Storm damage can be disastrous and expensive to repair. However, knowing what to do after a storm can make a big difference in what happens in the aftermath.
Choosing the best course of action after a storm can affect everything from your floors to furniture cleaning and filing insurance claims for your vehicles. Failure to make the right decision immediately following storm damage can endanger your property, family, and wallet.
As difficult as storm or flood damage recovery may be, many people in West Palm Beach, FL have had similar experiences. This makes it simple to find the right path. You’ll be better prepared to restore property damaged after a storm if you know what to expect.
Knowing how to repair storm damage in your home or business makes it simple to mitigate the damage and move forward. But first, what exactly is storm damage?
What is storm damage?
Storm damage refers to any property damage caused by a hurricane or storm. Damage to your home, cars, business and other properties may result. Storm damage can occur anywhere in Florida due to factors such as tornadoes, high winds, heavy rain, hail, snow, or ice.
While hurricanes and high winds can strike at any time, repairing storm damage can be expensive. Storms also catch most homeowners off guard. As a result, homeowners must understand how to recover from storm damage.
Eight simple steps to help you recover from storm damage
Put safety first
If your home sustained significant damage or even flood damage during Hurricane Ian in Florida, the aftermath of storm damage can pose serious risks and injuries. The first thing you must do after the storm has passed is to ensure that your family is safe and unharmed. By inspecting your property and taking photos for your insurance company, you can avoid taking unnecessary risks. That can wait until it’s much safer.
Downed power lines, broken windows, roof damage, standing water or flooding, gas line problems, and collapsed walls are all examples of potentially dangerous situations. In addition, keep an eye out for exposed nails, broken glasses, displaced screws, and other dangerous sharp objects caused by storm damage.
Consider temporarily evacuating your loved ones to a safer location, particularly if your home has suffered roof damage.
Assess and document your property’s damage
When you believe it is safe to enter your home, it is time to assess the damage caused by the storm, high winds, or flooding. This process can be extremely emotional as you witness the damage to your home, but taking pictures and documenting the damage must be completed before contacting your insurance company.
This is so you can provide the necessary evidence for your insurance claim, which is especially important if your policy only covers specific types of damage. Grab your smartphone or camera and begin filming and photographing the exterior and interior damage to your home.
Because your home may have structural damage, inspect it with caution. Take your time going through each room in your home to take detailed pictures, but make sure the areas you visit are safe.
During the inspection, take note of small and big problems like these:
- Any leaks or holes in the roof resulting from missing, loose or broken shingles, vents and gutters
- Broken doors and windows
- Basement flooding
- Fire damage
- Moisture damage
- Exposed power lines
- Broken or damaged furniture and appliances, especially from water damage
- Destruction or loss of personal items, as most homeowners insurance policies cover personal property within the scheduled limit.
If you have pictures of your property or house before the storm, you can easily get compensation for your insurance claims. Your insurance company will be able to quickly compare the photos and will not question whether you are attempting to blame the storm on pre-existing damage. As a result, if a storm is approaching, take photos of the current state of your home.
Contact your insurance company/ agent
As soon as you have taken photos of the structural damage to your home, contact your insurance agent or company to report the incident. Discuss the storm’s damage with them and show them the photos you took with proper documentation. Your insurance agent will walk you through the process of filing a claim by providing you with a claim number and a list of emergency service providers.
After you file a claim, insurance companies dispatch claims adjusters to assess the damage before paying for your repair estimates. It is critical that you are present on the property when the claim adjuster arrives to discuss any issues and provide an accurate claim estimate.
When your deductibles are met, the adjuster will inform you of what and how much damage will be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. However, most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage, so if your property floods, you must contact the flood insurance company. Homeowners who do not have flood insurance will have to pay for repairs out of pocket.
Contact your mortgage financing company
In addition to filing insurance claims, you should contact the company that handles your monthly mortgage payments to discuss any available relief options. Your mortgage servicer may not be the same as your original mortgage lender.
If a disaster makes it difficult or impossible to make your monthly mortgage payments, contact your mortgage servicer to avoid incurring late fees, which could harm your credit score. Inquire about mortgage forbearance, which allows you to stop making payments or make partial payments for a set period of time. Forbearance typically lasts six months, but you can negotiate an extension with your mortgage servicer.
Look for disaster assistance
The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides assistance to storm-damaged homeowners. You can get help with temporary housing, family meals, repairs, and filing insurance claims.
If your area has been declared a storm disaster, you may be eligible for low-interest loans to help you rebuild your home. Even if you don’t have a solid homeowner’s insurance policy, you may be eligible for federal disaster assistance. To obtain the loan, you will only need to submit some documentation.
Prevent any further damage
When the storm surge has passed and all of the flying debris has landed, you can begin the cleanup process and make any necessary emergency repairs to prevent further damage. Remember to be as safe as possible while cleaning up and making repairs, and refrain from making any permanent or extensive repairs until your insurance adjuster has assessed the damage.
Remove all debris from your deck, yard, and patio, as well as the gutters and roof. We recommend covering broken windows and roof holes if storm damage is allowing water and wind into your home.
Check that the downspouts are directing water away from your property and its foundation. Remove any standing water to prevent mold growth, which poses a health risk to your family.
Residents of West Palm Beach, FL, can contact Titan Rebuild for advice on how to avoid standing water and storm damage repair. We will also assist you in securing all of your valuable items while repairing storm or flood damage.
Properly keep the receipts for all the repairs made
Keep all receipts for materials and labor used in the restoration process. This will assist you in obtaining a fair reimbursement from your insurance company. Maintaining proper documentation and staying organized is critical for any insurance claim under your homeowner’s policy. This allows you to avoid potential problems in the future.
When a disaster destroys your home, make sure you understand your homeowner’s policy. You should also contact your insurance company and update your contact information.
Looking for reliable storm damage repair services in West Palm Beach, FL? Contact Titan Rebuild for superior services today!
Titan Rebuild is a dependable storm damage restoration company with a track record of providing high-quality service on the large and small storm and water damage remodeling projects. All of our technicians are knowledgeable and efficient, and they can even assist West Palm Beach, FL residents with insurance and mortgage paperwork. For storm damage restoration, call 561-763-4978 today!