Whether you’ve been hit with a severe weather event or natural disaster, there will be some damage left in the wake. When storm damage happens to you, however, it’s important to understand what you can expect from the storm damage cleanup and repair process.
The good news is that homeowners aren’t responsible for cleaning up the difficult stuff, such as fallen trees, contaminated water, and certain other debris. Of course, the not-so-good news is that homeowners are responsible for getting the ball rolling for storm damage repairs and cleanup.
Below we’ll cover everything you need to know about storm damage cleanup and repairs.
Understanding Storm Damage
When a home or business goes through a severe storm, there are several ways in which they can sustain damage. The most common types of storm damage you’ll need to be aware of include:
- Rain damage. Consistently heavy downpours or ongoing rain storms can easily lead to water seeping into any vulnerable areas in your roof and walls. Once rainwater enters your home, it can start pooling and become stagnant. Eventually, it’ll cause costly structural damage.
- Wind damage. Wind damage is much more common than you may think, and it can cause severe property damage. While mild wind gusts can knock over patio furniture and weak structures, gale-force winds can lead to uprooted trees, broken windows, and even torn-off roofing systems.
- Thrown debris. High winds can easily pick up any loose debris and throw them around. As a subset of wind damage, thrown debris can cause tremendous damage to your roof, siding, windows, landscaping, cars, and more.
- Hail damage. Hailstones can be as small as a pea or as large as a grapefruit — and each size can cause significant damage. This damage also ranges from dents and impact marks to holes, punctures, and broken shingles.
- Mold formation. Mold typically forms from excess moisture hanging around after a heavy storm. Any areas on the roof or inside the home, such as the walls and ceilings, that collect water provide an ideal breeding ground for mold bacteria — which can pose a serious health risk for your entire family.
- Flood Damage. Heavy rainfall can also lead to flash flooding — which can lead to flooded basements and severe water damage throughout the home. Flash floods can especially rise so high that they take over the first level of your home, damaging upholstered furniture and everything else in their path.
- Window damage. Major storms that come with heavy-pressure systems can put a lot of stress on your home. They can easily cause your windows to buckle or shatter.
- Fire damage. While uncommon, fire damage does occur during bad storms. This is especially true when power lines and other electrical equipment are struck by lightning. Tree limbs can also catch fire, which can lead to a house fire under the right circumstances.
- Property and landscaping damage. From your rooftops to your bushes, a bad storm can wreak havoc on everything that isn’t nailed down (or is nailed down). This looks like blown-off shingles, mangled gutters and siding, wilted foliage, and damaged patio furniture.
Dealing With Storm Damage Cleanup and Repair
Regardless of the type of damage your home has sustained during a terrible storm, you’ll need to know what to do and what you can expect from your insurance company and local contractors.
Consider this your storm damage cleanup and repair checklist:
Assess the Damage
The first thing you’ll need to do is check on your home for visible signs of damage, such as:
- Damaged or missing roof shingles and other roofing components
- Granule loss (on asphalt shingles)
- Holes, dents, and other impact marks on the roof, siding, doors, windows, etc
- Pooling or standing water
- Debris strewn around
- Broken glass
- Water spots and leaks on ceilings and walls
- Damaged landscaping, cars, patio furniture, etc
- Damaged water, gas, and electric lines
Be sure to document the damage you see as you walk around your property. It’s also important that you don’t throw anything away — secure your property by boarding up doors and windows and moving any ruined items to a safe place.
Speak With Your Homeowners Insurance Company
The next step is to contact your insurance company to ensure you have an understanding of the following:
- What your policy covers in terms of storm damage
- How much your insurance will payout and when
- How the insurance claims process works
- What is needed to fill out and submit your insurance claim
Once you’ve submitted your insurance claim, the company will review it and send out an insurance adjuster to assess the damages listed in the report.
Call a Reliable Contractor
The most critical step in this process is to find a home restoration company or contractor that specializes in storm damage cleanup and repairs. You can expect your contractor to schedule an initial inspection within 24-48 hours.
You can also expect them to do the following:
- Write up a detailed report of their findings (which you’ll want to submit along with your insurance claim)
- Provide you with an accurate estimate for any storm damage repairs needed
- Assist you with your insurance claim if needed
- Walk you through the services they provide regarding repairs, restorations, and more
Once you choose to schedule the repairs or restoration (or both) with the contractor, you can expect them to take care of the storm damage cleanup from the get-go. However, they’ll likely advise you as to what you can clean up yourself while you wait — for example, sweep up broken glass, mop up water, and so on.
Get in Touch With the Team You Need
Storm damage cleanup and repairs can be tricky, especially because you’re limited to what you can actually do as a homeowner. In most instances, your city or town will mobilize its public works professionals to take care of things like power lines, fallen trees, and other things your insurance company and contractor aren’t responsible for.
As far as your home and property go, it’s your responsibility to arrange for storm damage cleanup and repairs — which is why it’s essential to have a contractor you can trust on speed dial. (Bonus points if they also specialize in storm damage restoration).
First American Roofing & Siding can help you during your time of need when it comes to storm damage services and more. Get in touch with us today to schedule your free inspection!