How to deal with winter storm damage
Winter storms can cause significant damage to your home and property. It's important to take steps right away to deal with the damage, document it, and begin repairs.
Assess the damage.
After a winter storm, it's important to assess the damage. First, determine the extent of your property's damage by looking for broken branches and other visible signs of storm damage. If you have trees on your property that may be at risk for falling down or damaging other structures or vehicles in their path, contact an arborist who can assess whether they need to be removed immediately.
Next, take photos of all damaged items so you have an accurate record for insurance purposes. Make sure to document each item with an estimate of its replacement value, this will help ensure that all costs related to repairing or replacing items are covered by insurance claims after filing them.
Check for structural damage.
Check for water damage. If your basement has flooded, it's best to call a professional to clean up the mess. The same goes for any rooms that have been inundated with snow or rainwater, such as a garage or porch. Check for structural damage in the roof or walls of your home especially if the storm was accompanied by high winds and hail.
Look out for mold or mildew growth on surfaces like ceilings, walls and floors (especially if there was recent flooding). This can cause damages in the future.
Clear snow and ice.
Clear snow, ice and debris from around your home to prevent damage to your home and make it easier for emergency workers to reach you after the storm has passed.
Use a shovel or snow blower to clear the area around your home. If using a shovel, wear protective clothing such as gloves and boots, if using a snow blower, wear protective clothing as well as goggles to protect against flying debris. Make sure that all snow has been removed from the roof of your house before going inside this will help prevent weight overload on roofs that have already been weakened by heavy loads of wet snow.
Before you start cleaning up, take photos of everything. This is important for insurance purposes and also because it's likely that once you get started on a project, your memory will be fuzzy about where things were when the storm hit. You don't want to accidentally throw away something valuable by mistake!
Make sure to document all damaged items in writing, the cost of replacing them and their condition before they were damaged.
Winter storms can be devastating, but with proper preparation and planning you can minimize the impact on your home. It's important to know what types of damage may occur in your area and how best to deal with them. If you're unsure about what steps should be taken next after a storm, contact SERVPRO of South Philadelphia / SE Delaware County today! We'll help guide you through each step of the way until everything is back in working order again.