Having your house damaged by a storm can be a traumatic and costly experience. Here are the best ways to go about repairing the damage, as well as keeping safe and dry against any future storms.
Have you got home insurance?
If you’re home is insured against weather, you shouldn’t have to pay for any recovery costs. The first thing to do in this case is collect evidence. Take as many pictures of the damage as you can, as seemingly big or small as they may be, from broken guttering to shattering decking. Garden ornaments, wheelie bins and other objects picked up by the wind should also be photographed before being touched. This is important before you seek repair work as it will allow you to make a claim. Research into which damaged personal belongings are also covered by home insurance (furniture, electronic equipment, vehicles).
Put in temporary repairs
If windows have been destroyed, prevent further damage from the elements by covering them with plastic sheeting or planks of wood. Roof damage should be covered with a tarpaulin to stop the rain from getting in and causing further damage. If any part of structure looks like it could give way at any moment with the lightest touch, don’t go near it! Professionals will know how to handle that later.
If there’s been flooding, turn off all electricity to prevent any nasty accidents from happening. The same should be done against vicious snowstorms, as snow and ice can melt.
If you don’t feel that you can comfortably and safely live in the property, take your valuable possessions out and see if you can move in with family members of friends whilst the damage is being repaired.
Seek a company out that specialises in restoring homes after a storm such as Texas Star Roofing. For water damage, many contractors may need to come in from electricians, to sewerage workers, to builders – water can get everywhere! Get quotes and send these off to your insurance company whilst making a claim.
See where the main areas of damage are and see what you can do in order to prevent future storms from doing the same thing. You may well be living in a high risk area (although you can usually tell from the cost of home insurance). If it was a one-off disaster, it may still be worth reinforcing your home as it will have been weakened from the damage. Load up on sandbags for future floods, scan around your home for trees or telegraph poles that look less sturdy after the storm (they may not hold if a similar future storm occurs).
Some damage can be overlooked or not take full effect until later such as water damage to floorboards and internal damage to walls. If cracks start to appear months after, get an expert to have a look around your property and check for every possible structural weakness. Keep an ear out on the radio for weather warnings and if another storm hits, you should be prepared.