What to Do After Storm Damage to Your House

Posted on April 2, 2022


Long Nguyen | author

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ICHQ | Site Author

Going through a major storm is stressful, especially if your property becomes damaged. It could take months and thousands of dollars to recover. Unfortunately, insurance companies are for-profit businesses and sometimes can be unhelpful during the claims process.

Wondering what to do after storm damage to get your insurance coverage? Insurance Claim HQ can walk you through the initial claims process and help you recover more quickly. Contact our storm damage lawyers serving New Orleans and the state of Louisiana.

Think Safety First When Assessing Storm Damage

After a severe storm, observe your property and the surrounding area. Make sure you gather protective gear, including masks to protect your lungs and goggles for your eyes, before you start your home inspection.

If you’re returning from evacuation, approach your home carefully. Evaluate your driveway and sidewalks for stability and structure. Observe your roof and home’s framing or structure to make sure it is safe before you continue. Check for any trees that received storm damage or fell over.

Also, look for and stay well away from any downed power lines. They can spark and shock you or cause fires. Avoid any water that is near live wires that are on the ground or moving.

Then, search for gas leaks and exposed gas lines. If you see any broken lines after a storm, do not remain in the residence. Instead, contact the utility company to have them shut off your utilities and come out to check the damage. Avoid going into your home until the utility company declares it safe.

Carefully Inspect Your Home for Storm Damage

The next thing on our list of what to do after storm damage is a full-home inspection.

Exterior inspection

Take a slow walk around the house. Search for damage in the following areas:

  • The foundation
  • Windows and doors
  • The siding, soffit, and framing
  • Landscaping and trees
  • Any outbuildings

Much of the storm damage may occur on your roof, so take the time to look it over carefully. If you can do so safely, get on a ladder and up on your roof for a thorough inspection. Look for sags, broken or unsecured gutters, damage to your flashing and fascia, and missing, cracked, or otherwise damaged shingles. Check any pipes and chimneys for issues as well.

Interior inspection

After you have examined the outside of your home, go inside and look for other evidence of storm damage to your house. Before you do so, shut off the power in case you have electrical damage.

Search for water damage, leaks, holes, and other damage to your home. Carefully check your windows for leaks and cracks. Search your walls for stains, bulging, or other deformities. Is your paint bubbling or chipping?

Walk slowly and test the floors for soft spots that could be the result of water damage. Look for leaks under appliances and throughout your plumbing system. Make sure your ceilings don’t have water stains and aren’t bulging anywhere. If you can, look at your attic and roof from the inside. Check your tresses, plywood, and insulation. Search for sags, water spots, holes and other issues in your roof and attic.

You should also check the following:

  • Furniture
  • Vehicles
  • HVAC
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing

You may need a professional to conduct a full evaluation of your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems, especially if you notice issues in your walkthrough.

Review Your Homeowners’ Insurance Policy for Storm Damage Coverage

If you have storm damage, you should next consult your homeowners’ insurance policy. Review everything that it covers, and pay close attention to exclusions. For example, some policies don’t cover flood or wind damage.

Also, find your deductible amount and review the claims process for your insurance company.

Document Storm Damage

Take photos of all the damage you observe both inside and outside your home. Don’t forget to photograph any damage to your trees, sidewalks, and driveway as well. Take pictures of any standing water as well as any utility issues you find. You should also capture images of any furniture or other belongings that received damage.

Consider taking a series of photos a few days or a week apart so you can identify problems that may be hidden initially. You can also use videos to show the damage.

Make a detailed list of everything you find wrong with your home and property. Write down specific issues and what you believe caused them. You can also take measurements, such as the size of holes, puddles, and other challenges you find. Include both cosmetic and structural problems.

Pursue Protection Measures Against Additional Damage

Most insurance policies require that you take any measures necessary to minimize or prevent further damage to your property. This may include securing a tarp over holes in your roof or boarding up windows and doors to prevent additional breaches.

You may need to shut off the water coming to your house to reduce or prevent flooding or contact the electric company to shut off the power to prevent fires. Your home should also be secured from breaches from unwelcomed individuals.

Contact Our Lawyers About What To Do After Storm Damage to Your Home

At Insurance Claim HQ, we understand the stress and seemingly overwhelming process of filing homeowners’ insurance claims and how to get what you need to protect your family and restore your home. If your home receives storm damage, contact our firm in Louisiana right away. Call us 24/7 or contact us online today.