Inspecting Your Property For Storm Damage
Inspecting Your Property For Storm Damage
Lightning and thunder, heavy rains and strong winds, violent hailstorms, and ice storms usually instill fear and awe in the hearts of all who witness their great power and savage beauty. A storm, however, is typically forgotten as soon as it passes away and people give it no second thought, completely unaware that their property might have been damaged during the adverse weather conditions.
Homeowners often fail to inspect their properties after a storm, especially when they have no apparent reason to suspect a problem. Unrecognized storm damage, however, will eventually compromise the integrity of the home.
Property Damage Inspection
Your first step is to check your home and its surroundings for any signs of damage. So, once the storm is over and it is safe for you to go outside, make sure you inspect each and every part of your property for potential problems.
Checking your roof should be your top priority after a storm. It is the roof of your home that will keep you safe and dry when a storm hits. Quite predictably, it is the roof of your home that is most vulnerable to storm damage. Ensuring the excellent condition of the roof system should be your top priority.
- Tree limbs or other large debris on the roof;
- Holes in the roof or missing sections of the roof;
- Missing shingles;
- Bruises or dented asphalt shingles;
- Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles;
- Torn or split seams;
- Displaced metal pieces from around the chimney;
- Roofing granules in the gutters or downspouts;
- Water stains on the ceiling or walls.
Any of these common signs of roof damage indicate potential risk and probable water damage to your home.
Storm damage to the siding or stucco is quite difficult to notice, so you should be very careful when inspecting the walls of your home. Possible signs of exterior damage include:
- Cracking, chipping or splitting;
- Dings or dents in the siding;
- Breaks or holes in the stucco;
- Torn metal siding or missing sections of the vinyl siding;
- Cracked wood finishes;
- Stripped paint or discoloration.
Fascia and Soffits
The fascia and soffits are usually made of painted wood or wood wrapped in metal or PVC. When inspecting your property for storm damage, have in mind that both metal and PVC are quite susceptible to dents and cracks. Painted fascia and soffits, on the other hand, can be easily chipped in a storm.
Cracked or broken windows and damaged window casings are the most commonly experienced types of storm damage. So, after a storm, make sure you check your home for:
Make sure you fix any problems as soon after a storm as possible.
Broken windows may present greater hazards than cutting yourself on the shards of glass.
Shattered windows or broken panes;
Fogging between the panes of thermal windows;
Dents and cracks in the window frames;
Holes and tears in the screening.
Good to remember:
1) Watch out for shards of glass;
2) Immediately board up any shattered windows.
To prevent serious problems in the future, you are recommended to install protective storm shutters and ensure that all the windows in your home are properly caulked and counter-flashed.
After a storm, you may notice dents and/or discoloration on the metal or wood door panels and damage to the trim around the door frame.
Check for water getting into the crawl spaces of your home. If you find any, remove it quickly with the help of a sump pump or underground drainage system (otherwise it may result in mold growth and water damage to your property).
Gutters and Downspouts
Metal gutters will dent and PVC gutters can crack when hit by hail or high winds. Detached or broken trims, gutters and downspouts are also commonly seen after a storm.
Driveways and Walkways
Severe storms can cause concrete and other walkway materials to chip, crack and split. This type of damage can pose considerable safety hazards, so you should take immediate measures to fix your driveway (as well as the walkways around your home).
Decks, Railings and Fences
Wooden decks, railings and fences can be splintered or broken by hail or flying debris during a storm. The paint may get stripped or chipped, exposing the wood and reducing the lifespan of the deck or fence. To protect your investment and preserve the value of your property, you need to promptly identify and repair even such seemingly minor storm damage.