Protecting Yourself & Your Home During Severe Weather
Severe weather is a fact of life. As Atlanta's Premier roofing company we see first hand what can happen when mother nature's fury is unleashed. Our wish for every individual, business or family we serve during these heavy storm scenarios is to be safe. Possessions and roofs can be easily replaced by insurance, but our loved ones are a different thing entirely.
Here are some quick items to think about when you know heavy storm activity is coming into your area.
1. Evaluate. Try to gain as much information as possible regarding the type of storm that may be coming. Details such as time, severity of wind, expected hail size, etc. can all be important elements in your readiness planning.
(a) Shelter . In your preparation planning make sure everyone knows during extreme weather events where you or the family will be seeking shelter. Proper plans ahead of time are key. Basements, the bottom floor of a building, or under a stairwell are appropriate places to wait out a storm.
(b) Emergency Kit. Keep an emergency kit handy. This kit can have basic supplies such as energy snack bars, water, basic toiletries, flashlights and other essential items. This kit is particularly helpful for when power outages and similar occur.
(c ) Important Papers & Policies. When a storm comes through it will be possible that things could get chaotic. Make sure you have a folder where you keep important papers. These papers could include your insurance policy, title info on your vehicles, etc. After the storm occurs you'll be glad you have all of your important documents in one place for quick reference.
(d) Inventory. Make sure as a home owner or renter you have a clear idea of all possessions in your home. This means keeping an itemized list of anything valuable, along with pictures. Once a storm, with high speed wind and hail, comes through you may have a difficult time trying to reconstruct all valuables that may have been affected if you don't have a easy and organized reference list handy.
(d) Secure Your Home or Business. Do a quick walk around the exterior of your property. Items that can be easily lifted by high speed winds can become projectiles and cause further damage to your property. Make sure that items are secured and in some cases you may want to consider utilizing OSB like material (plywood) to cover window glass.
3. After the Storm Checklist.
So you've now made it through the storm and you, your pet dog Rufus and the rest of the family is safe! Fantastic. So now what? Well now you have to survey the scene and identify the damage. This is where things can get tricky. Most home owner's policies are setup such that home owner's must file a claim for damage they suffered within one year. If they don't make a claim within this window of time, guess what....? Well you may have guessed. If you don't make a claim when you have legitimate or potential damage like wind or hail you could end up missing an opportunity to have legitimate losses that you suffered during the storm covered. This means you'll be handling it out of pocket. Check out our article regarding why insurance would pay for your roof replacement here : Why Would Insurance Pay for My Roof Replacement
On your "after-storm" checklist you should include some of the following key items:
(a) Do a quick visual inspection of the exterior of your home, paying special attention to siding, stucco, windows, gutters, downspouts and the roof. You want to look for any visible damage such as bent metal, cracked windows, window screens with holes (could be hail), missing and shingles to name a few.
(b) Do an interior inspection. Look for any signs of moisture damage in the home. Note: after storm activity it could take several days or even months for moisture spotting to occur on drywall ceilings and other places in your home. Inside your home you can also do a quick look in the attic and see if there are any noticeable holes or gaps in the attic decking. This could be a sign that limbs or other damage has occurred to the roof and the underlying decking of the roofing system.
(c.) If you suspect damage hire expert contractors or professionals to provide you with a thorough and comprehensive inspection. There are many good companies out there in the market today. Do your research and find a company with positive reviews and then reach out to them to schedule an inspection. Many contractors will perform these inspections in a complimentary fashion in hopes of being able to work with you should you have work that may be required. At Good Shepherd Roofing we love providing complimentary inspections to customers and it is a great way to get quick insight into the health of your roofing system and also to know the type of damage that you may have incurred in a storm event.
If you do end up having to make a claim with your insurance company. Take precautions and spend time to choose the right roofing contractor to help you navigate the process. Good Shepherd Roofing has provided a few key tips on making an insurance claim on your roof that you may find helpful.
We hope you and your loved ones never have to deal with the kind of issues that can occur to your home when heavy storm activity hits. If you do we hope this helps you rest a little easier at night. And when all hail breaks loose you can trust the Good Shepherd.