Natural disasters, particularly storms, can cause significant damage to homes and buildings and the process of rebuilding after a storm can be overwhelming, especially for those who have never experienced such a situation before. However, with the right knowledge and guidance, the rebuilding process can be more manageable. In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for repairing storm damage to help homeowners get their property back in tip-top shape in no time.
When it comes to storm damage, safety should always be your top priority. Before you even begin to assess the damage, it’s important to ensure that the area is safe to enter. Storms can cause significant damage to structures, and there may be a risk of falling debris or collapsing walls. If you suspect that there is a safety hazard, evacuate the premises immediately and contact the appropriate authorities, as it’s better to err on the side of caution and wait for professionals to assess the situation. It’s also important to be aware of potential health hazards, as floodwater can contain bacteria, viruses, and other harmful contaminants, so it’s essential to avoid contact with it.
Assess the Damage
Assessing the damage after a storm is a crucial step in the rebuilding process as it allows you to determine the extent of the damage, prioritize repairs, and estimate the cost of the repairs. Start by checking the exterior of your home or building and look for any visible damage to the roof, siding, windows, doors, and foundation. If you notice any cracks or damage, it’s important that you deal with those first to prevent further damage.
Next, check the interior of your home or building for any signs of damage and check for water stains on ceilings or walls, as this can indicate water damage. Assess the damage to your personal belongings, and look specifically for any items that have been damaged or destroyed to document and use as evidence when filing an insurance claim. Determine which problems need to be dealt with immediately, such as fixing a leaky roof, and which can wait so you can prioritize their repairs.
Don’t Underestimate Water Damage
Water damage can cause structural damage, mold growth, and other health hazards if it’s not properly remedied, which is why checking for water damage should be a priority in the aftermath of a storm. Before looking for any water damage, turn off the power to the affected area to avoid electrical hazards. Next, determine the extent of the water damage and the areas that have been affected, which will help you determine the scope of the repairs that are needed.
If there’s standing water in the affected area, remove it as soon as possible to prevent further damage by using a wet/dry vacuum or a pump to remove the water. Once the standing water is removed, dry the area as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth, so use fans, dehumidifiers, and open windows to promote air circulation and help dry the area.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you have an idea of the damage, your next step should be to contact your insurance company, because your insurance policy may cover some or all of the repairs, depending on the extent of the damage and your policy coverage. But, before you claim for anything, check your policy for information on what types of damage are covered and what your deductible is.
When you contact them, be sure you have all the necessary information about the damage on hand and provide as much detail as possible. Try and take clear photographs of the damage to support your claim and keep records of all communication with your insurance company. Be sure to write down the date and time of each conversation, the name of the person you spoke with, and a summary of the conversation, to avoid the potential for miscommunication happening.
Consider Upgrades and Plan for Future Storms
While storm damage is a financial burden, it can also provide an opportunity to make changes or upgrades to your home that can improve its safety, efficiency, and value. Insulation is an important aspect of a home’s energy efficiency, and using this opportunity to upgrade your insulation can help reduce your home’s energy costs, regulate temperature, and make your home more comfortable.
While no one can predict when or where the next storm will occur, taking steps to prepare can help mitigate the damage and protect your home and family. Upgrading to impact-resistant windows and doors can improve your home’s resistance to wind, rain, and debris, while also providing added security, and installing storm shutters can provide added protection to your windows during storms, reducing the risk of damage in the future and making your home safer.
Hire a Professional Contractor
Once you’ve sorted everything out with your insurance company, checked what upgrades you may want to do, and planned out your futureproofing, you will need to get quotes for the repairs and choose a contractor. While the cost may be higher, consider hiring an experienced contractor to help you with repairs, manage the construction process, and ensure that the work is done safely and to a high standard.
When exploring your options, check with your state or local licensing board to find out whether the contractor is licensed to do the work you need, then make sure that the contractor has liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you from any liability in the event of a problem. Once you’ve chosen a contractor, review the contract carefully, and ensure that it includes details about the scope of work, the timeline for completion, and the payment schedule before you sign off to begin the work to avoid problems in the future.
Rebuilding after a storm can be a daunting task, but with the right steps and guidance, it is possible to repair the damage and create a safer, more resilient home or building. Remember to prioritize safety, and plan for future storms. By following these tips above, you can ensure that your home or building is better prepared to weather the next event mother nature throws your way.