Extreme Weather Damage

 

Dealing With Extreme Weather Damage to Your Home

When winter weather gets more extreme, so do the consequences of not preparing for the worst. Small issues like an overhanging tree can turn into a tree in the living room after a cold-snap and strong winds. Foundation cracks can turn into foundation failures when exposed to freezing ground-water. Pipes can burst in winter, leaving you without hot water, or causing damaging flooding, which can be incredibly dangerous in cold weather. Regardless what kinds of catastrophes you face, a disaster restoration plan are something that no homeowner should be without. Here are some of the risks that you could encounter and ways to cope effectively.

Flooding
Don’t believe that Indiana homeowners are at risk of high-water events in the midst of cold weather? Just look back to 2005, when severe winter storms and flooding in the state prompted the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to declare a major disaster that lasted for the entirety of January and much of February. Or consider the fact that the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program says that floods are the number one natural disaster in the country.

With dangers like ice jams that cause rivers to spill over and snow-melt that can overwhelm normal drainage channels, flooding hazards are real. Even if you follow FEMA’s advice by purchasing flood insurance, you’ll need to consult with restoration experts right after your disaster to get the most out of your policy.

Fires
Indiana winters can make you think of moving somewhere much warmer, but the frigid cold doesn’t protect your property from blazes. For a variety of reasons, such as increased cooking and heating activities, house fires are more common in winter than at any other time of year.

Fires can be worse in inclement weather because they eradicate your property’s barriers against the outside world. For instance, flames that burn through roofing or exterior walls subsequently allow moisture to get inside and cause additional damage by freezing. Without expert disaster management assistance, repairs may also take longer.

Ice and Snow
Ice storms don’t just cause water to freeze uncomfortably close to your home. While these events can indeed result in the formation of ice dams that tear roof shingles apart or make gutters fall, they can also impact the trees and power lines around your property. When these features collapse, the aftermath may be even more catastrophic.

In some cases, snow buildup itself damages homes. This is especially concerning with older properties that may not be quite as structurally sound as they once were. Heavy snow that causes your roof plane to bend or warp can create weaknesses that worsen with every passing season. No matter how minor the problem seems now, failing to take immediate action is almost certain to cost you down the line.

In winter, rapid emergency restoration needs to be one of your primary concerns. The risks of waiting around after an incident are undeniable, and your real estate’s equity will suffer for every second you delay. To learn more about extreme weather disaster restoration, contact a Paul Davis expert now.

How to Be Calm before the Storm

Preparation is Essential

When a hard storm is on the way, you need to be ready to keep your home, your family, and yourself safe. You may even need to plan ahead in case of evacuation. If you have everything you need packed in a backpack, you won’t be scrambling at the last minute to find the following necessary items.

• One or two flashlights with extra batteries
• Portable battery-powered radio
• Drinking water for each person in the family
• Nonperishable food
• Medications and prescriptions
• First aid kit
• Emergency phone numbers list
• Cash
• Personal documentation such as passport, social security cards and other important papers.

You should also have access to pictures of your home before any flooding or water damage. Most importantly, make sure everyone knows where the emergency supply kit is stored for a quick evacuation.

Protect your Home

Not only should you have a storm safety plan for your family, you should also write out a storm preparedness checklist for your home. If a severe storm is expected in your area and you are waiting for an evacuation order, you can prepare your house by:

• Shutting off gas and water mains
• Filling bathtubs with clean water
• Securing storm shutters on your windows
• Bringing in outdoor furniture and loose items from your yard.

Restoration after the Storm

If your home has been damaged by a flood or severe storm, there is help available. One important resource is the National Storm Damage Center, where you can learn how to protect yourself and your home before and after a storm. If your home has suffered damage, contact Paul Davis to begin the restoration and reconstruction process for any water damage within your home.

How to File Indiana Storm Damage Reports

Oak Tree Crushing a House

Learn the ins and outs of reporting storm damage in Indiana

When it comes to dealing with the aftermath of a strong storm, what you do in the days after disaster strikes can make all the difference. While getting back to safety is a priority, reporting storm damage should be the next step on your to-do list. As a victim of a natural disaster, many useful resources are at your fingertips, from quicker insurance payouts to free safety and efficiency checks from your utility providers. Below is your handy starter guide for where, when and how to reach out.

