What to Do about Water Damage After a Tornado
While tornados are usually classified as strong wind events, this doesn’t mean that wind damage is the only thing you have to worry about. Depending on how fast the storm was moving and how heavy the rain was, your home could end up with a considerable amount of water damage as well. If you’re not sure where to begin your cleanup effort, these tips could give you a starting place.
Your first order of business after any type of natural disaster is to assess the safety of your home. Since water can seep through your walls, the possibility always exists that it may have come in contact with your home’s wiring, creating an electrocution hazard. Significant damage to your roof could also leave you vulnerable to falling debris.
Because of the sheer volume of water that can enter your home during a strong storm or flood, your chances of being able to effectively remove it all without professional equipment are slim. Contacting a water removal company is the best way to remove the standing water you can see, as well as the hidden water that’s already seeped into your walls and foundation.
Once your home is dry, you’ll be able to get a better idea of the true extent of the damage to your property and your belongings. Start making a list of the furniture, electronics, appliances and personal items that were damaged beyond repair. Not only will this give you a starting place for replacing things, but it will also help you when it comes time to create an inventory for the insurance company.
It’s also a good idea to take note of what type of damage the water did to your home at this time.
While the standard procedure is to contact your insurance company as soon as possible after your home sustains damage, you don’t necessarily have to wait for them to get back to you before you begin the water removal process. This can especially be the case if your home floods after business hours on a Friday and no one will be in the office to help you until Monday morning. Leaving standing water in your home for that long can exponentially increase the scope of the damage.
Remember, most of the larger insurance companies have emergency numbers to report damage to. Keeping this number stored in your phone can help to simplify things in the aftermath of a tornado.
It’s important to remember that you don’t have to wait until your insurance claims adjustor has assessed the damage on your property to start thinking about contractors. In fact, once you know who will be making the bulk of water damage repairs to your home, you can usually have them present when the adjustor walks through your property. This can help ensure that everyone is on the same page about the extent of the property’s damage and how much it will cost to restore it to its pre-tornado condition.
Although your insurance company may give you the option to complete repairs on your own and submit receipts for reimbursement, tornado repairs and water damage restoration are two areas that are always best left to the professionals.