What to Do After a Storm Damages Your Home
The recent Dallas tornado did more damage than anyone expected, showing up in news bulletins around the world. Roof damage photos appeared on everyone’s computer screens as they reached for their morning coffees, prompting many to envision the destruction happening in their own neighborhood.
In Texas, storm damage is all-too-common, even when the cause isn’t a tornado. Since many have suffered damage to their homes and stormy weather is on the horizon, here’s a quick list showing what to do after a storm brings damage to your home.
Make Sure the Coast is Fully Clear
Before you venture out again to check on or assess the damage, make sure it’s safe to go outside first. Your Amber Alerts will tell you if the storm is still ongoing. Check the radio or TV for updates, as your phone may not have live news broadcasts available on hand. When the area is declared safe, you can head outside the home. If the power lines are down, do not go near them – and do not touch any metal objects in the area of the power lines. Swimming should be off-limits after a storm. Refrain from driving, and steer clear of streets (especially bridges) that have flooded.
Around the house, keep your senses open. If you detect the smell of gas, shut off your meter. Your CO and smoke alarms will need testing, and its best to throw out food that’s sat above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the sewer system before, or if you have trouble, flushing the toilets. Make sure a fire extinguisher is on hand just in case a fire sets off.
Clean Up the Mess Outside Your Home
When the coast is clear and the storm has fully passed, it’s time to clean up the debris outside. When you’re cleaning up the mess after a storm, you may handle some heavy tools such as a chainsaw – be extremely careful if you need these to cut down branches or trees. Also, exercise caution when on ladders or on the roof. Inside, remove any carpet or rugs with water damage, and crack open the windows or turn on your fans if you’ve experienced flooding in the house.
Call Your Home Insurance Company
You must make sure to photograph the before-and-after photos of both external and internal damage. Make a list of all the damage you found, read your insurance policy, and follow up with your insurance company right away. It’s important you reach your insurance company as quickly as possible, so make as many calls or send as many emails as need be to get in touch with them. If necessary, write a letter – the timestamp on the letter proves you reached out as soon as possible after the storm.
Get a Professional Roof Inspection
The next step is to hire a professional roofing team to come and check out your roof for you. Typical roofs, if subjected to an intense storm, likely took on damage that only professional inspectors can check out. If you spotted any missing or damaged shingles or wear and tear to the gutter after the storm, it’s good to hire roof inspectors who can give you a better assessment of the damage after the storm.
Hire Contractors to Repair Your Roof
Whether you decide to go with your roof inspectors, hire a different company, or do it yourself, it’s best to repair your roof as soon as possible. Contacting your insurance company first will give you an idea of the cost should your insurance company covers any roof damage. You can do your own research or get with your homeowner’s association for a list of reputable contractors in the area. The contractors may be in a hurry to get their work done, but hiring a quality contractor makes a big difference in the work done to your roof.
1st Choice Inspection Services
Need roof repair done in a hurry? 1st Choice Inspections is a Dallas-based home inspection company that’s been in the business for over 30 years. For an objective, professional inspection by a team of experts, call 1st Choice and expect a thorough assessment of the condition of your roof.