For those who live in an area that could be affected by a storm, there is a risk of water damage to the home, especially if it is in a flood zone. Flood restoration can be overwhelming. The following is a guide to help homeowners through the process of cleaning up after a storm.
Make an Insurance Claim
One of the first things to do after safely returning home is to make a claim with the insurance company. They will want a general description of the damage to the property. The insurance company, depending on the level of destruction, should get back in touch within a few days.
Have an Insurance Adjuster Look at the Damage
After making a claim, make sure an adjuster visits the property to evaluate the issues. They will determine if the problems were caused by wind or water. This decision will greatly affect what the agency will cover. For example, if a homeowner does not have flood insurance as part of their policy and the problems were due to water invading the home, you may have to fight for your flood restoration damages to be covered. This is because the insurance company may try to say that the water in the home was a result of flooding rather than flood water.
Document All Damage
Before making any repairs, be sure to document all of the destruction that was done to the property. This includes the destruction of furniture, flooring, walls, ceilings, and so on. Also, if the water rose significantly, be sure to take note so things like the electrical system can be checked as well. Take photographs and video of any structural destruction as well as any contents that were affected.
Take Measures to Prevent Further Damage
Water damage can continue to cause problems as it sits. After making an insurance claim, it is important to make temporary repairs to the home to prevent additional issues. If the roof is compromised, cover the area with a tarp or some type of strong covering. Broken windows and doors should be covered with plywood. If it is too dangerous to make these temporary repairs, hire a service. Be sure to save the receipts for this work as to recoup the costs.
Keep the doors and undamaged windows open as often as possible to ventilate the air and allow the house to dry out. This is crucial in preventing mold growth.
Schedule Permanent Repairs
Once everything has been evaluated, the next step is to begin scheduling the repair work. If the area was heavily affected by a storm, it might be necessary to wait. Also, make sure to work with a reputable contractor. After a crisis like a storm, disingenuous contractors show up and try to take advantage of vulnerable storm victims. This often results in shoddy work that will need to be replaced.
Storm and flood restoration can be significant and overwhelming. Taking everything step-by-step will help ease the process. Be sure to keep in constant contact with the insurer and don’t make any permanent repairs until all evaluations have been completed.