Dealing With Storm Damage: A Handy Guide for Homeowners

Dealing With Storm Damage: A Handy Guide for Homeowners
  • Opening Intro -

    Storms, whether they are hurricanes, tornadoes, hail or snowstorms, can create a lot of damage.

    Aside from being prepared, there is little you can do about these incredible forces of nature.

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If your home is in the direct path of a storm, you will need to expect a certain amount of damage. Since it’s important that you’re able to recover from the effects of the storm as quickly as possible, here is a handy homeowner’s guide on how to deal with storm damage.

Preparation is Key

In this age of highly sophisticated technology, we are able to predict weather events with an amazing degree of precision – exactly when and where most storms will hit. In fact, in the case of hurricanes, advanced warnings can come in days before the actual storm hits land.

about storm damage

GETTING READY:
Inspecting your roof and addressing problems can give it a better chance at surviving a disaster.

If you are given this opportunity, it’s best you take it to prepare your home. The better you’re prepared, the better your chances of experiencing minimal damage. Below are a few preparation tips worth consideration.

  • 1. Inspect your roof.

    When a storm hits, you can be sure that your roof will take the hardest knocks. It’s imperative that your roof be in the best possible condition, or else the destruction  can be pretty severe. Damage to the roof should be immediately repaired.

  • 2. Check for missing or loose shingles.

    Missing or loose shingles increase the chances of a leak developing. Have missing shingles replaced and the loose ones nailed down immediately.

  • 3. Trim trees near the home.

    If you have trees right beside or pretty close to your home, now is the time to get them trimmed. Remove branches that may hit the home if the tree were to be uprooted. Removing branches and leaves will also help reduce the chances of the wind blowing the tree down and having it hit your home.

tree on roof

TREE TROUBLE:
Trees can wreak havoc on your roof and home when strong winds hit your area, so make sure none are near your house.

  • 4. Remove anything blocking your storm drains and gutters.

    Now is a great time to check your gutters and storm drains for any blockages and to remove them. If water builds up in your gutters and storm drains, it could cause severe damage to the home.

  • 5. Write down the phone numbers of your storm damage repair company.

    Keep the contact number of a reliable storm damage repair company on hand. Be prepared to contact them right after the storm should there be any damage to your home.

How to Check for Signs of Damage

Once you’ve done everything you possibly can to reduce the damage to your home, there’s nothing else to do but to wait it out. It is best not to check for damage to your home during a storm.

If the damage is severe and staying inside could be more dangerous, then you might need to leave the home in search of a safer location. If there is no need to leave, it’s best to just wait the storm out and check for damage once it is safe to walk outside again.

Below are a few places you can check for signs of damage.

  • 1. Check the ceiling for water damage.

    If the storm blew off shingles and created a leak, then there should be a trail of water stains on your ceiling.

  • 2. Check for missing shingles.

    If you can do so without climbing on to the roof, check for missing shingles. If you need to climb onto your roof, make sure that you are not risking your safety.

  • 3. Check for obvious misalignment issues and damage.

    Some storms can be so strong that they may even damage the roofing structure. This could also happen if the structure already had previous damage that the storm just worsened.

missing roof shingles

SHINGLE CHECK:
When some shingles are missing, your roof becomes exposed to the elements, making way for leaks.

Processing Your Insurance Claims

If you have storm damage insurance, now is the time to process your claims. Check with your insurance provider on how you can go about processing the required documents. To give you an idea, the typical processing procedure involves:

  • Calling the insurance provider to log your claim
  • Taking photographs of damage
  • Arranging for damage assessment
storm damage comment

 

Find a Reliable Roofer to Fix Any Damage

If you’ve planned ahead, then you should already have a reliable roofer in mind. If not, then even though you’re already in a tight spot, you should still attempt to locate a reliable roofer. While quite a number of roofers can come knocking on your door right after a storm, many of them could be “storm chasers” who may just be there for the money. Be careful about choosing a roofer; hiring the wrong one could open you up to   a bigger headache than what you already have.

  • 1. Make sure that the roofer is local.

    If the roofer is local, they should have the necessary permits and licenses to operate. If you have to deal with an out-of-state roofer, do your best to verify their permits and licenses.

  • 2. Ask for references.

    You may want to have the damage to your roof fixed as soon as possible, but the best way to know if a roofer is reliable is if they can provide references you can call. If their past customers were satisfied with their performance, then there’s a good chance that they’ll do a good job on your roof.

  • 3. Ask about the materials they’ll use to repair your roof.

    Reliable roofers tend to use equally reliable materials. It’s likely that you won’t know much about high-quality roofing materials, but you can still ask your roofer about the quality of the materials they intend to use. The roofer can always claim that they’ll be using good quality materials, but don’t just take their word for it. Instead, do a bit of research to check the veracity of their claims.

Sufficient preparation and working with a reliable roofer or storm damage professional can allow you to recover from any disaster with more ease and peace of mind. So, while the weather is still good, consider having your roof and home inspected so you can better prepare for the worst.

About the Author
John Sanchez is the production manager of Goodrich Roofing. He is a professional roofer’s son who, working side-by-side with his father, fell in love with the roofing industry. When not working to provide homeowners with quality roofs, he likes to spend time with his family and play sports.

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