Once the storm is over, you’ll want to inspect your home to make sure there isn’t any damage that needs tending to. Here is a list of things to look out for.
- Make sure there are no immediate threats to your safety.
This includes downed power lines and gas leaks. Do not touch a downed power line, even if it looks inactive. If you smell gas, this could signal a break in the gas line and you should immediately cut off all gas valves. If you are experiencing issues with your water pipes, make sure your water is safe to drink.
- Contact your insurance Company
If you notice damage from the storm, it’s always a good idea to contact your insurance as soon as possible. They will let you know what is covered and help you locate reliable repair companies and temporary housing if needed.
- Inspect the roof and exterior siding
Inspect your roof for dents, broken, shingles, and holes. Note any damage to your home’s gutters and downspouts, as well as the exterior siding. Even small nicks and dents can lead to bigger problems down the road.
- Check other outdoor structures
If you have a detached garage, storage shed or fence, carefully inspect them after the storm. Checking on these sooner rather than later can protect the contents inside and eliminate a potential security threat to your property.
- Inspect your home’s appliances
Outdoor systems such as your air conditioner can take a beating from the elements, but leaks and power surges can also cause damage to things like your washer, dryer, dishwasher and refrigerator. Be sure everything is still safely functioning once it is safe.
- Check the attic, crawlspaces and basement
These spaces are often overlooked but are the perfect spot for mold growth, rot and water damage. If water seeps into your home from a roof leak and damages your walls, you could be looking at both structural damage and destroyed valuables.
- Examine your floors, ceilings, windows and doors
Inspect your floors, doorways, windows and ceilings for things like warping, cracks, and leaks, water damage, bulging, broken glass and any other physical damage.
- Inspect electronics and other personal belongings
Expensive electronics such as TVs, computers and stero systems can be damaged by power surges, water damage, and falling objects. To help avoid major damage in the first place, unplug what you can before the weather hits and install preventative measures like surge protectors. Then check on personal belongings like clothing and furniture that may have been damaged.
- Document any and all damage
As your survey the interior and exterior of your home, don’t forget to take photos or video of any storm damage. Even the smallest thing could result in a larger issue. If possible, compile receipts for damaged items as well as invoices for work you’ve had done to your house, which can help you estimate the monetary amount of your losses.