After the Storm: How to Check Your Property for Damage
The Importance of Conducting a Storm Damage Inspection
As summer ushers in warmer temperatures, it can also bring with it heavy rains, strong winds and powerful storms. While your home protects you from the wrath of Mother Nature, it should also be thoroughly checked for problems after every storm.
You may not have reason to suspect that your home has been damaged by a passing storm. However, once the inclement weather has safely passed, it’s important to look over the dwelling for any issues. This is also a great time to make emergency repairs and assess if an insurance claim is needed.
The following is a handy storm checklist from the National Storm Damage Center:
The roof is typically one of the most vulnerable areas during a storm. Hail, wind, rain and debris can adversely impact it. The following indicators can help in your assessment:
• Holes or tears in the roof
• Split seams
• Lost or missing shingles
• Ceiling or roof leaks
The Exterior of the Dwelling
Materials such as brick, siding and stucco are usually heavy and durable. However, during a storm, they can withstand significant damage. In some cases, problems may not be noticed until it’s too late to file an insurance claim, so you need to be diligent in your determination:
• Chipping, cracking, dents and dings are obvious signs that there is a problem. Even if your siding appears to be fine at first, you want to check it at varying times of the day. Different stages of lighting can showcase problems that you may have missed.
• Small or large holes in the stucco. No matter if the hole is small or large, this is a serious issue for a homeowner. If you find a hole or blemish, a knowledgeable and trustworthy company such as SERVPRO can conduct a thorough inspection of the property.
• Damaged tuck pointing and brick. Brick is a solid material when it comes to homes. However, it should be thoroughly checked for problems following a storm.
• Detached or ruined gutters, trim, downspouts, etc. Gutters, trim, downspouts and other exterior materials on a home are instrumental in its protection. If anything is out of sorts, it should be immediately repaired.
Driveways, Walkways, and Porches
Concrete can split, chip and crack with continuous storms and rain. This can reduce the lifespan of your walkway driveway or porch. To alleviate a safety issue, you’ll want to assess it for any imperfections.
Trees and Fallen Limbs
According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and branches can cause billions of dollars in damages every year. Most property owners would handle the removal of debris, even if the limbs or trees came from your neighbor’s property. Your insurance company may help in the retrieval of the costs, but it’s dependent on the type of policy and circumstances surrounding the incident.
• Severe storms may knock down power and electrical lines. If this occurs on your property, you’ll want to cordon off the area approximately 30 feet in various directions from the fallen line. It’s also important to call the power company and 911 immediately.
• After a storm, you also want to assess the remainder of your property including fences, air-conditioning units, caps, vents etc. If your vehicle was left out of the garage, it would also need to be checked over for damage.
• Crawl spaces and basements should be looked over for water or flooding.
Document as much of the damage as possible by taking photos at various angles.
Finally, it’s important to comprehend your homeowner’s coverage, limits, and deductibles before a problem occurs. In case something happens, you’ll be thoroughly prepared for any storm or disaster. Should you need any help with water or storm damage or clean-up call the professionals from SERVPRO of St. Augustine; (904) 829-0665.