform a quick fix.
Your best option, in this case, is to call the professionals. They have the skills, tools, and equipment to do the job safely and correctly. Professionals follow a storm damage restoration plan.
They can apply a temporary solution to your roofing to stop the rain from coming until permanent repairs can be arranged.
Appliances exposed to water must be disconnected from the power source and serviced before switching on.
Be alert to frayed wires and watch out for sparks. If you determine structural damage to your property or see exposed wires, you must call an electrician. Make sure to turn off the power because there is the possibility of electrocution if you switch on the power yourself.
Breaker boxes outdoors are typically water-tight but may not be robust enough to withstand a severe storm. If you suspect that water has leaked into the box, you must call an electrician before turning on the power.
Avoid metal fences because they might carry a charge from fallen or dangling electrical wires.
If a nearby tree has fallen on a power line near your property, switch off the power and call the utility company at once.
Do not attempt to cut or clear branches or fallen trees near power lines!
The best solution for flooding problems is to call a professional restoration company. They have the necessary tools, technicians, and know-how to tackle flooding damage.
But if you decide to do a quick fix yourself, you must take precautions and wear safety gear such as boots, gloves, eye protection, and a respirator.
Here are a few things you should do when there are floodwaters in your area:
- Minimize water damage by removing stagnant water
- Utilize a pump or squeegee to the water.
- Only use a vacuum if rated as a true wet-dry vacuum.
- Remove all absorbent items contaminated with floodwaters, such as carpets, carpet padding, furniture, and curtains.
- Dry the damp areas with an air mover and dehumidifier.
- Throw away medicines, cosmetics, foods, and even canned foods submerged in flood.
- Check wall boards for moisture and tear off damaged parts to prevent mold growth.
- Clean floors and cabinets with water and detergent. Afterwards, disinfect everything with industrial-grade disinfectant.
- Keep a photographic or video documentation of items you dispose of.
Automobiles can be damaged by floodwaters, tree limbs, or falling debris during the height of a storm.
Cover broken windows, if any and list valuables in your car that have been lost or damaged.
If an automobile is damaged during this weather event, notify your insurance agent.
Unfortunately, disasters like storms can bring out the worst in others who want to take advantage of the situation. But by following these safety tips, you can protect yourself from additional loss.
- Make sure to work with local or known contractors for storm damage repair services.
- Do not pay for work until everything is finished and you are satisfied with the results. It is recommended you pay with a check or a credit card.
- Beware of contractors who pressure you. If they offer now or never deal, it is in your best interest to find someone else.
- Obtain a written estimate for all work required, including the scope and prices.
- Beware of charity scams that might be using the natural disaster to make their cause more plausible. Donate only to recognized organizations.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to recover from a tornado?
After a tornado’s aftermath, you must clean up debris and remove anything that could pose a risk or danger. When you go outside, steer clear of downed power lines. Finally, you need to assess the extent of damage to your property and decide whether you need to rebuild from the ground up.
What is the best way to protect windows from storm damage?
You must invest in window protection if you live in a region where storms are expected. An excellent way to ensure your windows are protected is to fit them with storm shutters. These are easy-to-install devices and can be utilized for residential and commercial structures.
Can hailstorms damage solar panels?
Yes, hailstorms can damage solar patterns but not to a significant extent. Solar panels are engineered to withstand strong high winds and heavy rain. But if you live in an area where hail storms are common, you must consider installing protective covering for your solar panels.
What damage can powerful storms do?
Powerful storms can down trees, power poles, and even an entire building. These weather disasters can also cause significant damage to homes and businesses, like power outages.
Conclusion – Getting Back on Your Feet After a Storm
Hopefully, this article has given you vital information on steps to do before and after a storm.
Whether it is a home or business, your property is your livelihood. After severe weather events have passed through your area, you must take the steps discussed in this article to recover quickly. Collaborating with an expert storm damage restoration service can help rebuild your property to its pre-damaged condition sooner than later.
Check out our storm damage restoration services! Don’t hesitate to contact us the second a storm has passed in your area. We provide expert mitigation restoration and reconstruction services.