After a natural disaster, your home may have wind and water damage or other structural damage caused by a tornado, wind, thunderstorm, or extreme hail. Restoration is a two-step process – the cleanup, and the remodeling. Time is of the essence because water damage quickly leads to mold formation. Likewise, wind damage may have weakened certain areas that need quick repair to prevent further damage.
To add to an already stressful situation, you’re probably concerned about the proper way to handle this issue through your insurance company to ensure a competent repair contractor is doing the cleanup and remodeling work. You may even be considering an upgrade at the same time. Here are several insurance restoration facts to help you get started with the restoration process. Here’s what you need to know when remodeling your home after a natural disaster.
Initiating an Insurance Restoration
A tornado, severe wind, thunderstorms, or hail around your home may cause significant structural damage and, for your safety, local officials may prevent you from reentering the home. Special equipment is often necessary to do a proper cleanup because multiple issues may need addressed. Water damage and increased fire hazards are common after a natural disaster. Don’t hesitate in contacting your insurance company. Insurance companies and local contractors will be very busy at this time so the sooner the process is started, the better chance you have of completion in a good amount of time.
Water Damage and Fire Risk
Standing water poses an increased fire risk due to an electrical short in appliances or the home’s internal wiring. The other concern with water is mold formation. The risk of mold increases over time; it continues to grow if it is not completely resolved during the initial cleanup job. In some cases, you may be able to reenter the home with permission of authorities, giving you the chance to rescue important personal items while you’re waiting for the contractor to begin work. The cleanup cost may sound high but it takes significant time to properly check for mold and mildew growth, to remove carpets and furnishings that cannot be safely restored, and to thoroughly dry the area to prevent additional problems.
Wind and Hail Damage
This may seem like the least damaging of natural disasters but wind and hail cause significant and sometimes unseen damage. The entire roof needs checked for loose tiles that may start to fall off months later. Window replacement may be necessary and outdoor A/C components can be damaged. Siding will also need to be inspected for obvious damage and possible future problems. A thorough inspection is necessary now because the insurance may not cover any problems that surface later after the remodel is complete.
Finding the Right Contractor for Remodeling Your Home After a Natural Disaster
The first step in undertaking an insurance restoration is to find a reputable contractor. Finding a professional that you can trust before an emergency happens will ease your stress level. Coordinating electricians, plumbers, cleanup specialists and others to work together effectively is essential in order to complete the restoration. A contractor with experience in multiple fields is a great advantage and they can negotiate with the insurance company during the process along with other specialists.
If you plan to upgrade your home at the same time as the restoration, discuss this with your contractor in advance and decide on the total cost. The bottom line when it comes to cleanup and restoration is that many steps are involved and they all require planning ahead to help ensure a smooth project and the best outcome.