Storm Damage Cleanup: The Right Restoration Contractor Makes All the Difference
- Oct 05, 2020
1. Look for Damage
Exterior DamageDamage from a storm is from wind and water. After the storm has cleared, look for these common signs of damage on the exterior of your home or contact a restoration specialist to make an inspection:
- Missing shingles
- Bruises or dented asphalt shingles
- Cracked or broken tile, slate, or concrete shingles
- Small pieces of rock in gutters or downspouts
- Leaks in your roof or ceiling
- Dents on vents, gutters or flashing
- Shattered windows
- Cracks and holes in windows
- Broken window panes
- Damaged window frames
Interior DamageInterior damage is usually much easier to spot than external damage. You might see:
- Water stains on walls.
- Water stains on the ceiling.
- Wet insulation in the attic.
- Cracked skylights.
- Wet floors or mushy, wet carpets.
2. Contact Your Insurance CompanyAfter a storm has caused damage is the worst time to find out your insurance won’t cover it. So make sure you have the correct coverage that will cover not only your losses but the cleanup as well. Usually, wind, tornadoes, fallen trees and lightning strikes have a certain level of coverage as part of a standard policy, but check your coverage amount and deductibles before disaster strikes—sometimes insurance companies stop issuing or updating policies because of an impending major storm like a hurricane. During a moratorium, you can’t switch insurance companies, buy a policy, or change coverage to your existing policy. Keep in mind too that 19 states have hurricane deductibles. You might need to add:
- Flood insurance. Flooding caused by precipitation (rain) is not usually covered by homeowner’s insurance. You need flood insurance, a separate policy provided by insurers who participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. Without it, the Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that just one inch of water inside your home can cost more than $27,000.
- Water backup coverage. Your basement could be damaged by a sewer or sump pump backup, and if you only have a standard homeowner’s policy, you’ll have to pay for 100% of the repairs. To clear that basement full of sewage, you’ll need an optional add-on to your policy called water backup coverage.
3. Choose the Correct Cleanup ContractorA cleanup contractor will inspect your property, clean up, sanitize the property and repair damage. They’ll examine the structure of your home to ensure that it has maintained its integrity and is safe. They also provide water extraction and drying in the case of a flood. A reliable cleanup contractor can be hard to find, and there are plenty of companies that exist just to rip off suffering homeowners. Here are some tips to avoid these unscrupulous contractors:
- Avoid fly-by-night companies. Companies or contractors that just arrived in town from another state may not stay to finish the job. And don’t ever hire a contractor who just happens to knock on your door. Choose local companies with good reputations.
- Check them out. Contact the Better Business Bureau to look for complaints. Ask the company for local references.
- Be sure the company is insured. Don’t just take a business’s word for it that they are insured. Contact the insurer directly and ask it to send you a copy of the company’s certificate of insurance.
- Get it all in writing. Before work begins, make sure you get a written contract that lists all the work to be performed, its costs and an estimated completion date. Read the contract and make sure it includes any verbal promises you may have received from the contractor.
Complete: Your Cleanup Contractor in Florida and AlabamaComplete is the largest disaster restoration company on the Gulf Coast. We’ve mitigated damages for hundreds of homes and buildings after storms, helped thousands of companies reopen, and enabled employees to return to work so that tens of thousands of customers in our community can obtain the goods and services they need. And, of course, we’re following the latest guidance issued from professional organizations regarding the upcoming hurricane season. You can be confident in hiring Complete. We’re:
- An IICRC-certified restoration company.
- We have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.
- Our work is guaranteed by Angie’s List.