Homeowner Tips: What to Do After a Storm
Major storms can wreak havoc on your home in any season. Heavy snows, torrential rains, hail, hurricane-force winds, etc. can each bring unique damages to not only the structure of your home but to your interior and possessions as well. Knowing what to do after a storm can prevent additional damage to the home and save lives. Here are a few tips to help you through the aftermath.
- Make sure everyone is safe and uninjured.
Your priority is to check on all family members and treat any injuries. Move to a safe location in the home.
- Check for window and door damage.
Look for broken glass, shattered windows, and broken doors.
- Check for leaks within your home.
Walk through each room focusing on the ceiling to spot any signs of water infiltration. Also, check around exterior door jambs and window casings.
- Be mindful of any downed powerlines before going outside to assess the damage.
Downed power lines should always be considered “live” so stay away. They may be in trees, in a puddle, or on a vehicle. Never attempt to move them or walk close to them.
- Check for roof damage.
Assess the roof for missing shingles, dark spots, or any indication that the integrity of the roof has been compromised.
- Check for clogged or downed gutters.
Small limbs, branches, and leaves can form a blockage in gutters. Accumulation of water can cause additional damage to the roof and interior of your home.
- Check for other damage to the exterior of the house.
Major storms can cause siding and shingles to be torn off the home which may cause structural damage down the line.
- If you have an enclosed pool, check for structural damage to the cage.
It isn’t unusual for trees and limbs to destroy portions of an entire pool cage. Make sure it’s sound enough to walk under.
- Document, document, document.
Take photos of all damage, interior, and exterior. Make a written list of all appliances, furniture, carpet, etc. that have been damaged by the storm.
- Contact your homeowner’s insurance company.
Whether online or via phone, once you contact your insurance company a claim will be started and the road to recovery begins.
- Make any temporary repairs to avoid further damage.
If able and it’s safe to do so, place tarps over damaged areas of the roof. Cover broken windows, and repair doors.
- Keep receipts for any purchases required to make repairs or replacements.
This would also include receipts for hotel stays, gasoline, and other necessary supplies should the home be declared uninhabitable. If unsure the policy will cover something, keep the receipt.
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