When it comes to the effects of a storm on a home, it can be catastrophic. The physical and emotional damage inflicted can last for years or decades after the event, leaving homeowners overwhelmed and in need of repairs and restoration. A single damaging storm can wreak havoc on a home’s structure and contents, with costly consequences that can add up quickly.
In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, wind and hail account for more than half of all property insurance claims due to severe thunderstorms, resulting in an estimated $10 billion in losses each year. In some areas of the United States alone, damages from hurricanes can reach hundreds of billions annually. Storms are also responsible for flooding large portions of land, leading to further destruction for homes in their paths and additional costs for repair and recovery.
Fires brought on by thunderstorms are also common causes of home destruction during storms. Lightning strikes from severe thunderstorms have been known to spark fires across tens of thousands of acres that destroy homes and entire communities. Houses may also suffer structural damage due to high winds or fallen debris directly colliding with their walls or roofs.
If your home has suffered damage due to a storm, don’t despair. There are steps you can take to begin the process of repairing and restoring your property. Here are a few of them.
Assessing the Situation
Assessing the damage of a storm-affected home is the first step in preparing for restoration. Understanding the damage’s extent and what repairs will be necessary to recover is essential. Homeowners should take photos and document all visible storm damage inside and outside their homes. This will help them create an accurate list of repair needs and provide evidence in case they need to make insurance claims.
Inspecting the roof should be at the top of any homeowner’s assessment checklist. High winds can easily cause damage to shingles, tiles, flashing, gutters, and chimneys, while hail can cause dents or even create holes in metal roofs. It’s also important to remember that damage caused by rain or snow may not be evident from ground level. As such, it is best to hire a professional roof inspector with access to higher vantage points for a more thorough evaluation.
Interior walls are not immune from storm damage either. Water seepage or flooding can weaken structure materials like drywall and insulation, leading to mold growth or other health hazards if left unchecked. Additionally, windows and doors should also be checked for airtightness after heavy storms as these areas are vulnerable spots for wind infiltration that can generate high energy bills if not properly sealed off again.
Checking with Your Insurance Company
Once the damage assessment is complete, homeowners should contact their insurance companies to begin making claims for repairs. Insurance companies will likely require evidence to prove that the storm was responsible for the damages, so it’s important to have photos and documents ready. A professional contractor can also assist insurance agents by providing a written estimate of the costs associated with all necessary repairs.
Finally, it’s important to remember that insurance policies vary from company to company and depend on geographical location. Homeowners should read through their policies carefully to understand what coverage they are eligible for and familiarize themselves with all claim requirements before submitting them.
Getting Restoration Services
After assessing the damage and making insurance claims, homeowners should start looking for storm damage restoration services to help them recover their property. It’s essential to research the company’s background, customer reviews, certifications, and services offered to find one that meets your home’s repair needs.
Professional contractors can often offer discounts on labor costs or materials if sufficient proof of storm damage is provided. Additionally, some companies may offer emergency services for especially severe cases of storm-related destruction. With their help, you can ensure your home is structurally sound and has regained its original appeal.
Reinvesting into Essential Assets
While it may be costly, there might be a need to reinvest in essential assets after the storm. Here are a few priorities for homeowners to consider:
Replacing the Roof
Replacing a damaged roof is always a priority. It’s essential to use materials designed to withstand winds and hail, as these have been known to cause the most damage during storms.
Installing Storm Shutters
Installing storm shutters can help protect windows from heavy winds and debris, preventing them from shattering during strong gusts of wind.
Upgrading Electrical Wiring
Damaged electrical wiring can be dangerous, especially after a significant storm event. Upgrade your home’s electrical system with surge protectors or other similar components for added protection against lightning strikes or short circuits.
Weatherproofing Vulnerable Areas
Weatherproofing vulnerable areas of your home are also essential for protecting against future storms. Commonly weatherproofed areas include basement walls and doors, exterior window frames, and roofs.
Navigating the aftermath of a damaging storm can be overwhelming. However, understanding the steps involved in assessing damage, making insurance claims, and finding restoration services can help make the process easier. With patience and persistence, homeowners can restore their homes to their former glory soon after a significant storm.