Dealing with storm damage

As anyone in Fulton or DeKalb counties can tell you, Georgia has its share of wild weather. And after a serious storm hits, the first item on your agenda should be to check your house for storm damage. Here are the key steps you should take, as well as a few tips to help you address major problems like water damage or a gaping hole in your roof.

The aftermath

The first step involves checking the roof. You'll notice obvious damage right away, like tree branches penetrating the exterior or shingles that were torn off by the wind. For safety's sake, avoid getting up on the roof — you can get a decent view if you walk across the street, or ask a neighbor to inspect the roof from his or her second-floor windows. If you see damage, contact a roofing professional right away.

However, some damage may not be easy to see. If you can access your attic, go up and look carefully for penetrations through the roof and walls. Feel the insulation, checking for evidence that water is leaking through and soaking the material. Wet insulation will do a poor job of stopping heat transfer, and water damage to a home's structure can lead to wood rot and mold growth. Call a professional to conduct a thorough investigation of your home to be sure all storm damage is uncovered and fixed.

Attending to the damage

Here are a few steps to begin addressing the damage:

  • Call a roofing specialist to install a temporary roof patch if the roof sustains serious damage, and make a plan for repairs.
  • Ask the roofer to conduct a close inspection of the roof. Even if all the shingles appear to be in place, storms can damage the individual shingles, removing the granules on its surface and compromising its durability. Additionally, if the storm caused some of the shingles to curl or raise up on the edges, they'll need to be replaced.
  • Take steps to dry out the home. When the weather allows, open windows and doors and run fans, ceiling fans and exhaust fans to hasten the drying-out process, and run dehumidifiers, too.
  • Make plans to replace any windows with broken panes, or doors that are no longer secure. Cosmetic scratches in a door aren't a high priority, but cracked windows should be replaced right away.

When hail and high winds sweep through the Atlanta area, assessing and correcting storm damage should be your first priority. Do a walk-through around your property and carefully scan your roof for potential problems, and you'll maintain a sound, weather-resistant home.

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