1 in 10 US homes will be hit by natural disasters in 2021. Most of these homes sustained severe damage. Getting home insurance can help you recover when your home sustains severe damage. It guarantees payment for repairs as long as it is within your coverage limits.
Unfortunately, some people might not get home insurance. In this guide, we will look at what to do when your home sustains severe damage even if you have not taken out coverage.
What can you do if your home is damaged in the course of a natural disaster? Read on and find out.
Assess the Situation
When your home has sustained severe damage, it's important to assess the situation. Take a good look around, and identify what exactly has been damaged.
Make sure to document the damage with pictures or videos. Take note of any structural or safety concerns. You should also contact your insurance company and provide them with the necessary details. Make sure to ask them any questions you might have about their process.
Be sure to inform your friends, family, and neighbors about the situation for help or comfort. Research different repair companies to find the best one for you, and if necessary, look into temporary housing options to stay safe.
Deal with Immediate Needs
When your home has sustained severe damage, it is important to deal with your immediate needs. Ensure your safety and the safety of others by leaving the house and securing yourself in a safe area.
If there is potential for further damage, try to cover any holes in the walls or broken windows. Turn off the water/electricity as soon as it is safe to do so.
During the aftermath, search for a qualified and certified contractor to carry out any repairs. Finally, without a proper evaluation, make sure your family does not move back into the damaged home until it is safe. Do not put yourself or your family at risk.
Temporary Solutions for Different Types of Damage
When your home has sustained severe damage, it is important to focus on safety and security. Always arrange for temporary housing as soon as possible. But, if you need to stay in your home, here are some temporary solutions for different types of damage.
Cover Windows with Plywood
To begin, measure each window frame and cut plywood to fit over the window. Next, mark the windowsills and cut notches in the plywood to fit. Attach the plywood to the outside of your home with screws, nails, or anchors.
Once done, your windows should be protected from both wind and flying debris. You can use storm shutters, and roll-down metal shutters are other options for further protection in the future.
You can also buy more plywood to board up open entryways, such as doors and garage doors. Doing so will help to further protect your home from any potential damages.
Use Weighted Plastic Sheets
Weighted plastic sheets can help prevent further damage to the home and can help protect furniture, clothing, and other belongings from water or other natural elements. You should secure the sheets with ground pins, sandbags, or even heavy objects to ensure the sheets stay in place. Additionally, you should open all windows and doors to help ventilation and to ensure the interior of your home does not become damp or humid.
Use Tarps for Walls and Roofs
When your home has sustained severe damage, using tarps for walls and roofs can provide an easy and affordable means of temporary repairs.
Tarps will provide protection from the elements and keep debris from entering the home. Before placing any tarps over damaged walls and roofs, you should use plywood and other materials to reinforce the structure and secure the tarps in place.
Elevate Furniture for Water
Elevate furniture if the water is still present. To do this, move all large furniture and any items away from the walls and onto the highest point available. This will help keep furniture and other items above water level.
It is also important to seal any vents or doors that water could enter, so that further water damage can be prevented. Finally, if possible, it is important to turn off your main lines of electricity and gas to prevent electrocution from running water.
Install Temporary Columns
Temporary columns can help provide structural support to the home, reducing the risk of further damage or collapse due to the effects of weather or other environmental damage. Once the columns are in place, it is important to test their condition to ensure they are still doing their job.
Additionally, it is never wise to enter a storm-damaged home unless you're sure of its structural integrity. Make sure temporary columns are in place and up to par is an important practice when your home has been severely damaged.
Steps to Cut Permanent Damage
First, you should check if any broken pipes or wires pose an electrical or fire danger. Shut off the main electricity and turn off the circuit breakers to ensure that dangerous current cannot flow. Once the area is safe, it is important to take steps to cut the permanent damage.
You can start by making temporary repairs to prevent further damage and protect your property. If the damaged area is exposed to the elements, cover the area to keep it from worsening.
Store any non-damaged items in a dry space away from the affected area. Disinfect any affected area to prevent contamination.
Contact the insurance company and schedule an inspection from a professional. Create a detailed damage report and document any progress made. Finally, contact a restoration or repair company to make the necessary repairs. Taking these steps will help you get back into your home.
Find the Right Help
Finding help from a local organization specializing in disaster relief and recovery is important. Your local city hall or county office may have programs and supports that can offer help.
If you can’t find the right organization yourself, there are many non-profit organizations that offer help to families and individuals affected by disasters. Additionally, various federal lenders can offer loans to support repairs and temporary housing.
Connect with the Right Professionals
Reach out to a certified contractor. They will tell you what repairs are needed and the extent of your damages so you can over to your insurance provider. Establish contact with a property damage restoration team as soon as possible to start repairs. This will reduce the possibility of more damage and get your home back to its pre-damage condition.
Additionally, work with an attorney who specializes in property damage. This will ensure you are taking the best action to ensure a satisfactory insurance settlement.
Considering Financial Implications
Assess the actual damage to your home. Document any damage with photographs for insurance purposes. Then, you should contact your home insurance carrier immediately and discuss coverage for the damage. This will help to determine the financial implications associated with the repair.
If applicable, consult a tax specialist to determine if any losses can be claimed on your taxes. Finally, investigate alternative sources to finance your repairs. This could include crowdfunding, banks, or home improvement loan services to cover the repair expenses.
Consider Making Updates to Strengthen Future Durability
If a natural disaster damages your home, consider making updates to strengthen future durability. If the repairs are minor, it may be possible to do it yourself, but major repairs should always be handled by qualified professionals such as the people from countyservicesinc.com.
But, you must review building and safety standards. This will guide decisions and ensure your repair plan adheres to the standards. Here are some updates you can make to your home.
Strengthening the foundation means that any weak spots in the foundation need to be addressed and repaired. This may include inspecting concrete footings or foundation walls to ensure they are stable and waterproof. You should also check the drainage pattern around your home to make sure that no more damages are occurring as a result of runoff or seepage.
After strengthening your foundation, you can start the restoration process by replacing or restoring any damaged or missing materials. This could include replacing siding, flooring, and drywall. Consider investing in waterproofing treatments to prevent future damage.
Reinforce Doors and Windows
Reinforcing home entry points can help add extra protection from things such as extreme weather or forced entries. To reinforce doors and windows, consider items such as metal bars, more locks, or even shatter resistant window films.
Additionally, make sure to replace any damaged frames or screens. Installing small bells on doors and windows can also alert anyone living in the home of a potential intruder. Taking these steps can help reduce the damage and make the home a bit more secure.
Prevent Severe Damage
Take action immediately! Clean up and repair your home. This way, you will be able to cut the damages. Contact a professional residential contractor to restore your home.
You are not alone in this. Allow someone with the expertise to provide the help you need and get your home back to its former glory.
Did this article help you with your home's damages? Keep reading our blog for other helpful topics!