Most thunderstorms are mild, and, in some ways, relaxing. The pit-pat of raindrops against the windowpanes, whistling wind, and rolling thunder are all soothing noises that are perfect to listen to when you’re reading a book or trying to fall asleep.
But thunderstorms can also be destructive and dreadful. They can devastate entire communities in an instant. At a minimum, these more intense storms can ruin individual houses and leave homeowners saddled with extensive and expensive repairs.
You probably already have a good idea of what precautionary measures you should take before a storm (securing outdoor furniture, parking vehicles in the garage, closing exterior shutters, etc.) and what to do during the storm itself (find shelter and wait for the all-clear), but do you know what to do after the storm subsides?
Many homeowners have a difficult time navigating the aftermath of devastating storms. They might forget to file an insurance claim and end up paying for repairs out-of-pocket or miss minor damage that eventually turns serious.
If you’re wondering
what you should do after a storm
to keep yourself safe and make sure repairing a hole in the roof doesn’t make a hole in your wallet, here are some step-by-step instructions on what to do.
Wait Until the Storm Is Over
The first thing you should worry about is your own safety. You should refrain from leaving your home until it’s safe to do so. You can keep up to date on the current weather conditions and any watches or warnings that are in effect by listening to the radio or checking the local news station or weather tracking website.
It’s important to make sure the storm is gone for good before you step outside. The rain might have ceased and the wind calmed down, but that doesn’t mean the worst is over. There could still be more storms headed your way.
Assess the Damage
Once the storm has subsided and it’s safe to step outside, you’ll want to perform a thorough inspection of the exterior of your home. Storms can wreak havoc on just about every part of your property. They can crack, ding and dent the roof, siding, windows, outdoor furniture, and even your car. Here’s what to keep an eye out for during your post-storm investigation:
Clogged and broken gutters and downspouts
Debris on the roof deck
Granule loss (asphalt shingles)
Missing, loose, or cracked shingles
Cracks, chips, or holes
Missing or loose siding
Water damage (warping or rotting)
Broken, dented, or torn screens
Chipped or cracked frame
Damaged or dented frames
Moisture or fog trapped between window panes
Shattered or broken glass
If you notice any of the above, you have storm damage on your hands. It might be minor, major, or somewhere in the middle. You might be tempted to ignore minor damage or leave repairs until an undetermined date, but for health and safety reasons, you should never delay repairs.
Damage that’s ignored tends to result in even more damage down the line. That teeny-tiny crack in the roof might not seem like much, but it can lead to water damage, structural damage, pest invasions, mold and mildew growth, electrical fires, and more in the near future. Even the smallest amounts of damage can have harrowing consequences.
File an Insurance Claim
Before you start picking up the broken pieces of your home, take out a camera and document the damage. Those photos will prove useful when you file an insurance claim.
Most storm damage is covered by homeowner’s insurance. Better yet, storm damage is considered an “Act of God,” or something out of human control. This means that they won’t raise your insurance premiums for making a claim (since they can’t fault you for something you had no influence over).
Of course, not all kinds of unexpected circumstances are covered under insurance. Many homeowner’s insurance plans won’t cover damage from natural disasters, such as tornadoes and hurricanes, without an addendum. If you live in an area where hailstorms are a frequent occurrence, your insurance might not cover that, either. To avoid wasting you and your insurance company’s time, make sure to double-check your policy before filing a claim.
Once your claim is approved by your insurance company, you’ll need to begin searching for a reputable contractor to handle the damage. That is, unless you found one beforehand. You don’t have to wait to start looking around for local contractors. In fact, you’re better off finding a contractor before you make an insurance claim. This is because knowledgeable professionals can help speed up the claim process (and improve your chances of getting a claim approved) by providing detailed information about the damage and the cost of repair to your insurance company.
Find a Repair Company
thing you should do after a storm
is find a storm damage contractor to handle repairs. But there are thousands of reputable storm damage contractors countrywide and a few dozen in your hometown. This can make finding the right one for your specific needs a challenge.
The best way to find local storm damage contractors is to search online. A quick Google search will pull up the names of contractors in your immediate area. Take the time to look through these contractors’ websites and skim through their reviews. If the website is high-quality and the reviews are exceptional, you can move on to the next stage—interviewing them, either by phone or in person. There are a couple of key questions you want to ask during this interview, including:
Are you a licensed storm damage contractor?
Do you have workman’s comp and general liability insurance?
Do you use subcontractors or your own workers?
Do you offer warranties or guarantees? If so, what are they?
What kind of materials are you planning to use?
What kind of safety precautions will you take?
Make sure to interview multiple contractors, preferably a minimum of three, and then compare them carefully. Found a contractor that meets your expectations? Great! Schedule a day to knock those repairs out, so you can go back to living life the way you did before the storm.
Need roof storm damage repair
? Contact Viking Contractors for a free inspection or quote today! Does more than just the roof require repairs? Our experienced contractors can also repair damaged windows and siding. Whatever you need, you can count on us for fast and high-quality storm damage repair.