Did you know that 2020 was a record-breaking hurricane season? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported 30 named storms and eleven landfalling storms in the US last year. The year has the most number of storms on record and the second-highest number of hurricanes in the U.S.
These facts and figures are alarming, as storms impact many US households. Storm damage is quite crucial requiring urgent actions. Homeowners must know what to do after storm damage and act on it immediately. That way, it won’t easily and quickly escalate into more extensive damage.
Here are some steps to take after storm damage for your property restoration:
1. Ensure safety and secure the property
Soon after a storm, expect your house to be severely beaten. You’ll see a worn-out roof, shattered glasses, displaced electrical wirings, broken furniture pieces, water leaks, and flooding.
While you want to immediately go back to your house and salvage what you can save, consider safety first. Wait for the authorities to declare that it’s safe to go back. And once you’re in, be wary of safety hazards such as sharp debris, exposed nails, collapsing walls, gas leaks, and a threat of electrocution.
Once you’re assured of your safety, you can now take steps to secure your property. Go ahead and remove the standing water. Save some pieces of furniture. Get rid of clutter and some debris. Ultimately, have an immediate house cleanup.
2. Inspect and assess the damages
After securing your property, it’s time to inspect various areas of your house and evaluate the extent of the property damage. Here are house parts to inspect:
- Roofing system: Check your roof to see if there are missing, curled, dented, or displaced shingles. Also, see if the gutters and downspouts are still in place. Don’t forget the fascia, soffit, and eaves as well.
- Electrical system: Give utmost importance to your electrical system. Watch out for frayed wires and potential sparks. Make sure that the appliances exposed to water are disconnected from their power source. Even power lines near your house hit by a tree must not be ignored.
- Plumbing system: Pay particular attention to your plumbing system. Check to see if there are broken pipes. Be on the lookout for water leaks. Make sure your bathroom toilet and kitchen sink aren’t backing up.
- Other parts: Don’t forget to inspect other areas of your house. Check to see if there are leaks on your ceiling, walls, and floors. Inspect your doors to see if they are still in place and windows to see if they aren’t broken.
While you’re at it, be sure to document the property damage. Jot them down and take photos of them for record purposes.
3. Get in touch with your insurance
It’s important that you contact your insurance provider soon after storm damage. Your main purpose is to inform them about your property damage and its severity.
Also, be sure to ask about your insurance policy and the extent of your coverage. They will explain to you what types of damage are covered and excluded. Of course, the coverage depends on the kind of policy you have, whether it’s a homeowner’s, flood, or storm damage insurance.
While you’re at it, ask about the steps you need to take in filing a claim. They will inform you about what paperwork to submit. They will also help coordinate the work to be performed to restore your home.
4. Look for storm damage restoration services
At this juncture, you can look for a contractor for your storm damage restoration. As mentioned, your insurer will be able to provide some recommendations. However, you can also do your own research by getting some referrals from friends and neighbors or by searching online for prospective contractors.
That said, shop around for potential prospects, check what specific restoration services they offer, and how much you’ll have to pay. Be sure to strike a balance between affordability and service quality. Most importantly, make sure that these services will be covered by your insurance and that you have nothing to pay.
5. Have the damages repaired or some parts replaced
Hiring a contractor depends on what specific damage your property has. For the most part, your roof will be the most impacted after a storm. In this case, you need to hire a roofing contractor for roof repair or replacement. If the problem specifically lies on the gutters brought by the heavy downpour, get a rain gutter repair or installation instead.
If the damage is confined to your plumbing system, a plumber will do the trick. The same is true with your electrical wirings, where you need to hire an electrician. However, if you notice different issues with various parts of your house, hire a complete house restoration service instead.
At this point, you now know what key steps to take after storm damage. Be sure to secure your property, assess the damage, contact your insurance provider, hire a restoration service, and get the work done. With all these in place, expect yourself to rise above your situation and your house to be completely restored.