Storm Damage — 5 Things to Consider

community wide disaster services

Winds, rain, hail — as part of a storm, these elements can mean serious problems. As a homeowner, you’re on alert for tornadoes, flash floods and dangerous thunderstorms that can damage your house. This can include fallen trees, water damage, a destroyed roof and other types of damage.

There are some steps that you can and should take to prepare for storms. Yet the unexpected may happen, and you’ll find yourself dealing with storm damage. The following information will help you get your home back in order.

1. It’s important to document everything.

Starting right after the damage, you need to keep a record of everything. This includes taking photos of every aspect of damage that the storm has caused. If you need to move out for a time, keep receipts for all your living expenses. You’ll also want to get detailed, written estimates for repairs. If you keep track of all of this paperwork, it will be easier to file insurance claims.

2. Start with the damage you can fix.

In some cases, there may be storm damage that you can deal with yourself. Quick, cheap repairs, though temporarily, can prevent further damage. You can save money and issues down the road by taking these actions. A key item would be covering a roof leak before rain causes more problems.

Before you start, you’ll want to make sure that it’s safe to work on your home. It’s also critical to take proper precautions while you work and be careful climbing ladders and working on your roof.

3. Different insurance will cover different damages.

The exact damage to your home determines what your insurance will cover. For example, homeowner’s insurance may cover removing a fallen tree — but only if it damaged your home. Storm damage to your vehicle, on the other hand, could be covered by your auto insurance.

You’ll want to have records and a good understanding of what your insurance coverage covers. It can be helpful to read over your insurance policy before contacting your insurance company.

4. Finding the right contractor is critical.

For most storm damage, you’ll need to consult and hire a professional. Even though you want fix damage quickly, take the time to find the right contractor. A long-time local is a better choice than someone from out of town who is taking advantage of a recent storm. For recommendations, ask your neighbors and homeowners groups.

During the hiring process, you should get written bids from several contractors. These bids should describe in detail the work they will do and the materials they will use. This information will help you make the right decision for repairing your home.

5. Hail damage to your roof may not be obvious.

One of the more common types of storm damage is caused by hail hitting a roof. While it may not be visible, hail damage can cause serious problems. Left untreated, a hail-damaged roof will result in leaking as well as cracking and breaking of shingles. An expert can inspect your roof to make sure that there is no damage.

Storm damage can be devastating. If you have the right information and take the right actions, you can quickly deal with that damage and return to life as normal.

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