You’re aware how important it is to prepare for a storm. You have a safety kit, emergency supplies, a backup generator and you know how to follow evacuation protocol. But knowing what steps to take after the storm hits, especially if there is damage to your home, is equally important.
Do these things during the aftermath to make your home whole again.
Assess the Damage
Of course, you’re going to wait for the storm to pass before you begin to inventory the damage. If you see downed power lines, as is often the case after a storm, stay at least 10 feet away and call 911 right away. Emergency tarp services may also be necessary.
Only when it’s safe to do so, take pictures to document all evidence of damage. A severe hail storm or hurricane can take a toll on the exterior of your home. In most cases, the damage will be obvious, such as broken windows, cracked or missing sections of siding. The roof, however, may require a keener eye. A professional assessment is strongly recommended, as there may be more extensive damage not visible to the naked eye.
Be cautious of any loose shingles or tripping hazards while you’re up there.
Signs of Hail Damage
Roof type: Metal
Dents: Check for dents along the flashing and metal valleys and the roof itself. Dents will also indicate the size of the hail. Place a ruler next to the dents and take a picture to give your insurer an idea of the scope of damage. Look for dents in other metal components such as gutters and downspouts.
Roof type: Shingle
Missing granules: Hail can erode granules from shingles, which affects their performance and lifespan. Look for circular spots where singles are bare, exposing the black substrate, also granule build-up in gutters and downspouts.
Dents: Apply pressure to dented shingles to see if there is any give. That could be an indication of deterioration.
Cracks: Large hail can leave circular cracks in the shingles. Again, take pictures of these with a ruler.
Signs of Wind Damage
Scan the ground for missing shingles. Also, watch for cracked and curling shingles. An accumulation of granules in the gutters is also a sign of high-wind damage.
Signs of Water Damage
- Take note of all water spots on the ceiling and the walls.
- Inspect windows for fog between glass panes.
- Check gutters for excess water build up. If water is blocked from reaching the downspouts, it can damage the structure.
- Walk along the floor and note areas where it’s sagging and waterlogged.
File Your Claim
Don’t hesitate to file a claim. In South Carolina, insurance companies cannot raise your premiums due to an act of nature. Your agent or insurer will likely request a written explanation, along with any photographic evidence.
You may have filed a very thorough report along with photos of the damage. However, it may still be necessary for an adjuster to also inspect the damage and compare their findings with yours. Keep in mind, some insurers will do everything they can to shortchange your claim. That’s why we offer to navigate this complicated process for you to ensure you get the full value of the damage.
Finding a Contractor
There are a lot of fly-by-night operators out there. So-called “storm chasers” set up shop immediately following a hurricane or hail storm. They do shoddy work, if they do any work at all. In many cases, they require a large down payment with no intention of performing any of the repairs.
Ask a lot of questions. Are they licensed and insured? Do they use subcontractors? Do they warranty their work? Do they belong to a credible roofing association? Read online reviews and ask for homeowner references.
Bottom line: Dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane or hail storm can be stressful and chaotic. But the right contractor can help set everything right again. We can restore your roof in one to two days. Not only do we make the needed repairs, we work with your insurer to make certain it pays the entirety of your claim.
In short, we’re the calm after the storm.
If you have storm damage, call 843-326-4685.