Last Updated: July 10, 2023
It’s so important to know if your property was affected by storm damage as soon as possible after a major weather event. Damage from hail, wind, water, floods, and storms such as tornados, hurricanes, and blizzards cause billions of dollars in damage to residential and commercial properties throughout the country. Here in the Northeast, we certainly see our share of the elements every year!
The detrimental effects of storm damage can mean your precious property’s roof, exteriors and interiors could be slowly deteriorating. Wait too long and you may get some serious roof leaks, damaged floorboards and walls, mold, rodent intrusion from rotting exteriors, and further damage. If you miss your deadline to file, your insurance company may not cover the costs of repairs. You’d probably think, “If I’d only gotten that professional property inspection after that first storm, I could’ve avoided this mess!”
Don't Let Storm Damage Go Undetected
Often, property owners are not even aware that they have damage. It’s easy to detect on your car, as you’ll most likely have severe dents and/or a shattered windshield. However, damage from hail, wind, and rain is often invisible from the ground as you glance over your roofs, siding and exteriors after a storm event.
Home Repair: ‘CSI' Storm Inspectors On Your Side
At Home Repair, we specialize in detecting damage you may not have known was there, saving you the hassle and headache of future issues. We provide free property inspections and assess your property, including your roofing system, exteriors, interiors, walls, and attic space. If we find storm-related damage that may be covered by your insurance, we provide a scope of work, documentation, and photos for your insurance claim process. It’s important to obtain an expert, professional inspection before filing so you have a professional assessment and necessary documentation for your claim. If your policy covers the claim, we’ll complete all the repairs and ensure you don’t accrue any out-of-pocket expenses outside your deductible.
Your roof is often the first line of defense against the elements, and is quite vulnerable to storm damage. This is why it’s important to obtain routine roof inspections and it’s especially important to get an inspection from a certified professional after a storm. Sometimes, signs of damage are obvious from the ground, such as a fallen tree, easily visible loose or missing shingles, metal pieces displaced around your chimney, damaged roof valleys, etc. More often, the damage is not so obvious. We inspect your entire roofing system for damage. No detail left behind. We also inspect your interior walls and attic space for water stains, signs of water damage, and leaks. Even something as simple as a water stain can mean there is an issue with your roof and indicate the need for a repair or replacement.
2. Building Exteriors
Siding, brick and stucco are extremely susceptible to severe storm damage, which often gets missed if left undetected. It’s important that your professional inspection covers these elements.
As a licensed general contractor, we assess and replace damaged siding, windows, gutters, and all elements related to your storm damage. Signs of damage vary by type of siding and it’s important to report any damage you had prior to the storm event.
- Vinyl Siding: Signs of storm damage to vinyl siding include cracked, broken, or missing sections.
- Metal Siding: Metal siding storm damage can include dents and creases.
- Brick: Brick walls leak water. The entry point of most of the water is located at the head joints, which are also known as the vertical mortar joints. To the naked eye, it can seem like the mortar and brick are impenetrable, however, this is not true. Depending on the age of your property, not all brick is created equal. The brick used in older buildings was designed to soak up leaking water and release it back into the air once exposed to sunlight, while wind pulled the moisture away. It was much more absorbent than the modern brick veneer that is often used. The newer brick allows water to leak into the wall and run back down the back of the brick, resulting in leaks.
- EIFS / Stucco: Stucco and EIFS roofing systems can crack, chip or dent in the event of storm damage. This type of damage is more noticeable because the area will feel soft and may appear dented or have cracking in the shape of a spider web. This indicates that the damage is extensive and needs much more than a simple patch-up. The foam insulation will most likely need to be removed and replaced.
- Wood: Damage to wood exteriors includes cracking, denting, and missing sections. Sometimes, this indicates minimal damage and the area can be cleaned, pressure washed and painted. More severe damage requires full replacement.
4. Gutters and Downspouts
PVC gutters typically exhibit cracks if they’re damaged, while metal and aluminum gutters are more susceptible to dents. Downspouts are typically more damaged on the side of the home in the direction of the storm, while the gutters often receive the worst damage on the side opposite the storm.
5. Fascia and Soffits
Fascia is often painted wood, or wood wrapped in metal or PVC. Painted fascia and soffits may be chipped if they are storm damaged, exposing the wood. The metal and PVC may dent just like gutters if they are exposed to hail. While soffits are typically not damaged by hail, they can be severely damaged by wind. Many homeowners typically try to repair the soffits themselves, but this can cause more damage and often needs to be redone by a professional. It’s important to get every element of your property inspected by an expert professional!
6. Windows and Screens
We check all windows for dents, cracks, holes and broken glass. For thermal windows, we inspect for fogging between the panes. We also ensure every window is property caulked.
7. Lights and Fixtures
Exterior lights and fixtures will break or have cracked glass and dents.
8. Overhead Doors and Entry Doors
We inspect the doors for dents on the door panels, damage to the frame or the trim, and paint loss or chipped appearance.
9. Decks and Railings
Hail and flying debris can cause splintered cracks in wooden decks and railings. Often the stain or paint is damaged or chipped as well.
10. Outbuildings & Exterior Structures
We inspect the entire property for damage, including sheds, barns, garages, outbuildings, as well as fences, screened enclosures, and other exterior items. Because it’s all part of your property, it’s generally covered in your insurance policy.
Don’t Get Duped By Insurance Deadlines: Know Your Policy
Be sure you know the details of your insurance policy so you’re prepared and have the right coverage in place. This is why it’s important to read the fine print in your insurance policy. It’s also important to know how long you have to file a claim after a storm event. In some states, homeowners have one year to file a claim. This can vary state-by-state and even from one policy to another. Please be sure to review your policy and get familiar with any specific situation that may alter how your insurance company handles a claim. If you are unsure of your state statute or think you may have been misinformed by your insurance carrier, contact your local Attorney General.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late. Contact Us For A Free Property Inspection!
With over 30 years of experience, we’ve been serving our customers in the Mid-Atlantic region with expertise, dedication and an unrivaled commitment to customer service. Storm damage can leave your roof, siding, windows, gutters and other property components in need of some major TLC. Our team of Haag Certified Inspectors is equipped and ready to make sure your property is protected, inside and out!
Do you already have a claim in progress or denied and need help? We conduct 3rd party inspections and let you know if there are any items the adjuster may have missed. Home Repair is your partner every step of the way!