The 3 Step Storm Restoration Process
Whether you live in an area that has dangerous spring storms and tornadoes, tropical hurricanes, or winter blizzards and ice, any home is susceptible to storm damage. While a hole in the roof from a falling tree may seem like obvious storm damage, a small roof leak and a humid attic could cause mold growth that could be just as detrimental in terms of storm restoration costs.
If you suspect your home has been damaged in a storm, it's important to act as quickly as possible to prevent more damage, mitigate the repair costs, and return your home to a safe place for your family.
1st Step - Evaluate Your Home's Damage With Careful Documentation
When it is safe to walk the inside and outside of your home, after the storm has passed, carefully assess your entire house for damage. Even if damage doesn't look bad - like a piece of siding you could reattach yourself - still take pictures and document it. If you have never filed a claim with your homeowners' insurance, know that they require extremely detailed documentation. Failure to provide detailed information leaves you at the mercy of the insurance adjuster and his assessment alone to determine your compensation.
Unfortunately, your insurance company is hoping to pay you as little as possible. Many homeowners have even had their claim shorted
so significantly that they were unable to make the repairs that would make their homes habitable again.
2nd Step - Schedule A Contractor To Assess The Damage
Having a reputable contractor evaluate your home's storm damage
before filing a claim with your insurance company will give you a true estimate of what the repairs will cost. You can then use these figures to compare with the insurance adjuster's valuation and negotiate if necessary to ensure you're getting the maximum compensation needed to make repairs.
Choose a local contractor that has been in business for a while and who has honest online reviews. Don't hesitate to ask for referrals, and if it would make you more comfortable, you can even request an estimator from the contractor be onsite when the insurance adjuster arrives. Many contractors are happy to oblige, especially if they're going to be working directly with your insurance company to complete the repairs and receive payment. It's in everyone's best interest that you receive a fair settlement that will cover all repairs.
Once the contractor has assessed the damage, they will take temporary measures like putting a tarp over your roof, to protect your home until construction can begin.
3rd Step - Contact Your Homeowners' Insurance Company
Having detailed documentation and an estimate from a contractor before you file a claim will help keep your insurance company honest and help get you the most money possible. Depending on your contractor, they may have an established relationship with your insurance carrier and may offer to handle the claim for you. A lot of times this is easier for everyone and the process of repairs and payment can happen much more quickly.
Storm damage is never something you want to deal with as a homeowner, but by following these three steps, the storm restoration
process should go smoother, getting you and your family quickly and safely back in your home.