Storms can start small and then get pretty violent. Fast winds, heavy rain, lightning, thunder- all can be pretty intimidating. They are capable of damaging your property and even injuring you in the process. For some people, their houses remain intact and damage-free, while others face severe destruction. If you live in parts of the US that experience frequent storms, you’d know!
If a storm has recently hit your town and home, and you are trying to recover, we are here to help. You need to pay attention to the most affected areas and slowly work your way around your renovating your house, making it safe again. It is natural to feel frustrated and anxious since this is a tedious task. But, with a few helpful guidelines, you will get back on your feet in no time. So, here’s what you need to do for your house after a storm struck it:
1. Safety comes first
When your house gets clearance to re-enter, you should always survey the damage first. Is there a chance that the roof may collapse, or are there any other signs of danger? You may be eager to go inside but securing the premises is essential. If you enter your house and smell a gas leak, evacuate immediately. If there’s water inside, turn off the main power supply to avoid electrocution. Also, ensure you check yourself and your family for apparent signs of injury if you were present inside when the disaster struck. Get medical help ASAP.
2. Analyze the damage
You may need to evaluate what the complete picture looks like. Did your car also sustain damage? What about your material possessions? If you notice your water pipes are no longer intact and water flowing everywhere, find a water damage specialist to help take care of the waterlogging and pipes. It will also help you assess the extent of the damage. Unless you have the expertise and knowledge to do repair work, now is not the time to attempt DIY hacks. You don’t know where there may be a structural weakness, and you do more harm than good. You may feel emotional and would want to fix your property right away but take it slow. It would be best to know what you’re up against and get appropriate help. Analyzing also helps you estimate when you will be able to use your house again. If you have a family, you will need to find temporary shelter for the time being as repair works start their progress.
3. Document the wreckage
For this step, you should take time. Document the severity of the damage. Start from the outside and work your way inside. You should take pictures too because when you’re filing for insurance, you want a bulletproof case. In fact, it is always better to maintain a pictorial record of your home in its original glory as a contingency. There is always a chance the company counterargues that the house may already have been in a weakened state. You want all the paperwork you have on your home intact and not questioned. As unfortunate as a storm can be, the people around you can make the situation far worse.
4. Check the vents
As you’re gathering the extent of the damage, it is easy to overlook the ventilation system. These systems usually get flooded with water and need proper cleaning before they’re usable again. You should contact a HAVC company right away and let them handle your vent system. Ensure they clean and drain the AC unit properly. It would help if you make them run the system in front of you to check if everything is working correctly.
5. Contact your insurance company
If you live in a city that experiences frequent storms, having an insurance plan is crucial. You never know when a natural disaster may strike, and you sustain heavy damage. Insurance companies will request you to submit proper documentation, which they will go through to decide how much compensation you need. Generally, you get a pretty good amount, and the deductible you need to pay is minimal. If you haven’t looked into insurance companies, it is good to start your research now. It would help that you go for insurance companies who are known for their professionalism and not try to lay a dispute to the claim you’re putting down.
6. Contact reliable, trustworthy contractors
Even though you’ve just been through a severe storm, that doesn’t stop people from scamming you. Natural disasters are golden opportunities for such con artists to swoop in and lay a claim on your money. It will help if you find out about reliable renovation companies. Find out what company your neighbors are contacting. Even if you don’t come across a fraudulent contractor, you don’t want a company that doesn’t do a stellar job with repair work. Poor damage restoration can mean additional recurring expenses down the road- and you’d want to avoid these at all costs. You can attempt to clear some debris of your own, but the heavy work should be left alone for professionals to handle.
Storms cause copious amounts of structural damage. Floods can wreak havoc in the basement, while high winds can tear off the roof. If you have sustained damage from a storm, you may need to work a little to get back on your feet. Your primary objective is to ensure that you and your family are safe. After that, you will need to start the process of surveying and documenting the damage your property has. Once you have a clear picture, contact the relevant insurance company and contractors to help you fix your house. This process may be slightly time-consuming, but you can get your home back in shape with the proper research.