Hurricane Irma took its toll and emotions run high after a large storm, and sometimes it is difficult to think clearly. It is best if you know the exact steps you need to take after a storm before you have roof damage.
Write down the steps you should take somewhere you can access them. Keep a paper version and save an electronic version of this process. You may not have access to a computer or the internet after inclement weather. Make a list of important phone numbers, and the order you should call each person.
Read your policy to make sure you have adequate coverage. For example, your insurance company may provide prorated coverage on a roof more than 10-years-old.
Step 1: Start today
Do you have a home inventory? If not, today is the best day to make one. Go room to room and document the brand, year and price paid for all of your major appliances, electronics and other personal items. Store this inventory somewhere in the cloud so you can access it even if your laptop is destroyed after a storm or something happens to your phone.
Then, take a video of your home, your property and most importantly, your roof. Replacing or fixing a damaged roof can be expensive. It is best if the insurance company knows exactly what your roof looked like before and after the storm.
There are other steps you could take today like adding reinforcements or uprgarding your shingles.
Step 2: Safety is paramount
Before you assess damage, check on the safety of others around you. Make sure no one is in need of immediate assistance or emergency care. Make sure you do not use matches until after the gas company confirms the area is safe. If the storm was especially severe, try to avoid using your cell phone unless it is an emergency. Tune into local news to be aware of any additional issues like more flooding headed your way.
Then, scan your property for any hazards like downed electric lines. Never put yourself in unnecessarily risky situations. The last thing you want is any injuries after the storm while trying to clean the area. The American Red Cross provides a checklist to make sure you take all the right precautions.
Step 3: Examine the roof
Look for the obvious first. Are there any large holes? Seek out any leaks and catch the water with a bucket to prevent excessive water damage within the home. Next, from the ground look for any dents or cracks in the shingles. Also, check the gutters for excessive amounts granules.
Start with a document of some type to keep track of all your observations.
Write down the date of the storm. Find and save news articles documenting the storm if it is needed for proof in the future.
Use your smartphone to take pictures and videos of the damage. Later, you can compare the current video after storm damage with the previous videos and pictures.
Step 4: Report the damage
The insurance company needs to know about the damage quickly after the storm. Depending on the size of the affected area, there may be some wait times between filing your claim and receiving contact from the company, but don’t file twice. Send photos of the problems, and the company should send an adjustor to the area.
Step 5: Contact a contractor
Let us help you get your life back after the chaos settles down. We can put a roof over your head - literally. Everything else will begin falling back into place over several weeks.
Did you know certain roofs hold up better in hurricane weather? As you rebuild consider ways to improve your home to withstand future high winds, rain and hail. For example, multiple slopes such as a hip roof perform better than gable roofs. Ask us how you can upgrade your roof by giving us a call at 407-295-7403.
Severe damage is never an ideal circumstance, but don’t worry it is possible to get everything back in working order.