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What kind of damage do I look for after a storm?

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The largest hailstone ever was recorded in 2010 in South Dakota, measuring 7.9 inches. Storms can cause huge damage, from big hailstones to deadly floods. Many people die from floods each year, more than those from lightning, hurricanes, and tornadoes together, says the U.S. National Severe Storms Laboratory. Knowing how to check for storm damage is key. This helps keep everyone safe, repair water damage, and make successful insurance claims.

When checking for storm damage, safety first is essential due to hazards like structural damage and gas leaks. Look at the outside of your home first. Check the roof, walls, windows, doors, and foundation. See if there are any signs of water getting in, like stains or mold. Debris or fallen trees might have caused damage, leading to leaks.

Next, inside your home, look for signs of water getting in on the walls, ceilings, or floors. If there’s electrical damage, turn off the power to avoid dangers. Make sure your home’s structure is still solid, looking for cracks and problems with beams or the foundation. It’s important to take clear photos and notes of all the damage. This will help with insurance and getting the right repairs.

Key Takeaways

  • Storm damage assessment focuses on safety first, due to structural dangers, electrical issues, and gas risks.
  • Start outside, checking the roof, walls, windows, doors, and foundation for damage, and look for water signs.
  • Inside, watch for water damage, and fix any electrical problems right away to avoid danger.
  • Examine the structure for any signs of damage, like cracks or weakened beams and foundation.
  • Keep a detailed record of all damages for your insurance claim and for future repair needs.

Safety First: Assessing Risk Before Inspection

Checking if storm-damaged buildings are structurally safe comes first. This step is critical to avoid any harm. It’s important to carefully look at their foundations and structural parts. Storms can damage buildings a lot, making them unstable. So, it’s key to make sure they’re safe before stepping in.

Ensuring Structural Safety

Before inspection, make sure the building’s structure is sound. An initial check includes the foundation, walls, and supporting parts for any damage. Places hit hard by storms often need a close look at their roofs. This is to find any problems like sagging or major damage that could be dangerous.

If the roof looks bad, don’t inspect it yourself. It’s best to have an expert check it out. They can give a proper assessment. This helps keep you safe.

Dealing with Electrical and Gas Hazards

After a storm, handling electricity and gas safety is critical. Turn both off to avoid fires or harm. Look for obvious dangers like frayed wires or gas smells. If you spot any, don’t go on with the inspection. It’s better to get experts to deal with these risks.

Being proactive is vital after a storm. This way, you protect yourself and your property. It’s all about staying safe.

Initial Exterior Damage Assessment

After a storm, it’s key to check the outside of your home for damage. Start by looking at the roof. This part of the house often gets hit the hardest during bad weather.

Inspecting the Roof for Common Issues

Storms can severely damage a roof. Check to see if any shingles are missing or broken. Look for leaks and marks caused by debris. Acting fast to fix roof issues is important. It helps keep your house strong and stops big water problems. This also lowers the cost of fixing your house.

Checking Walls, Windows, and Doors

Next, look at the walls, windows, and doors. Damage in these areas can bring in water and make heating or cooling your home harder. You should inspect for cracks, shattered glass, and bent or broken parts. Doing this helps make sure your home is safe and weatherproof.

Evaluating the Foundation and Siding

Now, focus on the foundation and the house’s siding. Check the siding for rot, cracks, and warping. A severe storm’s damage on the foundation may cause cracks or more. Look for any changes in the support system of your home. These checks are very important for keeping your home strong and safe.

What Kind of Damage Do I Look for After a Storm?

Spotting storm damage early is key for your property’s safety and worth. Look carefully, as dangers aren’t always obvious. In Marion, Illinois, half of tornado victims got hurt after the storm. This was during rescue or cleanup. So, be very thorough in checking your property after a storm.

Start by checking the roof for hail damage. Hail can vary in size, from tiny pellets to big stones. In 2010, there was a hailstone in South Dakota that was almost 8 inches. Look for missing shingles, leaks, and dents. After a hurricane, you must also check walls, windows, and doors for any damage.

Tornadoes with winds over 300 mph can really harm structures. Look for cracked foundations and missing siding after a tornado. You might see signs of the building shifting. Repairs might be needed on the roof, windows, or even the structure itself. After a tornado, check for any hidden but serious issues in the building.

Floods can also do a lot of harm. They can cause more deaths than lightning and hurricanes combined. Check if floodwater has damaged the house. It can contaminate surfaces and harm your walls and foundations. It’s crucial to act fast to prevent mold.

After a storm, be careful of hidden dangers. Stepping on nails causes a lot of injuries. Make sure your area is clean and safe from nails and glass. This prevents accidents.

Watch out for fraud too, especially after a storm. Shady contractors can take advantage of the chaos. Always get multiple quotes and check a contractor’s background. They should share their business info, like their name and insurance. Talking to past customers is a good way to know if they’re trustworthy.

To sum it up, after a hurricane, you need to look out for various kinds of damage. Understand the risks from tornados and floods. By doing thorough checks and getting quality repairs, you can keep your property safe and sound.

Interior Damage Checkup

After a big storm, checking your home’s inside carefully is very important. There might be hidden damage that can cause trouble later if not found early.

