A big storm can leave your home damaged in ways you might not even notice at first. If you live in a volatile area that sees frequent storms and unpredictable weather, dealing with rainfall and sleet might just be an average part of life. Still, even the strongest homes need the proper maintenance in order to protect families for generations. Don’t assume that your home doesn’t need to be checked or repaired regularly after a harsh storm season. Even the smallest issue can lead to much bigger and more expensive problems like water damage, roof decay, and interior rotting. If you want to fix winter storm damage before it gets too bad, there are plenty of ways to do it. Whether you call a trusted general contractor northern va or decide to do your own repairs, you can find ways to protect and strengthen your home after a storm that will keep everything running smoothly for months and add years to the lifespan of your home. If you want to protect your home no matter what the season, here are a few tips to follow for storm damage repair.
Remove and Replace Roof Shingles and Flashing
After a serious storm, the first thing to do is inspect your roof for damage. If you’ve been dealing with heavy snow and a lot of sleet, your roof might still be partially covered. In this case, you can always check your gutters and the edges of your roof to make sure ice dams aren’t forming. If you can see most of your roof after a hailstorm or light snowfall, do a quick check to make sure all your shingles are in place and that none of them are broken, chipped, or outright missing. Any “bald” shingles present a huge problem for your roof and, ultimately, your home. As soon as you identify a weak spot, work on pulling up the affected area and removing any damaged plywood or insulation. If you’re noticing that the affected area covers way more ground than you’re comfortable with, don’t risk it: Call a professional roofer or repairman as soon as you can. Whatever you do, don’t delay. The longer your roof stays exposed, the more vulnerable your home becomes to water damage. If you’re noticing that the flashing around your vents and chimney looks loose or rusty after a storm, replace it with new material as soon as you can.
Don’t Move Heavy Objects Alone
When a big storm hits, it can end up tearing off huge tree branches and depositing them on your car, your front lawn, or your roof itself. While sometimes these branches don’t look all that intimidating, make no mistake. They can be extremely tough to remove from your roof without creating more damage. Remember, your roof is delicate and shouldn’t even be walked on by someone who isn’t a professional. That means that trying to clear away a huge branch or piece of debris by yourself isn’t only dangerous, it could end up being bad for your roof. If you need something clear off your roof, call a professional or at least get a friend to safely help out.
Call Your Insurance Company
At any signs of storm-related damage, such as denting on your siding, ripped-off shutters, or roof damage, you’ll want to let your insurance company know right away in case you need to cash in on your coverage. Even if you’re only noticing small, insignificant-seeming dents or issues you can easily repair on your own, you never know when a seemingly small problem can turn into a big structural issue. Don’t take the chance by ignoring it. Document all the post-storm damage by taking pictures, and keep your pictures in a folder in case you need them later on. Think of your home after a storm in the same way you think about your car after an accident. You wouldn’t just ignore the damage and hope it goes away. You’d record the damage, get all your information together, and contact your insurance as soon as possible.
Find the Right Contractor
Once you’ve thoroughly assessed the damage to your home, you can start looking for the right contractor for the job. Choosing a contractor doesn’t have to be difficult. Start with the damaged area you’re most worried about. For most homeowners, this would be the roof. If you’re anxious about missing shingles or interior water damage, hire someone who’s done roofing jobs before rather than a generalized contractor. Always be sure to ask for references and look around to make sure you’re getting the right person for the job. However, don’t leave your roof unattended for too long, either.