Being the victim of serious storm damage is one of those things that we just never think will happen to us, kind of like winning the lottery except the exact opposite in terms of fortune. Unfortunately, being hit by a serious storm can happen to any of us and at any time too, which is why it is so important to know how to protect your home.
Hurricanes can tear through roofs, down trees, burst your pipes and wreck your house, while heavy rain can cause serious flooding. If this happens, and you’re staring at a storm-damaged home, having a strategy in place to help you deal with it can be the thing that helps keep your family safe and gets your life back together.
Be Safe In The Aftermath
One of the things that you need to be wary of is the dangers posed by storm damaged homes. They are extremely hazardous places. There are electrical hazards to be concerned with, sharp debris hidden amongst the rubble, and the risk of structural damage that could see what’s left collapse. If you are faced with this scenario, then it is so important that you safely shut off your gas, electric and water supplies to your home, stay away from any wiring or plumbing that may still carry a current and then wait in a safe place until it is declared safe enough to venture outside.
Take Lots Of Photographs
If it is safe to do so, and only if it is safe to do so, then carefully make your way around your home with a camera and take photographs of all the damaged sustained. This is so that the insurance company has a record of everything and can fully compensate you. Start with the inside of your home, taking photographs from as many angles as possible without moving anything. Once you have been told it is safe to go outside, take external shots of any and all damage sustained by the storm, including outbuildings, cars, garden and anything else that is considered your property. The most important thing to remember here is to take these photographs before any repairs whatsoever are started.
The Big Clean
Start with the roof and start by covering any areas that will see your home exposed to the elements with heavy-duty tarpaulin, as well as any windows and doors that may leave you exposed too. These can be done with tarpaulin as well, or by sealing it off with plastic sheeting and plywood, the same goes for any cracks or holes in the exterior walls. Once this is done, start focussing on the water and how to drain it, right the way down to the level of carpet water removal. This will make it easier for you to then move your valuables items from your home before you leave for as long as necessary. It is a sad statement to make but there are opportunists that will see your damaged home as an easy chance to steal valuables.
Phone Your Insurer
As soon as you can, you must contact your insurance company and tell them of the damage sustained to your property. They will normally respond by sending a member of their team to your property so that they can review the extent of the damage and start the compensation process so that you can start on repairing your home. This is where having your photos will come in handy. You should also start getting quotes on how much the repairs will cost and what the costs are for replacing your belongings and possessions that were damaged by the storm. These should then be passed onto your insurer as well. If you have already begun to replace certain items, just make sure you keep the receipts. Never give away the original copies of any documentation you collect.