Inspecting Your Home After a Storm
There’s no doubt that a storm can be a catastrophic event that can leave your home and property in rough shape. After the winds and rain die down, it’s important that you take several precautions to ensure your own safety and try to limit the damage to your home. Knowing what steps to take to assess your home after a storm can be confusing. Where do you even start? How do you safely assess damage to your home?
Here are our Top Tips for Inspecting Your Home After a Storm:
Wait Until Daylight to Assess Damage
Avoid unnecessary danger by waiting until sun-up. Having a clear, full view of your property will keep you safe and help you better assess any damage. While you may be keen to assess damage to your home immediately, it puts you at unnecessary risk. Waiting until daylight is especially important if you lost power during the storm.
Once it is daylight, perform a full-walk around inspection of your entire yard. It's best to wear protective gear and bring a partner for added safety. Another benefit of waiting until daylight is that it will make it easier to take photos of any damage. Having a camera or phone on-hand to take pictures of your property will be a huge help for any insurance claims.
Assess Damage to Your Home’s Exterior
If at any point during your inspection you smell gas or suspect a leak, leave your house immediately, keep a safe distance, and call your utility company using a cellphone.
Once you have assessed your yard, it’s time to inspect the exterior of your home. To make sure no areas are missed, start at the top (roof) and work your way to the bottom (foundation). Before getting on the roof, if you notice visible damage to the roof from the ground, consider calling a professional rather than risk further damaging your roof. If you have any damaged/missing shingles, gutters, or downspouts, replace them quickly to avoid further damage.
Next, inspect your siding, doors, & windows for damage. Even small dents could cause future problems. If you find any loose pieces of siding, inspect behind them to ensure no water seeped into your insulation. If you boarded up your windows prior to the storm, ensure you fill any nail/screw holes to prevent water damage.
Finally, inspect the foundation of your home. You are looking for visible cracks, water damage, or discoloration. If you find any irregularities, resolve them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Inspect Your Appliances
If your area has power, avoid the temptation to immediately turn on all your appliances to see if they still work, turning on all your major appliances at once could overload circuits. Take it slow, testing them one at a time.
If any of your appliances are damaged or wet, do not try and turn them on. You don’t want to risk getting an electrical shock or starting a fire. Floodwaters can gunk up and corrode the components of your appliances, so it’s best not to use them. Contact a technician to assess the damage. If you find
If flooded, your furnace, AC unit, & water heater become breeding grounds for bacteria, mold, and other growths that present health risks. If your HVAC system has been flooded, call a qualified technician to assess whether your system is repairable or if it must be replaced. Continuing to use HVAC systems after water damage or flooding presents serious health risks.
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Storms can result in serious damage to your yard and home, which is why it is vital that you properly inspect your property following a storm. Don’t forget to document any and all damage you find, even a small issue could lead to major problems in the coming months. You should also hold on to any receipts and invoices for work done to your home.
Most importantly, ensure that you never put yourself or your family at risk during your inspection. If you are unsure if an area is safe to be in or how to perform an inspection, always call a qualified technician.