A New Homeowner’s Guide to Storm Damage Repair

In 2023, 15 weather disasters occurred before August, causing more than $1 billion dollars in damage each!

If you’re a new homeowner, it’s important to prepare your home for any weather disasters. This includes severe storms.

Let’s go through what you need to know about storm damage repair.

Prepare In Advance

You should prepare in advance to protect your home from storm damage. Creating a somewhat weatherproof home is possible.

Install storm doors to protect you and your family. Strengthen windows with storm shutters or plywood. Consider installing impact-resistant windows if you’re in an area prone to hurricanes.

You should also do what you can to prepare for damage. Prepare a storm safety emergency kit that includes essential items. These include things like flashlights, batteries, water, non-perishable food, and first aid supplies.

Having these provisions readily available will prove invaluable during power outages and emergencies.

Protect your electronics by installing surge protectors. Unplug non-essential electronics during a storm to further reduce the risk.

If you have a basement, ensure your sump pump is functional and consider installing a battery backup.

Keep important documents in a waterproof and easily accessible container. This includes insurance policies, identification, medical records, and financial documents.

Keep an Eye Out

Monitor weather forecasts and stay updated on storm alerts from reliable sources. Knowing when a storm is approaching will give you valuable time to take necessary precautions.

If you see storm alerts coming up, you should spring into action. Anchor or store away outdoor furniture, gardening tools, toys, and other loose items. These could become projectiles in strong winds.

Look At The Damage

Before assessing damage, ensure your safety and that of your family. Do not enter your home if there’s a risk of structural collapse.

If there are downed power lines or gas leaks, keep a safe distance. Contact the appropriate authorities ASAP.

Once it’s safe, inspect your property for damage. Document the damage with photos or videos. This will help with your insurance later. Prioritize addressing immediate hazards, like broken windows or exposed electrical wires.

Inspect the foundation of your home for cracks or shifts. Open and close your doors and windows to ensure they still close and lock properly. Any noticeable changes in the structure could indicate more significant damage.

Your roof is particularly susceptible to storm home damage. Examine it for missing or damaged shingles, as well as dents, cracks, or holes. Use binoculars if needed to assess the roof’s condition from the ground.

Assess your yard and landscaping. Look for uprooted trees, broken branches, and damage to fences or other structures. Trim and remove debris to prevent further damage.

Make Any Temporary Repairs

You’ll need to make temporary repairs while you wait for your home to be properly fixed. They prevent further damage to your home while you wait for more permanent repairs. They also create a safer living environment for you and your family during the repair process.

Use tarps, plastic sheeting, or boards to cover broken windows and openings. This prevents rainwater, debris, and pests from entering your home.

If your roof is leaking, place buckets or containers under the leak to collect water. You can also use tarps or heavy-duty plastic to cover the affected area and prevent further water intrusion.

If you notice loose shingles, use roofing nails or adhesive to secure them temporarily. This prevents them from causing more extensive damage during the next storm.

Seal any cracks or gaps using weatherstripping, caulk, or temporary sealants. This will help prevent water infiltration.

If you have exposed electrical wires, turn off the power to that area and cover the wires with electrical tape or plastic bags to prevent accidents.

Talk To Your Insurance

Let your insurance provider know about the damage ASAP. They can guide you through the claims process and provide information about coverage.

After you’ve reported the damage, your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to assess the situation. During their visit, provide them with the documentation you’ve collected, including photographs and videos. Walk them through the damage and any temporary repairs you’ve made.

Once the adjuster has assessed the damage, request a detailed estimate for the repairs. This estimate will serve as a foundation for your claim.

If you have your own professional assessment, share it with your insurance company as well. Make sure you’re on the same page regarding the necessary repairs and costs.

Once the insurance company has assessed the damage and reviewed the necessary repairs, they will provide a settlement offer. Review this offer carefully to ensure it covers all the repairs and associated costs. If you have questions or thoughts, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

If you disagree with the settlement offer or a decision made by your insurance company, know that you have the right to appeal. 

Repair Your Home

Next, it’s time to start the repair process. When selecting contractors for repairs, prioritize those who are licensed, insured, and reputable. Obtain multiple quotes and references to ensure you make informed decisions.

In some cases, the extent of the damage might require temporary living arrangements. If you need to vacate your home during repairs, make necessary accommodations for your family and pets.

During the repair process, maintain open communication with the contractors. Regularly check in on progress and ask for updates. 

If you have any concerns, bring them up. You don’t want to have to go back and pay someone else for further repairs.

Once you’re satisfied with the repairs, perform a final inspection with the contractor. Once everything meets your approval, sign off on the repairs, indicating that you’re satisfied with the work.

If you’re working with insurance, coordinate with them to ensure payments are processed as agreed upon. Keep all receipts, invoices, and documents related to the repairs.

Now You Know About Storm Damage Repair

Storm damage repairs can be a complicated process. Hopefully, you now know enough to get your home back in shape after an emergency situation.

Do you need more advice for protecting your home? Some of the other posts on this website might be helpful.