How to check your property for damage after a storm
When a big storm hits New England, you huddle inside and trust your home to protect you and your family. But once that storm has passed, it’s time to return the favor—identifying damage and protecting your home from further trouble.
The National Storm Damage Center has several resources and tips for homeowners. Here are four key things the agency—and we here at Point Insurance—recommend you check after a storm:
- Your ceiling: If you see holes, split seams, or missing shingles on your roof, or if you notice leaks from the inside or out, it̵7;s a good idea to have a qualified inspector assess the situation.
- Your exterior: Siding, brick and stucco are all susceptible to storm damage. You’ll want to look for cracks, chips, or dents and dents in siding and for holes in stucco. Look carefully and at different times of the day. Some homeowners don’t notice the damage until it’s too late to file a claim, and additional lighting can reveal damage you didn’t see before.
- Driveways and walkways: Spalling and cracking can create safety hazards and reduce the life of concrete.
- Tree: According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damages annually. Check roofs, vehicles, fences and machinery for fallen limbs that may have caused injury or may pose a hazard. Clean up what you safely can and trust a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowner’s insurance may help with tree removal and repair costs—if you experience a covered loss, that is.
Some more useful tips:
- Keep trees well-kept and trimmed. Also notify neighbors if you see any overhanging branches on any of theirs.
- Know your insurance. Take a look at your policy to know what is covered, your limits and deductibles, etc. This will prevent surprises during the claims process.
- Take pictures. Photographs can help you show the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs.
Of course, if you’ve been hit by a major storm, don’t hesitate to call us at Point Insurance for help with an insurance claim or finding a professional property inspector.