High Winds, Home Damage: How to Check your home after the Storm

February 19, 2016

After weeks of cold weather, we finally have a warm day and it's too windy to be outside. This is one of the problems with Spring like weather. It comes with high winds, hard rain, and hail. All of which could damage your home.

After Storms like today, you should take a few minutes to inspect your home for damage. It's important to find minor problems early, make repairs, or decide you need to call your insurance agent to file a claim.

Here's some info from Safeco on what to look for when inspecting your home after a storm:

 

Roof
Your roof might be the area of your home most vulnerable to damage in a storm, because so many things can impact it. Whether you’ve had high winds and downed tree branches or just a simple hailstorm, look for these indicators of damage:

  • Holes in the roof

  • Split seams

  • Missing shingles

  • Leaks in your roof or ceiling

Building Exteriors
While siding, stucco and brick all are durable, they also are susceptible to storm damage. In some instances, homeowners don’t notice until it’s too late to file a claim, so check carefully for:

  • Cracking, chipping or dings and dents on siding. Even if there doesn’t appear to be damage at first, check again at a different time of day. You may see something you missed when the lighting is different.

  • Holes in stucco. This is a serious problem, even when small, so look closely. If you find holes, have a professional conduct a full property inspection.

  • Damaged brick and tuck pointing. While brick typically holds up well, a check can identify any problem areas.

  • Detached or damaged trim, gutters, etc.

Driveways and Walkways
Concrete can chip, crack and split, not only reducing the lifespan of your driveway or walkway, but potentially creating a safety issue.

Trees
Fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage each year, according to the National Storm Damage Center. Keep in mind that property owners generally are responsible for removing trees and limbs that have fallen on their property, even if it is a tree from a neighbor’s yard. Your insurance policy may help to cover the cost of removal and repairs, depending on the coverage you have and the circumstances of the incident. (There are exceptions to this, depending on the maintenance of the tree, so check with your insurance agent.)

General Tips

  • Severe storms often will knock down power lines. If this happens on your property, rope off 30 feet in each direction around the line and do not touch it. Call 911 and the power company immediately.

  • Be sure to do a full check of your property, including things such as your air-conditioning unit, fences, vent caps, etc. And don’t forget to check your vehicles if they were not garaged at the time of the storm.

  • Don’t forget the crawl space. “Most people don’t ever look down there,” according to J. Szczesny, owner of 4 Seasons Home Inspections in Seattle and a Certified Master Inspector. “You need to be sure no water is getting in, and, if it is, make sure it is removed quickly via a sump pump or underground drainage system.”

  • Take pictures of all damage from different angles. You want to document as much as possible.

 

 

 

Thanks Safeco for the great advice!

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