If your home has been affected by a natural disaster, the following information can help you sort out what some of your home’s likeliest problems might be.
If a tornado blew through your area, it’s likely that your home could have suffered some roof damage. For starters, fallen tree branches could have impacted the roof and caused cracks or holes that will turn into leaky spots.
Another possibility is that strong winds could have torn shingles free. You’ll want to ask a qualified professional roofer to inspect the roof and assess the damage.
If there are cracks, holes or missing shingles, you’ll want to get those repairs made as soon as possible.
The Floors, Walls and Foundation
Sometimes natural disasters can cause houses to settle in unexpected ways. If you see problems like unlevel flooring that used to be level, cracks in your flooring, cracks in your walls, or gaps between your floor and your walls, those are actually red flags that there might be structural damage to the home’s foundation.
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You will need a professional to determine whether cracks in your walls and flooring are superficial or whether the foundation has been affected. It is possible that house underpinning may be in order to make the house livable again.
House underpinning is a set of procedures used to reinforce a house’s existing foundation. This is typically required when the foundation that was originally built no longer offers the strength or integrity necessary for supporting the house.
If you suspect that the integrity of your home’s foundation has been compromised as a result of the natural disaster, you will want to get a professional opinion on whether house underpinning could be a viable solution to fixing the issues your home has experienced.
Plumbing and Sewer Lines
It’s common for plumbing and sewer lines to be affected during earthquakes, blizzards and other natural disasters.
During weather incidents that involve freezing temperatures, frozen pipes can burst, flooding a home with water. This, in turn, can cause damage to flooring, walls, and electrical wiring. It also may cause issues with mildew and mold.
During earthquakes, the force of the tremors can shatter pipes or disconnect them. In the wake of such natural disasters, it’s advisable to have a plumber inspect and repair damaged plumbing and sewer lines.
You’ll want to have this done as soon as possible to prevent damage that may not be visible to you as well.
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Gas lines tend to be rigid. During an earthquake, tornado or similar upheaval, they are easily disconnected from their usual connection points. Problems with the gas lines can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, fires, or even explosions.
In the aftermath of an earthquake, one of your most important priorities will be turning off the main valve from outside the home to prevent problems like these. Then it is essential to have a professional inspect the lines for damage and fix any problems with them.
It’s possible that other parts of a home could be damaged by a natural disaster. However, these are the top priority items to inspect and repair after an earthquake, tornado, hurricane or similar natural disaster.
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