When facing the restoration of your home or business following a major weather event, it’s natural to want to dive right in and tackle the problem. To be most effective in this situation, start with an overview of the damage and then follow a guide on how to start your restoration process.
Things to Know in Advance
Severe storm damage can result in downed power lines, washed-out roads, fallen trees, and extreme temperatures, all of which can impact your ability to clean up and restore your property. Knowing the total area affected by the storm and the extent of damage is important as both factors could also impact you and your property, even after the storm has passed.
For example, if a severe thunderstorm brings torrential rains, and you live near a creek or river, water levels can continue to rise for several hours after the rain stops, which means there’s still a risk of flooding. Similarly, power outages may still be possible even if you maintained power during the storm. The power company may need to shut off electricity to areas during cleanup efforts.
Taking these things into account before you dive right into cleanup will help ensure a safe and effective restoration process for your home or business.
Focusing on Your Property
Before you start any storm damage cleanup or restoration efforts, you should first contact your insurance provider to learn more about what your policy covers. Your insurance policy details can influence whether you file a claim and can help guide you on how you tackle the restoration.
After contacting your insurance company, you’ll want to work on documenting the damage, and then consider using a professional property restoration contractor or creating a plan for tackling the work yourself.
When you do an initial assessment of the storm damage to your property, take thorough notes on all the issues both inside and outside. It’s always a good idea to take photos of everything as well. On the outside, see if you have any roof damage, power line concerns, standing water, fallen trees, broken glass, damaged siding, or related outdoor damage. Problems on the exterior could carry over to the interior, or they could impact how you address other damage sustained to the inside of your property.
Assuming it is safe to enter your property, you’ll want to continue the assessment and documentation process inside. Note any flooding, signs of leaks, strange smells, or damage to windows, walls, and other areas. Be sure to check any areas that sustained damage on the exterior. For example, if a large tree limb fell on your roof, check the same area of your ceiling inside for cracks or leaking water.
Once you have an assessment of the situation, you are in a better position to decide two things:
- Will you be filing an insurance claim?
- Do you need the assistance of a professional restoration company?
Calling a Professional Restoration Service
Depending on the extent of property damage, your insurance coverage and requirements, or your comfort level in being able to handle the storm damage cleanup, you may need to call a professional restoration company like 1-800 WATER DAMAGE. We are trained in property restoration following wind, water, and storm damage, as well as sewage cleanup, which may also be necessary if storm-related flooding caused a backup.
If you’re unsure whether you need professional services, contact your local 1-800 WATER DAMAGE team and they’ll be happy to talk through the situation with you.
Starting Work on Your Property
If you choose to handle all or most of the storm damage cleanup on your property, here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Complete urgent repairs. Certain repairs are more urgent than others to prevent additional damage from occurring. At home, this might mean handling a burst pipe. At the office, it could mean boarding up broken doors and windows   . Based on the outside and inside assessments you did earlier, prioritize your repair process.
- Tackle key rooms. Decide which rooms you most need to access, and start the cleanup there. At home, key rooms might be the kitchen and bathrooms. At an office building, your key room might be the IT or server room, the immediate reception area, and so on.
- Look beyond what’s immediately visible. When working on rooms, move all furnishings out of the way and check walls, floors, and ceilings for signs of water damage. Dry the area thoroughly to avoid structural damage, and be on the lookout for mold.
The Other Part of a Storm Damage Cleanup
Most people think of the physical damage caused by major weather events, but there can also be a psychological impact from the experience.
Property restoration is not something most people have the tools or expertise to handle alone. If you find yourself feeling too stressed in the aftermath of a severe weather event to tackle significant property repairs, this is completely normal. If you need to put your energy into keeping up with day-to-day responsibilities–getting your children on the bus, checking on aging parents, going to work, or keeping your businesses running–that’s understandable. We know life doesn’t stop because you’re facing a weather-damage situation, which is why we’re here to help as much as possible.
Contact 1-800 WATER DAMAGE
Whether you call us immediately after a storm or when you are emotionally overwrought from trying to deal with a weather-damaged property, we are always ready to respond. Our technicians can perform an assessment of the property to provide a complete damage inventory, and then we’ll walk you through every step of the process to restore your home and peace of mind. We offer 24/7 emergency service, and you can always reach us at 800-928-3732 or by requesting service online.