We’ve collected information, tips and tricks from trusted professionals to help you better maintain your home, whether you’re in the middle of an emergency or a proud new owner.
The most common types of storm damage include hail, wind and water damage. Make sure to check areas including your roof, foundation, windows/doors and siding after a heavy storm to ensure you don’t have any major damage.
Some areas of your home are more prone to flooding than others. These rooms include bathrooms, basements, roofs and attics, rooms with appliances (laundry rooms/kitchens) and areas that have a lot of pipes running behind the walls or under floors.
While each part of your home is affected differently by fire and smoke damage, you can expect the fire damage restoration process to involve neutralizing odors from smoke and purifying contaminated air with industrial equipment such as air scrubber machines and HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums.
Have a professional roofing contractor do a thorough roof inspection at least once a year to help identify any problem areas, replace loose shingles and perform any necessary roofing repairs.
After a house fire, smoke damage can affect ceilings, walls, doors/windows as well as internal structures including the electrical and HVAC systems, so be sure to hire a professional fire damage restoration service for a thorough assessment.
Common signs of water damage include discoloration, changes in texture to floors, walls and ceilings and a musty odor. If you spot any of these in your home, contact a water damage restoration company to help with cleanup and repairs.
Make sure to do your homework and thoroughly research any general contractor you plan to hire for home repairs or restoration work.
You can easily detect storm damage to your roof from wind and hail if you have cracked or broken shingles, and a significant amount of granules missing from asphalt shingles.
Don't forget to prepare the exterior parts of your home when getting ready for a storm. This includes cleaning furniture and large objects from your patio and yard and removing large limbs on trees that are close to your house or roof.
Start thinking about replacement products at the beginning of the project, so you're ready to make selections when the time comes to purchase them.
Did you know? Many people don’t realize the importance of taking inventory of the items in their home until an emergency occurs. There are many free online tools available that can help. Consider conducting an annual inventory check so you’re prepared in advance.
The restoration process may temporarily turn your relaxing home into a construction site. Just breathe, it’s totally normal.
The following are signs you may have roof damage:
Missing, cracked or broken shingles
Watermarks or stains on ceilings or walls
Make sure your pets are secure anytime work is being done in your home.
Did you know? The most common causes of roof damage are high winds, heavy storms and hail.
When a storm has caused damage in your area, don’t be surprised if roofers show up and offer their repair services. Before starting any work, be sure to call your insurance company.
To prepare for a hurricane evacuation, board up your windows and doors. Additionally, know how to do the following three things:
Turn off electricity from the breaker box
Turn off water
Turn off gas
If you aren’t sure how to turn off your water or gas, call your local utility providers for help.
After a hailstorm, inspect your roof and gutters for damage. Hail damage will look different depending on the type of shingles on your roof. Be on the lookout for dark spots, dimples or cracks. Damage on gutters may be more obvious—look for dents and cracks.
After a storm, look around for missing shingles or pieces of metal on the ground as a starting point for identifying exterior damage. If you find these items, you likely have damage and may want to call a professional or your insurance company.
Did you know? Mold can start growing in as little as 48-72 hours. Because of this, it’s critical to start the water cleanup process as soon as possible, especially if the water is dirty.
Several factors can cause trees to fall, such as wind, a lightning strike or wet ground. If a tree falls on your home, follow these three steps:
Leave the home immediately
Contact your local police and fire departments
Call your insurance company
Did you know? Smoke and fire can damage things you can’t see, like your heating and cooling system. Don’t be surprised if your contractor needs to inspect and clean the system.
Smoke detectors should be tested once a month and have their batteries replaced twice a year when you set the clocks for daylight savings time.
Did you know? Although it may sound counterintuitive, water damage and fire damage go hand in hand. Often times, water damage occurs after the fire was extinguished.
To be on the safe side after a fire, throw away all food in the home, as it could have been contaminated while the fire was being put out.
Did you know? Any fire, no matter the size, can cause smoke damage inside a home. Call a professional to start the cleanup process as soon as possible to help avoid permanent damage.
Consider having your clothes emergency cleaned to avoid the costs of replacing an entire wardrobe, as smoke can be particularly harmful to textiles.
Did you know? A contractor will typically try to clean a few items in the home to determine if it’s possible for them to be returned to their original state. Anything that can’t be cleaned may require more substantial repairs.
Did you know? The water cleanup process typically includes 8 steps:
Prevention of further damage
Removal of standing water
Repair of any damage that can’t be dried
Did you know? Before the water removal process begins, your contractor may place a dehumidifier in your home to help prevent further damage.
If a pipe has burst in your home and you have an active water leak or standing water, follow these three steps:
Turn off the power at the breaker box.
Turn off the water. If you aren’t sure how, call a professional for immediate help.
Call a professional for help.
Refrain from touching any electronics or appliances until a professional arrives.
4 Important Things to Know about the Water Mitigation Process
Depending on the extent of the water damage, the drying process can take anywhere from 2-7 days.
It may be necessary for small parts of the wall, floor or ceiling to be cut out in order to effectively test the dryness of an area.
After attempting to dry for a certain period of time, a contractor may determine the surface cannot be dried and will require more substantial repairs.
Although the process is inconvenient, remember to be patient, as each step is critical to get the property back to a dry state before repairs can begin.
Running dryers and equipment simultaneously can sometimes trip a breaker in the house, so don’t be surprised if the electricity shuts off unexpectedly. Know where your breaker is so you’re prepared if this happens.
Did you know? These factors can impact the drying process:
Type of surface/substrate
Your contractor has tools that will help them determine what your home needs.
While contractors are cleaning up the water damage, they will need to be in and out of your home frequently to monitor progress and move equipment around. Be sure you and your contractor are communicating frequently to ensure everyone is on the same page.
The drying process may cause your home to be unusually hot or humid due to the use of dryers and dehumidifiers. Because of this, you may need to make temporary alternative living arrangements.