Insurance Company

Although terms on individual policies can vary quite a bit, there’s a very good chance that your standard home insurance plan will cover a large chunk of your restoration expenses. The faster you file your claim, the easier it should be to prove the extent of the damage and collect your compensation. Plus, since you need to know exactly what your policy will pay, getting the insurance process underway as soon as possible is helpful for planning the scheduling and budgeting of your repairs.

In the meantime, you can read up on what to expect from your insurance company in the weeks ahead here.

Utilities

Just because you have initial clearance to stay at home doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get your utility companies involved in the restoration process. Your house may be safe overall, but storms can cause a number of other problems that aren’t always visible to the naked eye, like hidden leaks and faulty wiring.

Although you’ll probably need to hire independent contractors to get everything back up and running, scheduling storm damage inspections with your utility providers is a good way to both confirm safety and find potential energy drainers before they hit your bank account.

Media

Getting your home on television isn’t the only perk to contacting the local media. If you’re struggling with any aspect of rebuilding, whether it’s getting fairly compensated by your insurance company or locating a contractor who took off with your money, putting your story on the air is a great way to find help fast.

The next time a big storm rolls around, consider also filing a digital storm report with Indiana’s branch of the National Weather Service. It may not do much to stop the immediate threat to your home, but it can help alert your neighbors and improve the accuracy of future forecasts – something that can ultimately be very helpful for storm preparation.

Are you facing severe storm damage in Indiana? Contact Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling or visit our homepage to learn how our trusted team can help you take the stress out of restoration.

5 Tips You Can Use to Storm Proof Your Home!

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What Dorothy and Toto Should Have Known

You don’t have to take a trip to the yellow brick road know how quickly a beautiful day can spin into dark skies and damaging winds. Advisories and watches keep you up to date, but they can’t make your house storm proof. These five smart tips help Hoosier State homes weather the worst.

Review the Roof

Shingles should stand strong between you and the elements. Replacing loose or missing shingles will help minimize damage. Keep an eye out for missing or crooked nails along areas that connect to rafters. Take on a little DIY roof restoration by applying roofing cement under shingle edges and construction adhesive along rafters at points where they connect to the roof’s deck.

Shutter Your Windows

These exterior additions combine good looks with protection against storm damage, so go for curb appeal that works hard when the winds howl. Storm shutters can be easily closed and secured to prevent debris from flying through your windows. You can also up the ante on safety with double-paned window installations. An investment in these rugged windows pays off year-round by holding down heating and cooling bills.

Double Down on Doors

Front and back entrances stand up stronger to high winds when you install additional dead bolts. This strategy fends off fierce Indiana storms while it beefs up home security. Don’t let rough weather blast through your garage and raise the roof. Check with the door’s manufacturer for a bracing kit, and install horizontal reinforcement along door panels.

Prep Gutters and Downspouts

They pave the only way for torrential rain to get down off the roof and away from the house. Keep those hard-working gutters clean, and they’ll do their job without buckling under pressure. Check for leaks that can turn into waterfalls down exterior walls, and position downspouts to direct rushing rapids away from your home’s foundation.

Tame the Tree Line

Windswept branches banging against the windows add atmosphere to scary movies, but they pose a serious danger to your property during a storm. Keep tall shades trimmed back away from the roof and electrical lines. Give large shrubs against your home the same attention. Seasonal trimming protects the house, reduces cleanup after storms and keeps your landscape healthy.

Dorothy and Toto eventually made it back home, and we hope your bad weather experiences end safely too. If you ever need help dealing with storm damage here in Indiana, Paul Davis Restoration stands ready. We don’t supply ruby slippers, but we can put your house back in order for a happy ending.

Thunderstorms, Snowstorms, and Hurricanes: Managing Seasonal Storm Damage

Strong seasonal storms have an amazing ability to bring disaster into our lives, and sometimes it seems like they target only those who own homes and businesses. Hurricanes, snowstorms, and even simple thunderstorms can produce enough damage to keep you and your insurance company busy for months. Fortunately, if you keep a close eye on weather reports, and you know how to prepare for the worst, you can minimize a storm’s ability to wreck your life. Here’s a rundown of potential storm damage and advice for keeping your property safe.

