Tornadoes and turbulent weather can cause serious storm damage to your home and your wallet. Your roof, siding and other areas of your home can be damaged by wind, heavy rain, hail and ice. If your home has experienced a severe storm, it's important not to panic. Here is a step-by-step guide to explain what to do after a storm.
Protect Your Home
First, protect your home as much as possible. If you have active leaks due to storm damage, cover the roof with a tarp to provide emergency protection. Keep in mind that a tarp is only a temporary measure until you call in a roofing professional. You may see additional signs of damage near your property, such as fallen shingles or other roof materials. Inspect your siding for telltale dimples caused by hail. Don't forget to check your car for damage, as well.
Contact a Roofing Professional
Although you might be tempted to assess or fix storm-related damage yourself, it's best to leave this to a professional roofing company like Findlay Roofing. You'll receive an accurate report of the damage and an estimate of what it will cost to repair any problems caused by the storm. Professional roofing companies can ensure that you don't overlook a hidden problem invisible to the untrained eye. Beware of storm chasers, who try to cheat and scam homeowners. Storm chasers typically visit neighborhoods after an intense storm. They may tell you that you need your roof replaced, when in fact, it only requires repair.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Be sure to report the storm damage to your insurance company immediately. Contact your agent to discuss your policy and what will be covered. It's a good idea to keep a copy of your insurance policy handy, along with the phone number to file a claim. Take an inventory of your household items, and make a list of belongings that were affected by the storm. Take photos of any damaged items, as some insurance companies may ask for them. Review your homeowner's insurance policy carefully, and note your responsibilities. You'll need to know your policy limits, deductible and how to file a claim.
Look for Additional Damage
If the exterior of your home has visible signs of storm damage, check the interior of your house, too. Your walls may show signs of water damage, including water stains or discolored areas on the ceiling. Have floors, furniture or appliances been affected by the storm? Keep a list of each item that requires repair.
If your home is uninhabitable due to major damage, consider staying in a hotel or with a family member until repairs are completed. Some insurance policies provide reimbursement for living expenses if your property is deemed unsafe due to extensive damage.