Storm Damage Restoration

Storm Damage Restoration: Steps to Take After Storm Damage

Storms are nothing new for someone staying near the coast. According to NOAA, in 2020, 12 storms hit the continental U.S., five of those came ashore in Louisiana (Source). The sheer power and strength of a storm are quite frightening as it uproots and demolishes everything that comes in its way. From uprooted roofs to damaged sidings, a contractor is stretched thin, attending restoration calls, after a storm. In fact, soon after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and Louisiana, nearly 670,000 insurance claims were made in Texas alone. While you wait for the roofing contractor to show up for storm damage restoration, there are steps you can take after storm damage to smoothen the process of restoration. 

Storm Damage Analysis: Steps to take after a Storm

Step #1 Ensure Safety

After a storm has passed, the path left behind would be strewn with glass shards, wood splinters, and broken shingles. Additionally, you’ll have broken windows swinging precariously, roofs and windows that can collapse anytime, exposed electrical wirings that can pose threats to those living inside and around the community. While the first response would be to go inside to assess the damage, never do so without properly securing the property. Most advised action would be to move people to a safe place and call professional contractors.

Step #2 Secure the Property

Assuming you have taken all precautions to protect yourself, you can move ahead to securing the property from further damage. Ensure the power to your house is cut-off as you stand the risk of electrocution from entering a water puddle that is in contact with live wire. Any damage to the gas line can cause leaks that are toxic on inhalation or risk of exploding, so the next step would be to call the gas company or shut off the gas valve. 

Waterlogging is the most common consequence of a storm and shouldn’t stagnate at your property. Wood runs the risk of rotting, metals can corrode when coming in contact with the water, and mold prefers damp and dark areas of thriving. Quickly remove as much water as possible to reduce the risk of mold growth which can cause severe health issues. 

Step #3 Document the damage

Most homeowner insurance covers storm damages but to claim the damage, you need to provide a well-documented claim. After ensuring that it is safe to move around, click the pictures of the damage from all sides and possible angles to make a well-detailed claim report. Even though the insurance company sends an adjuster to assess the extent of damage, this small action can help you process the claim quicker. 

Step #4 Research into Federal Disaster Assistance

In areas where hurricanes and flooding are common, basic insurance coverage doesn’t apply to the damages by them. Either you need to pay an extra premium for add-on or rider in your insurance plan, or apply for federal disaster assistance. Federal Disaster Assistance is a low-cost loan provided by the federal government in areas declared as disaster areas i.e., areas that are frequently affected by a storm. The earlier documentation can also be helpful here in quicker loan approval. 

Step #5 Stay away from ‘Storm Chasers’

Storm Chasers are a set of contractors that operate a mobile business where they ‘chase’ a storm, visiting locations affected by the storm and offer storm damage restoration services. While the turnaround for storm damage restoration from them might be low but the disadvantages outweigh the benefits. They may not be aware of the local building guidelines, there is no warranty for the work done, and certain insurance companies don’t honor the work done while filing for an insurance claim. Moreover, once they shift base, it is very hard to catch hold of them. It is better to contact a local roofing contractor as they have developed a reputation and are answerable for the work done. 

Common Storm Damage Restoration Processes

Depending on the damage to the property, the contractor has to perform the following tasks under storm damage restoration process:

  • Debris removal from the affected area
  • Roof damage repair or replacements
  • Pipe repairs for water, natural gas and heat
  • Window and door replacement
  • Emergency water mitigation
  • Urgent window and door board-up to prevent theft and/or injury

Benefits of opting for Quick Storm Damage Restoration

In addition to making the property safe for habitation, quick storm damage restoration has other benefits:

Quick Damage Resolution

When a storm strikes an area, a wide range of homeowners are affected by the damage. By booking an appointment of a contractor and an insurance adjuster as soon as possible, you avoid long waiting times for them to show up. Quicker appointments means quicker damage resolution and efficient execution.

Mold Prevention

As mentioned earlier, stagnant water can cause irreversible damage to the interiors and cause mold formation. Mold formation is faster in a house with more than 50% humidity. By booking a quick storm damage restoration, any broken windows are boarded up to prevent any further water entering inside, while the damage is being repaired. Molds can enter inside from any open crevices and make home on damp surfaces.

Expert Evaluation

Certain underlying issues may not be noticed at the first glance. When an expert contractor starts the storm damage restoration, they first conduct an in-depth inspection of the property and owing to the keen eye, they may uncover an underlying issue that may have remained hidden even before the storm hit. 

Speedier Insurance Claim Approval

Many contractors tie up with local insurance companies and can be pivotal while preparing a report for insurance claim approval. They are knowledgeable in the processes and procedures behind insurance claims. They can compile the proof of damages and collect all the necessary evidence to be presented to the adjuster for quick claim settlement. 

Key Takeaways

  • Ensure safety & Shut off electricity and gas
  • Call the insurance company
  • Photograph the damage for record
  • Get an estimate on the damage
  • Look into Federal Disaster Assistance in case your locality is a storm disaster area.

Wrapping Up

After a storm has wreaked havoc, you may be in shock and may not know the step forward. We hope this article provides the necessary direction, you may need for storm damage restoration. By hiring a professional contractor like Steele Roofing, you can expedite the restoration process and have your home restored to the former glory in no time.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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