- Storms can cause extensive damage to your dwelling.
- It is vital to take care of the storm’s immediate aftermath, contact your homeowners’ association (if you have one), and file a police report if necessary.
- You must apply for a building permit before making any repairs.
- Reviewing your insurance policy regularly will help ensure that you have the coverage you need in an emergency.
Sitting at home, watching the news, & seeing all the devastations wrought by the latest occurrence of hurricane Ian can be disheartening. You might think, “That could never happen to me.” But then, a few weeks later, you wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of high winds and rain beating against your windows. Water is already beginning to pool on your floor, and you realize that your worst fears have come true – a storm has hit your home. So, what do you do now? Let the pros from Palmer Construction help you out.
Home Storm Damage: What’s Up in Washington?
Although Washington does not get hit by hurricanes as frequently as other parts of the country, it’s not immune to severe storms. Just last year, it was hit by a record-breaking windstorm that caused damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure. And while we hope that we will never have to experience something like that again, it’s always best to be prepared.
So, what should you do if you know that a full-fledged storm is headed your way and your home is at risk? Here are a few tips:
Before The Storm Hits…
- Secure any loose objects around your property, including patio furniture, grills, and lawn decorations. Not only will this help stop damage to your belongings, but it will also help keep them from acting as dangerous projectiles in high winds.
- If you have time, try to park your car in a garage or carport if possible. If you don’t get access to either of those, park it as close to your home as possible and away from trees or other large objects that could fall on it.
- Bring any outdoor plants inside if possible. If not, be sure to water them heavily, as wet soil will help anchor them and prevent them from uprooting by strong winds.
- If you have storm shutters, close them now, and if you don’t have them, close and lock all of your windows and doors.
- Turn off any propane or natural gas lines in your home. Gas leaks are one of the leading causes of post-storm fires, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Unplug electronic devices in your home. This includes televisions, computers, small appliances, etc. Not only will this protect them from power surges, but it will also help to stop any water damage that might occur if they get wet.
- Move anything that you can off of the floor. This includes things like furniture, rugs, and loose items. If possible, put them in a room that is not vulnerable to flooding or wind damage.
- If you live in a spot susceptible to flooding, try to move your belongings to the highest point in your home. This will help to prevent water damage.
- Once you’ve taken all the required precautions, it is time to hunker down and ride out the storm. Stay indoors til the storm has passed and it is safe to come out.
After The Storm Has Passed…
On the day after the storm, it is essential to take the following steps:
- The most vital thing you must do is to check for damage to your home. Look for broken windows, damaged roof shingles, or loose siding. If you find any damage, take pictures and document it. This will be important when filing an insurance claim.
- Once you’ve assessed the damage to your dwelling, start making repairs. If possible, do the repairs yourself to save money. However, you’ll need to hire a professional contractor if the damage is extensive.
- After making all the necessary repairs, it is time to clean up the mess left behind by the storm. This includes things like debris, mud, and water damage. Start by cleaning up any debris that is blocking your doors or windows. Then, move on to the inside of your home. If you have water damage, dry the area as much as possible.
- Finally, it is time to restock your supplies once you have made all the repairs and cleaned up the mess. This includes things like food, water, and first aid supplies. Stock up on these items to prepare for the next storm.
Home Insurance When It Comes To Storm Damage
So, you’ve weathered the storm, and your home has come out relatively unscathed. But what if the next time isn’t so lucky? That’s where home insurance comes in. Home insurance protects you from financial losses caused by storms, fires, theft, and other disasters.
There are two types of home insurance: comprehensive and named perils. Comprehensive home insurance covers all disasters except those expressly excluded in your policy. Named perils home insurance only covers the disasters specifically listed in your policy.
Most homeowners’ policies cover damage caused by wind, hail, and rain. However, some policies exclude damage caused by flooding or earth movement (such as earthquakes or landslides). Read your policy carefully to understand what is covered and what is not.
If a storm has damaged your home, there are a few things you should do immediately:
- Contact your insurance company ASAP to report the damage and start the claims process.
- Take pictures & videos of the damage to document it for your insurance claim.
- Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage, but save all receipts so you can be reimbursed later.
- Contact a licensed contractor to get an estimate for repairs.
Once the repairs have been made, be sure to review your insurance policy so that you are familiar with what is covered in the event of another storm. Reviewing your policy regularly will help ensure that you have the coverage you need in an emergency.
Here’s How Palmer Construction Can Help You
Palmer Construction is a full-service construction company specializing in storm damage repair and restoration in Otis Orchards. We are a family-run, locally owned company that has been in the business for over 20 years. We are here to help you through the repair and restoration process from start to finish. If your abode has recently sustained damage from a storm, please contact us today for a free inspection. We will work with you to assess the damage and develop a plan of action. Thank you for choosing Palmer Construction!