Checklist For Inspecting your Home for Damage After a Storm
The first wave of wintry weather rolled across the Rockies and into the Denver area this week. Following the lovely summer and autumn months, our first inclination is to hunker down inside, relying on our home to shield us from the dampness and lower temperatures. In the early summer, hail storms frequent the front range of Colorado. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Institute, states Colorado had the second highest number of hail claims between 2013 – 2015, second only to Texas.
Once a storm passes, it’s a good idea to assess the exterior of your home and landscaping for any damage that may have occurred. Strong winds can dislodge tree limbs which can fall onto your home causing structural and roof damage. Hail stones can punch wholes through your siding, windows and their frames and scrap asphalt granules from your roof material.
It’s important to make sure your home is ‘water tight’ as water leaking behind your homes siding or into the interior of your home can cause mold, dry rot and bug infestation; damage drywall, flooring, insulation and even personal property like furniture. Protect your shelter from sustaining further harm throughout the hail season and into the winter.
The National Storm Damage Center has a compiled a number of resources and tips for homeowners recover from a severe storm. Here are 6 major items your insurance carrier (and we here at Denver West Insurance Brokers) recommend you check following a storm:
If you see holes, split seams or missing shingles on your roof; or if heavy debris has landed on it; or if you notice multiple hail dents or divits, it’s a good idea to have a qualified inspector come assess the condition of the roof.
Clear all leaves and debris from gutters. Be certain that they are fully intact and that water is flowing freely and away from the home.
Wood and composite siding, brick/stone and stucco are all vulnerable to storm damage. You’ll want to check for cracking, chipping or dings and dents in siding, and for holes in stucco. Examine these elements closely and at different times of the day. Some homeowners don’t notice damage until it’s too late to file a claim, and different lighting can reveal damage you didn’t see at first glance.
Windows & Frames
Make sure there are no cracks in the glass. Even the smallest of cracks can allow water to enter the home. Inspect all the way around the frame or casing of the window for dings in the aluminum, splits in the wood or cracks in the plastic that surround the glass window. Call a professional window installer and get their opinion as to whether the window needs to be replaced.
Driveways and walkways
Cracking and splitting following temperature fluctuations can create safety hazards and reduce the lifespan of the concrete.
According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage each year. Be sure to check your roof, your cars, fences and other structures damage caused by fallen limbs that could pose further risk. Clean up what you safely can and rely on a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending upon the circumstances, if you experience a covered loss, your homeowners insurance policy may help with tree removal and repair costs.
Additional helpful suggestions
- Keep trees well trimmed away from your home and roof all year round. Notify your neighbors if you notice any overhanging branches on their property, too.
- Take pictures. Photographs can help to demonstrate the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs.
- Know What Your Home Insurance Covers Before a Storm . Insurance carriers in Colorado have been loosing money for the past 10 years. Many have restricted coverage for roof replacement and are requiring higher wind/hail deductibles. Review your policy carefully so you’re well-versed on what is covered, what your limits and deductibles are, etc. That way there are no surprises if you do have to file an insurance claim.
Denver West Insurance Brokers has been a trusted local independent insurance agency in Golden CO for 16 years. We’ve helped clients recover from hails storms hundreds of times and are always here for client support during the claims process. Give Us a Call Today ! Our agency mission is to serve our clients. We serve all of Colorado, Denver, Golden, Lakewood, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Evergreen, Morrison and Littleton.