Signs of Water Damage Inside the Home

Look for stains, bubbling paint, and soggy walls – they signal water issues. Water might be sneaking into places it shouldn’t, like behind walls or in the attic. Remember, even rare EF5 tornadoes can cause huge damage.

Hazards in Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC Systems

Checking the electrical system is key after a storm to avoid fires. Storm-prone areas like Oklahoma need extra care due to frequent tornadoes. Plumbing problems, indicated by high water usage, and HVAC system checks are also crucial.

Getting a professional’s help for a storm damage check is a smart move. They can spot every issue and make sure your home is safe.

Evaluating Structural Integrity

After a storm, it’s vital to carefully check a building’s strength. This involves looking at key things like structural integrity assessment of walls that support a lot of weight, cracks in the ground, and any signs that the building has moved. For example, finding problems with load-bearing walls is crucial. Inspectors must check closely at beams, rafters, and walls to see what needs fixing.

Storms and floods often cause damage to the building’s structure. So, it’s important to look for any cracks, walls that are leaning, or if the house has moved. Checking the roof’s ridge can hint at big problems if it’s sagging. Also, keeping an eye on walls to make sure they’re vertical and straight is key for property stability checks.

Inspecting the foundation is a must after a storm, too. This is whether the building is on piers or a concrete base. Finding out how much the storm affected the foundation is crucial. And, it’s not always easy to spot broken wood parts, so it needs a close look because they might not be obvious.

It’s wise to get expert help from structural engineers or inspectors for a thorough check. They can accurately see the damage and suggest repairs, possibly with the assessing post-storm shifts in structure. Taking pictures and videos of the damage are also smart. This can help with insurance claims and helps the repair pros know what they’re facing.

Inspecting Utilities and Hidden Areas

After a storm, looking at your utilities is key to stay safe. It’s important to check your home’s electrical systems and plumbing. Using advanced tech can find issues we can’t see, making our checks better.

Assessing Electrical Systems

Checking your home’s electricity after a storm is crucial. Watch out for exposed wires or burnt smells. Getting a pro to inspect your system ensures any hidden damages are fixed safely.

Checking Plumbing and Water Lines

Checking your plumbing after a storm can stop big water problems. Look for leaks, water stains, and listen for running water. If water lines are under stress, hidden damages might pop up. Tools like moisture meters can find water damage we can’t see, so we don’t miss a thing.

Considering Hidden Damage and Using Technology

Finding hidden damage from storms is a big deal for your home’s stability. Devices like thermal cameras can find wet spots we can’t. This tech helps spot problems early and gives us the right info for fixes and claims. Photos and videos of the damage help with insurance later on.

In the end, fixing utility and hidden storm damages with good inspections and tech keeps our homes safe from big problems. It ensures everything is fixed the right way.

Documenting Damage for Insurance Claims

Documenting storm damage well is key to insurance claims. A good record can help you get better compensation. Make sure to take photos and notes of all damages, inside and outside your home.

Photographs and Videos

Start by taking pictures of all parts of your home. Snap photos of the roof, walls, windows, and any broken items. It’s also crucial to take photos of your personal belongings. Photos from different angles and close-ups are very important. They help prove your claims to the insurance company.

Maintaining Detailed Records

After the storm, keep detailed records of what was damaged. Note when and where you bought items and keep receipts. Keep track of all spending related to the damage, like debris removal.

It’s also important to document all discussions with your insurance company. Sending emails about these talks can help keep things clear. This will be useful not just for your home, but also for claims covering things related to the storm damage.

Consulting Professionals for Accurate Assessment

After a storm, getting a detailed and correct assessment is key. This helps utility companies a lot during big storms. DRG has a big team across the country ready to help.

For contractors after a storm, homeowners need ones with a solid history and real qualifications. This keeps the work high-quality and low-risk for scams. DRG can quickly send out teams for storm work, making recovery faster and documenting damage accurately.

Getting building inspections is crucial too. Skilled inspectors check a building’s structure after a storm to find all damage. Haag Construction Consultants have nearly 100 years of experience. They provide detailed property checks and oversee projects daily. Their work ensures a thorough evaluation of a building’s condition.

Engineering checks for storm damage are also very important, especially with big structural issues. Structural engineers ensure a building is safe. They check foundations, beams, and other key parts. Their review helps figure out what repairs are needed for a building to be safe again.

To avoid fraud from contractors, homeowners must pick ones that are licensed and insured. It’s best to choose based on recommendations and a good track record. Having a clear, detailed contract is also crucial. This document should clearly state the work, costs, and when it’ll be done. It protects against shady business practices.

The main goal after a storm is to make the property safe and strong again. With experts like Davey and Haag, this can be done efficiently. The property gets back to its former state, or even better.


It’s very important to spot and fix storm damage for a home’s safety. 65% of roof damages are from severe winds and 25% from hail. Problems like missing shingles, dented sills, or odd roof colors show damage that needs fast fixing.

Taking good photos and telling your insurance quickly help get fair and fast claims. Sometimes, storm roofs are not fully covered by insurance, knowing your policy helps. It’s key to quickly fix storm damages to keep your home safe.

Roofing companies might cover 80% of your roof repair costs after a storm. Waiting to fix your roof can hurt your insurance claims and cause more problems. Following these steps can help you through the insurance process, bringing back your peace of mind and home’s safety.

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