When you live in a zone that’s called “Tornado Alley” you have a healthy respect for storms. Living in Texas, we know what storms can do but can still feel shock at the aftermath. Florida residents as well are also very much aware of the damage that severe storms can bring. It’s difficult to be prepared for the catastrophic damage from hurricanes and other storms.
The best advice, no matter where you live is don’t wait until a devastating storm is in the forecast before you take precautions to protect your property.
Inspect Your Property
You should be inspecting your property every couple of months even if you don’t live is a dangerous storm area. This ensures your property is in the best shape possible and not in danger of having a small issue become a huge repair. Check the shingles on your roof to be certain none are damaged or missing. Don’t forget the check where your gutters meet the roofline.
Speaking of gutters, be sure they are clean and that rain water is able to move freely away from your house. Clogged gutters can cause the water to back up under the roof shingles and cause roof leaks. Check the seals around the windows to be sure there are no breeches that can allow blowing rain to seep inside. Be sure exterior doors are closing properly. This will help ensure your heating and air conditioning is not having to work harder to keep the heated or cooled air inside while keeping outside air out.
Don’t put off repairing any damaged areas you may have discovered while inspecting your property. Even a small amount of damage can turn into a major repair if not addressed quickly. Remember, your home is your biggest investment and you cannot afford to allow it to fall into disrepair. Even small damage can cause major problems. A small roof leak can turn into hundreds of dollars in repairs as water runs down joists and falls onto the ceiling. The water will likely also run down the walls. Water stains are only a part of the damage. Mold can result if a problem is ignored as well as rotting wood. Mold remediation can be expensive and more than that, mold can cause serious health issues. Don’t let this happen to your home.
If you discover damage that is too difficult for you to repair yourself, don’t just hire the first person who gives you a quote to make the repair. A roof replacement is one of the easiest ways unscrupulous contractors take advantage of home owners. Many times, in the aftermath of a major storm, neighborhoods will be flooded with contractors insisting homeowners’ roofs are in need of replacement. Not all of these contractors can be trusted. Your entire roof may not actually need to be replaced. It’s possible that just a portion of your roof needs repair. To avoid being a victim, always get at least three quotes. Then ask your neighbors about who they used and if they’d recommend them. Check the Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed on the company and read reviews.
At the end of the day; always trust your gut feeling as well. If you feel unsure at all about any contractor, don’t hire them.
If you have obvious, severe damage to your home, the first call you should make is to your insurance provider. Let them know what has happened and they will send an adjuster to your location to assess the damage. They will let you know at that time, what repairs will be covered and they amount you can expect them to pay for the them.
Checking on your insurance coverage is not a bad idea at any time. Contact your agent and go over your policy. Ask questions about any additional coverage you may need. Most policies don’t include coverage for flooding. If you live in an area that may flood, you should ask your agent about this coverage. Be sure they go over act of God insurance to see what types of storm damage is covered. There have been instances that homes have had a 100% loss and the homeowner’s insurance only paid a portion of the damages because there was insufficient coverage for some types of damage.
Protect your investment.
Peace of Mind
You can’t control the weather, but if you are careful, you can protect our finances from the devastation bad weather can bring. Taking steps to be sure you are covered if, heaven forbid a storm touches your family, can give you the peace of mind that things will be alright. If you take precautions to protect your property now, you’ll be ready when the storms come.