Tips to prepare your home for spring storms
- Check your Roof
A quick self inspection could reveal weak areas that could use attention to secure before a storm occurs. Loose siding or roofing materials such as shingles that could blow off and take materials with them, missing shingles that need replaced, cracks in sealant around flashing, roof mounted hardware and vents. Securing these materials before a storm can help prevent damage.
- Tree Trimming
Dead branches or large overhanging tree branches are able to cause damage when they fall upon your house or vehicles. Trimming before the storm can avoid damage.
- Cleaning Gutters
If gutters are plugged from winter debris, water will find somewhere else to go such as the basement, between siding and exterior windows, etc. Clearing gutters before rain or storms occur will eliminate water in unwanted places. Repairing holes in guttering and securing any loose guttering will also prevent unnecessary damage.
- Test the Sump Pump
Testing the sump pump to confirm it is in proper working order before a storm occurs is beneficial.
- Prepare for the Storm
If severe weather is predicted, store or secure outdoor furniture, toys, grills, etc. to prevent damage to these items or to prevent damage to dwellings or other structures from being damaged by wind blown objects.
Tips for after the storm
- Protect your home from further damage as soon as possible. Temporary repairs are permitted. All receipts of temporary repair are able to be provided as part of the claim. Photos of all existing damage prior to repair are requested, if possible, based on conditions.
- Contact your Agent as soon as possible to report the claim damage.
Providing detailed description of the damage is very helpful to assess the severity.
- Talk to your agent about the specifics of your homeowners’ policy so that you are aware whether the policy pays for actual cash value of the damage or replacement cost, and if there are any endorsements that may limit or broaden the standard coverages.
- Once an adjustor has inspected the damage, arrived at a settlement amount for home repairs and advised of the next steps to take:
- Get specific estimates from local, reputable contractors – showing detail of materials and labor costs and any additional costs.
- It is a good idea to get more than one estimate from a local contractor – obtain references and check them.
- Hire a trusted, local contractor to make repairs.
- Require a certificate of insurance.
- Be wary of contractors that arrive in damaged areas and offer a quick, cheap way to fix the problem.