How to Repair Storm Damage to Your Home
Whether you're a homeowner, renter, or condo dweller, it's important to know how to deal with storm damage. Storms can cause severe damage to homes and make it harder for people to get back on their feet in their own homes after a disaster. This guide will help you prepare before storms hit and help you repair your home if there is damage after the storm passes.
Prepare for the Worst
The first step to recovery is preparation. Here are some tips to get you started:
Make a list of important documents, such as your insurance policy, medical records, and bank account information. Keep this list in a safe place just in case you need it later on. You can also store digital copies of these documents somewhere offsite if you have them on your computer or phone.
If you live in an area prone to flooding or storm damage, contact your insurance company and let them know where you are located. This will help ensure that they understand the risks associated with insuring someone who lives in such an area and can adjust their rates accordingly when necessary.
Store an emergency supply kit near your main exit point from the house so that it's easy to grab when needed (e.g., during storms). The contents of this kit should include water purification tablets/drop neutralizers, food rations sufficient for three days (including non-perishable items), canned goods for two weeks worth of meals (including meat), toiletries (toothbrush/paste etc.), clothing suitable for warm weather conditions (i.e., tank tops/shorts)
Evaluate the Damage and Document It
After the storm is over, you will want to quickly assess the damage. Start by documenting all of the damage with pictures. After you've documented the damage in detail and photographed it (with your camera or smartphone), make sure you keep copies of these images stored on a flash drive or other secure electronic storage device. This way, if there's ever an issue with your insurance claim you will have proof of the damage. They may need documentation of what happened within those first few days after the storm passed through your area and you want to make sure you have that readily available.
Cut Off the Power
If you have a home generator, turn it off at the main switch and make sure all gas lines are shut off. If you have an emergency power system, ensure that it is not connected to the grid by turning off the circuit breaker for your house and checking that no electrical panels are attached. Shutting off power can be dangerous because of the risk of electrocution or fire from electrical appliances. Therefore, it is important only to do so if a qualified professional recommends it or after giving yourself plenty of time to do so safely.
After turning off power in your home, check for potential hazards such as gas leaks (use a flashlight) and fire hazards (remove flammables). You may need to call emergency services if any such hazards exist before proceeding with repairs on your property.
If you suspect there has been damage due to high winds or other weather-related events like tornadoes or hurricanes, refrain from using any electrical appliances until they have been inspected by a licensed electrician
Contact Your Insurance Company
Your policy should tell you how to contact your insurance company, so be sure to have a copy of it on hand before you call. They will want to know what happened and how much the estimated damage is. Make sure they know that there could be additional costs if the storm caused flooding or other damage outside of what was immediately visible like broken windows or roof shingles coming off. If you aren't insured, then there's no reason for them to make any payments towards repairs because they won't get paid back by any third party (like the government). If this is the case, then expect that any expenses associated with fixing up your home will fall entirely on you!
Here are some tips to starting the cleanup process:
1. Remove any damaged furniture or belongings from your home.
2. Clean up any broken glass in the areas affected by flooding or severe hail and wind.
3. Make sure there are no exposed electrical wires before you begin cleaning up water and mud/dirt. If there is, shut off all power to the area where they are found and call an electrician immediately! Even if you don't know what circuit breaker turns off this particular switch, it's better to be safe than sorry when dealing with electricity!
4. Remove hazardous materials like chemicals, pesticides, oil-based paints or cleaners (as they may contain asbestos), gasoline/diesel fuel from tanks on boats/cars (as these can leak into groundwater), etc., as soon as possible by contacting a disposal company.
Dry it Out
You can use fans and dehumidifiers to start the drying process in your home. In most cases, if the damage is extensive, it is a good idea to call a professional like SERVPRO of Fresno Northeast/Shaver Lake to get your Hendersonville, NC home dry.
Repair or Replace?
A contractor will help you determine if the damage is something that can be repaired or replaced. If you have the skills and equipment, you may be able to do this yourself. You may need to hire a contractor if the damage is extensive and/or complicated in nature. Again, SERVPRO of Fresno Northeast/Shaver Lake can help with this process!
It doesn't matter what season it is or where you live—disasters can happen at any moment and can be caused by natural or human-made occurrences. No matter what kind of storm hits your home, safety should always be the first priority for everyone involved. If a storm comes through your area and causes damage to your home (or any other building), make sure that everyone stays safe until the danger has passed, and contact local authorities about getting repairs done as soon as possible.
These steps can help you get back on track after a storm, but if you’re in doubt about any of them, don’t hesitate to call your insurance company. Their experts can guide you through the process so that you can focus on recovery instead of worrying about paperwork or repairs.