20 Tips For How To Document Damage After A Severe Storm

Has your home suffered severe storm damage? If so, you’ll want to pay attention to the information in this article about the importance of documenting damage. 

First, let’s take a look at WHY it’s important to document severe storm damage: 

  • Insurance Claims: Documenting damage is crucial if you plan to file an insurance claim for the damage caused by the storm. Insurance companies require proof of the damage to your property to determine the compensation you will receive.
  • Safety Concerns: Documenting the damage can also help you identify any safety hazards caused by the storm damage. You can use this information to make temporary repairs to prevent further damage or injury until professional help arrives.
  • Government Aid: If the storm is severe enough to be declared a disaster by the government, you may be eligible for financial assistance to repair the damage to your property. Documenting the damage can help you provide proof of the extent of the damage to qualify for aid.
  • Resale Value: Documenting the damage can also help you if you decide to sell your home in the future. You can use the documentation to prove that the damage was repaired and that the property is in good condition, which can increase the resale value of your home.

Documenting damage to your home after a storm is essential to protect your property, ensure your safety, and receive compensation for any losses you may have suffered.

Now, let’s get to the actual documentation of the storm damage part. If you don’t know where to start or what is essential to document, these twenty tips should help you along the way: 

  1. Take photos or videos of the damage to your property from multiple angles, including close-ups and wider shots.
  2. Make a list of all damaged items, including a description of the damage and their approximate value.
  3. Take note of the date and time of the storm, as well as any other relevant weather conditions.
  4. Record the location of the damage in your home, including which rooms or areas are affected.
  5. If possible, include a measuring tape or ruler in your photos to show the size of the damage.
  6. If applicable, take photos or videos of any water damage, including the water line.
  7. Document any fallen trees, branches, or other debris that may have caused damage.
  8. Take photos or videos of any damage to your car or other vehicles.
  9. Document any damage to your mailbox, fence, or other outdoor structures.
  10. Save any correspondence with your insurance company regarding the damage.
  11. Keep a record of any repairs you make, including receipts and invoices.
  12. Take photos or videos of the repair process.
  13. Hire a professional home inspector to assess the damage and provide a report.
  14. Collect any witness statements from neighbors or others who saw the damage occur.
  15. Save any news articles or weather reports about the storm.
  16. Create a detailed timeline of events leading up to and following the storm.
  17. Record any expenses you incur due to the storm, including lodging, food, and supplies.
  18. Keep a log of any conversations you have with insurance adjusters or contractors.
  19. Get multiple quotes from contractors before hiring anyone to make repairs.
  20. Document the outcome of the damage, including any settlements or insurance payouts you receive.

Besides documenting the damage, what steps should you take after your home has experienced severe storm damage?

  • Ensure your safety: Your and your family’s safety should be your top priority. If there is any risk of further damage or injury, evacuate your home and seek shelter elsewhere until the situation is under control.
  • Contact your insurance company: Once safe, contact your insurance company to report the damage and start the claims process. They will guide you through the process and provide you with the necessary forms and documents to fill out.
  • Secure your property: If you can repair any damage immediately to prevent further damage, take steps to secure your property. Cover any holes or openings, tarp roofs or windows, and turn off the electricity if necessary.
  • Document the damage: As mentioned earlier, document the damage to your property as thoroughly as possible. Make sure to include photos, videos, and a detailed inventory of all damaged items.
  • Make temporary repairs: Make quick repairs if possible to prevent further damage. Cover broken windows, remove debris, and tarp the roof if necessary. However, avoid making permanent repairs until your insurance adjuster has assessed the damage.
  • Hire a reputable contractor: If your home requires significant repairs, hire a reputable contractor to carry out the repairs. Get recommendations from friends or family, check their credentials, and obtain multiple quotes before making a decision.
  • Keep records of expenses: Keep records of all costs related to the damage, including any temporary repairs, lodging, and meals. These records will be helpful when filing your insurance claim.
  • Stay in touch with your insurance adjuster: Keep in touch with your insurance adjuster throughout the claims process. Be available to answer their questions and provide any additional information they require.
  • Stay patient: The claims process can be lengthy, especially after a severe storm. Stay patient and contact your insurance company to ensure your claim is processed quickly.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that the damage to your home is properly assessed and repaired. These steps will also keep you and your family safe throughout the process and help ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to.

After you’ve documented everything and started the insurance process, there is only one step left: hire a professional for all your storm damage cleanup, including junk removal.  

Western Disaster Clean Up 

If your home has been damaged by a storm or any other natural disaster, you’re in the right place. At Western Disaster Clean Up, our trained professionals are ready to help you clean up damage in your home and return it to its original condition. Contact us, and we’ll return your home to normal in no time. 


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