Damage Caused by Seasonal Storms

• Wind damage is a threat in any type of severe storm. Protect your windows by installing permanent storm shutters, or provide temporary protection with plywood covers. Consider replacing existing windows with impact-resistant varieties. Secure your entry door with a three-hinged deadbolt lock. Airborne glass is lethal, so don’t forget to cover glass sliding doors, French doors, and skylights. Put away outdoor furniture, toys, grills, and any other items that could become dangerous in flight. Purchase a fitted brace kit to protect your garage door, or replace the door with one designed to withstand high winds. Have your roof inspected regularly to ensure it’s in top shape.

• Falling tree limbs can produce serious damage to your home and vehicle. Keep trees trimmed year-round, and consider removing large limbs that are positioned above your house.

• Freezing conditions during winter storms routinely cause burst pipes and the formation of ice dams. Start your freeze-prevention plan outdoors by cleaning your gutters. Leaves and debris can block water flow, and when the trapped water freezes, it may damage your roof and walls. To prevent damage inside your home, make insulation your new best friend. You’ll need about 12 inches in your attic for maximum protection. Be sure to also insulate your pipes, and disconnect outdoor hoses from spigots to prevent water backup. In severe conditions, allow your indoor faucets to drip slowly to further prevent pipes from freezing.

• The weight of heavy snow and ice can damage your roof. Remove snow from your roof as soon as possible.

• Heavy rain and melting ice leads to flooding, which can cause both structural damage and mold growth. If you live in an area where flooding is common, have a home inspection to determine how well your house can withstand excess water. Install a sump pump to divert ground water away from your home. Consider permeable outdoor paving options to allow water to seep into the ground. If you store items in a basement, place them above ground level, and pack them in plastic bins or waterproof containers.

When It’s Too Late to Prevent Damage, Call Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling

If your Northeast Indiana home has already been affected by storm damage, Paul Davis can help. As innovative leaders in property damage mitigation, reconstruction, and remodeling, we have served commercial and residential clients across America since 1966. When seasonal storms result in chaos and loss, we can help restore calm in your life. Contact us today for more information.

Did Your Disaster Ruin the Way Your Building Works?

Natural disasters can wreak havoc on home systems

Natural disasters can inflict a wide variety of damage to your homeDamage from storms, floods, and fires affects more than the structure of your home. Systems such as air conditioners, furnaces, and boilers—as well as the ductwork that connects them to the house—can all sustain damage. Look for these signs of potential problems as you inspect your home after a storm or other disaster.

Exterior Storm Damage

The outdoor components of HVAC units are easily damaged by storms. High winds bring flying debris or downed tree branches that can dent, crack, or crush exterior equipment. Flood waters infiltrate interior components, leaving behind dirt that can gum up the inner workings. Hail can be particularly problematic if large stones leave behind dents or create holes in the casing.

Give your exterior heating or cooling system a thorough inspection after any severe weather to determine the extent of the damage. Structural problems with the outside of the unit may be hiding serious internal issues, so it’s a good idea to get a professional opinion before arranging for repairs.

Storms of all kinds can cause electrical damage to any part of a home heating or cooling system. This has the potential to be very dangerous. If you see frayed wires or sparks, do not approach the area. Call a professional immediately to have the damage addressed and fixed.

Assessing the Interior

Any home system that has a unit in the basement may be subject to flood damage. Older units may already have cracks or corroded spots that easily let water in. Flooding is also likely to bring water into ductwork, leaving behind a damp environment that spurs mold growth. You don’t want mold circulating in your house, especially varieties such as black mold that have been known to cause symptoms including irritation of mucous membranes and gastrointestinal upset.

Fires create potential health hazards in ductwork as well. If not addressed, smoke and soot may wind up circulating in your home. This decreases the air quality and puts you and your family at risk for illness and allergies.

Oil furnaces damaged by severe weather may develop leaks in oil lines. Malfunctioning oil pumps and dirty filters are other problems to consider. Since leaking oil can present both health and safety hazards, it’s best to get your furnace checked immediately following inclement weather.

Whatever you discover after a storm has blown through, Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling can handle it. We serve the Northeast Indiana area with professional home restoration services designed to bring your home back to livable condition as quickly as possible. Contact us today or visit our website to get hassle-free service from a company you can trust.

