A Tornado Hit My House. Who Can Help Me with Repairs?
If your home is even partially hit by a relatively small tornado, you may find that the damage to your home is substantial. While the professionals necessary to repair a home after a tornado strikes can vary based on the nature and extent of the damage to your home, there are a few professionals that you’ll typically want to consult with once it’s safe to assess the damage.
After any sort of loss event, your first call should always be to your insurance company to report the extent of the damage. Since your insurance company likely has other homeowners in the area with the same type of damage, reporting your claim quickly can mean being first on the adjuster’s list of properties to inspect. Remember, the sooner your claims adjuster visits your property, the sooner you’ll get the initial estimate of what the insurance company will pay for repairs.
Whether your home was hit directly by a tornado or it was just pelted with hail and high winds, your roof could be in rough shape. Since many states require roofing repairs be done by contractors with special certifications, you’ll want to have a roofing professional inspect the damage to your roof rather than just your claims adjuster. In many cases, someone who works with roofing materials for a living will be able to spot damage that an insurance company employee missed.
When your home’s interior took a beating as the tornado rolled through, you’ll likely need to make extensive repairs. Rather than trying to coordinate yourself with drywall hangers, painters and carpenters, it’s usually best to find a general contractor to interact with all the various tradesmen involved in restoring your home to it’s pre-tornado condition.
In fact, your insurance company or lender may insist on only making payments to one contractor during the repairs, so this will also be the person who coordinates payments with the rest of the team.
While your general contractor will usually liaise with your plumber for you, you may need to call in a plumber on your own when the damage to your home doesn’t justify bringing in a general contractor. Since your plumbing is likely fine when your structure is still intact, you’ll usually only need to call in a plumber when your septic system was hit by a tornado or its debris.
In some cases, a tornado can move into an area with a storm system that has a significant number of lightning strikes. If you have any reason to believe your home was hit by lightning or that subsequent power surges have impacted your home’s electrical system, be sure to contact an electrician for an inspection right away.
Depending on the placement of your home’s heating and air conditioning equipment, it could take quite a pounding as tornadic winds toss debris from house to house. If your home suffered a direct hit from a tornado, however, it’s possible that your ductwork and interior HVAC equipment may also require repair or replacement.
If your home’s exterior is dented, dinged or cracked in the aftermath of a severe storm, or your chimney was damaged, you may need to contact a masonry specialist. In many cases, your general contractor will be able to provide guidance on who can help you with these types of repairs.