There are many ways your home can be damaged during a storm, and it can be stressful if you don’t know what damage to look for after a storm. Don’t fret, because this article will help you understand what to look for and do next.
Mother Nature is unpredictable, so it is important to be prepared with plans in case of an emergency and to have emergency kits with the most commonly needed items on hand.
The top priority during and after a storm is to ensure everyone’s safety. This may include evacuating your home or taking cover until the storm is over.
Once the storm passes and everyone is confirmed to be safe and taken care of, it’s time to assess the damage. Some damage is apparent, but there can also be less noticeable damage. In many cases, this less noticeable damage can lead to devastating problems throughout your home if not addressed and resolved quickly.
From thunderstorms to blizzards, it is important to know what kind of destruction is possible in each case so that you can adequately prepare and respond when a storm hits.
Your home is the primary defense against the elements and the first level of protection from storms. Thus, the exterior of your home bears the brunt of the destructive forces and should be inspected thoroughly after a storm for any problems resulting from wind, water, hail, or snow.
- Roof – The first things to look for are damaged or missing shingles. Storms are usually directional, so there might be more damage on one side of the roof than the other. If shingles are missing, loose, bent, or raised, it is a sign that the roof has been damaged and needs further attention.
- Siding – Damage to your home’s siding depends on the materials used for siding. If you have vinyl siding, look for any cracked, bent, or missing panels. Brick and stucco can also be cracked, but look for any sections that may be chipped or missing.
No matter the type of siding, any issues that allow water to penetrate the exterior layer of your home need to be repaired as quickly as possible. This is also true if the installation has been damaged and allows airflow in or out of your home.
- Window wells – The entire purpose of window wells is to allow excess water to drain correctly away from the foundation of your home.
After a storm, there is a good chance that window wells will collect excess water, hail, and snow and can become clogged or overfilled. When this happens, sections of the draining system can be damaged and cause water to leak into your home.
- Landscaping – Extreme wind often accompanies big storms and can dramatically impact the landscaping surrounding your home. Trees and bushes can cause additional damage if they are broken off or uprooted by the wind.
Trees can also damage power lines, risking fire or electrical issues, or fall on parked cars or other outdoor structures.
- Outdoor Structures – If you have an unattached garage, carport, shed, or other structure on your property, you should also inspect them for storm damage. There are situations in which these smaller outdoor structures can be more damaged than more structurally sound houses on the same lot.
Once a storm settles, damage to the interior home may not be as apparent. Interior damage is usually a result of more extreme exterior damage that allows water and airflow to enter your home.
This is why it is important to closely inspect the inside of your home for any signs of excess water. If water gets in through any unwanted opening, there is a good chance of water damage.
Also, air flows through that space if water is getting in. This may not cause as much damage as water but can still be detrimental to the structure of your home and will heavily impact your home’s insulation and energy efficiency. Here are some interior signs of damage to look for after a storm.
- Basement – Basements are often the location of flooding after a large storm. If the seal around windows or the window wells surrounding them is damaged, water can find its way inside and collect in the basement. Many basements are carpeted and used for storage, making water damage devastating and costly.
To prevent permanent damage and more dangerous issues, basements should be dried out as quickly and thoroughly as possible, including any items affected by the excess water.
- Ceilings – Damage to your roof may not be noticeable at first, but one sign of roof damage is bubbling, cracking, or leaking ceilings. Sometimes, you can repair ceilings with plaster and other construction materials. However, if you have ceiling tiles, these absorbent pieces can rarely be safely restored and must be thrown away and wholly replaced.
- Flooring – If your floors have collected excess water, it is essential to completely dry and disinfect all of the flooring layers. Skipping the subflooring layers can collect bacteria, foster mold, and lead to serious health complications for you and your household.
- Electronics – Wind and water aren’t the only problems that accompany storms. Lightning or power surges can impact the electrical appliances in your home. You should never turn on electric appliances while excess water is in your home.
An electrician can provide a more thorough and knowledgeable inspection of your appliances and electrical system to ensure safety.
- HVAC – Be sure to inspect all the elements of your heating and cooling system. Air conditioners can easily be damaged, and the vents inside your home could be impacted in ways that are not easily observable from the outside.
Western Disaster Cleanup
No one wants to deal with storm damage. The clean-up can take hours and involve back-breaking work. But that’s what the expert team at Western Disaster Clean Clean-Up is here for!
Our professional technicians are available 24/7 to respond to your emergency. They also know exactly what damage to look for after a storm and how to best respond to the problems quickly and effectively. Contact us for help restoring your home after a disaster.