How to Check Your Property for Damage After a Storm
When a big storm hits in Louisville, you hunker down inside, relying on your home to protect you and your family. Once that storm passes, though, it’s time to repay the favor — identifying damage and protecting your home from further issues.
The National Storm Damage Center has a number of resources and tips for homeowners. Here are four major things the agency – and we here at Commonwealth Insurance Services– recommends you check after a storm:
- Your roof: If you see holes, split seams or missing shingles on your roof or if you notice leaking inside or out, it’s a good idea to have a qualified inspector come assess the situation.
- Your exterior: Siding, brick and stucco are all vulnerable to storm damage. Look for cracking, chipping, dings and dents in siding, and look for holes in stucco. Look closely and at different times of the day. Some homeowners don’t notice damage until it’s too late to file a claim, and different lighting can reveal damage you didn’t see before.
- Driveways and walkways: Cracking and splitting can create safety hazards, as well as reduce the lifespan of the concrete. Assess any damage to your driveway or sidewalks and call an inspector if you suspect cracks or splits may be dangerous for your family.
- Trees: According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage annually. Check roofs, vehicles, fences and machinery for fallen limbs that may have caused damage or could pose a risk. Clean up what you safely can and rely on a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowner’s insurance policy may help with tree removal and damage repair costs if you experience a covered loss.
A few more helpful tips:
- Keep trees well maintained and trimmed. Also notify neighbors if you see any overhanging branches on any trees on adjacent properties.
- Know your insurance. Take a look at your policy so you know what’s covered, what your limits and deductibles are, and who to contact in the event you need to file a claim. This will prevent any surprises during the claims process.
- Take pictures. Photographs help you show the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs.
Of course, if you’ve suffered through a major storm, don’t hesitate to call us at Commonwealth Insurance Services for help with an insurance claim or with finding a professional property inspector.