Are You Doing Enough to Clean Up After a Serious Storm?

Repairing storm damage in the wake of severe weather

Handle storm damage to your home the right wayStorm damage can range from minor and easy to repair to the kind of devastating loss that requires complete rebuilding. If your home is ravaged by bad weather, it’s important not to spend too much time assessing the damage. Starting repairs as soon as you can is the best way to prevent further problems.

Know the Type of Damage

The kind of damage you have to deal with after a storm depends on the type of storm that occurred. Winter storms bring heavy snow and coatings of ice that can pull down tree limbs and damage roofs. Thunderstorms may have hail, heavy rain, or high winds that can break glass, flood basements, and tear off roof shingles.

Understand the Extent

Some storm damage may be purely cosmetic in nature. This type of damage is easily dealt with and causes no additional problems. However, what seems superficial could really be more serious. As long as it’s safe to do so, you should give your home a thorough inspection inside and out, noting any areas with structural damage or flooding. While some issues may be obvious, others could require a professional assessment to determine the extent of the problem.

Take Preliminary Precautions

Take pictures as you assess the house so you have documentation to show the insurance company. Once that’s done, secure any holes to prevent leaks and other additional damage. Seal windows off with plastic if necessary, cover bare areas on the roof, and use plywood or plastic sheeting to secure walls. If you can’t move back into the house immediately, take valuables with you to avoid the possibility of theft.

Get It Cleaned and Fixed

It’s obvious that big messes from storms need to be cleaned up right away, but even small amounts of damage can cause problems if left alone for too long. Cracks lead to leaks which in turn encourage the growth of mold. Small openings in the foundation can let water into the basement, potentially ruining belongings. Familiarize yourself with your homeowner’s insurance policy before researching contractors in the area. Never accept offers for repairs from strangers who turn up on the scene; they’re more interested in your money than your well-being.

For reliable storm damage repair, go to the experts at Paul David Restoration & Remodeling. The members of our team are fully equipped to handle home restoration projects of any size. Serving the Northeast Indiana area, Paul Davis has the experience and qualifications necessary to make the repairs you need so you can get back to normal life as quickly as possible. Contact us today.

Storms Can Wreck Homes and Lives

Understanding the potential impact of storms in Fort Wayne and surrounding areas

Protect your home from potential storm damageStorm damage can be devastating to your home and property. While it’s not always possible to get through a stormy season without some level of loss, knowing what to expect can make these events easier to deal with and recover from.

Wind

Winds in excess of 50 miles per hour are considered “damaging” and can do a number on your home. At this strength, they may rip off roof shingles or carry large debris that causes window breakage and destruction of siding when it collides with your home. Trees uprooted by wind take down power lines, crush cars, and create other hazardous situations.

Floods

Anything that overflows during a storm, be it a river, pond, or lake, may carry water into your home. Water damage is some of the worst and hardest to deal with because it often serves as the catalyst for mold growth. Mold can appear within 24 hours of water exposure and spread to any damp area of the house.

If a lot of water floods into your home at once, the soil beneath your foundation may start to settle. This type of damage often manifests later on in the form of cracks in the walls or windows and doors that no longer shut properly. Foundation cracks let more water in over time, spurring further mold growth and contributing to instability as wooden supports begin to rot.

Hail

Severe thunderstorms often bring hail, and the bigger it is, the more destruction it leaves behind. Large hailstones damage all roof types whether by breaking shingles or leaving dents. Windows, skylights and other glass features of your home are susceptible to breakage during any storm that brings hail.

Lightning

The most obvious danger from lighting during a storm is fire, but a strike that grounds itself through your house can completely fry your electrical system and anything attached to it. Lightning can also split trees which may then fall on your home, crushing anything in their path.

The most important thing to do when your property suffers storm damage is keep a level head. Do a careful inspection of your home and the surrounding area, being on the lookout for downed wires, flooded spaces, and broken glass. Unusual smells may indicate a gas leak. Once you’ve taken stock of the damage, call Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling. Our storm damage restoration services are available every day around the clock so you can get back to your life as quickly as possible. We’ll work with your insurance company to reduce hassle and ensure a fast cleanup. Contact us today.