What to Do When You Experience Property Damage
Minimizing the Damage
Serious property damage is a homeowner's worst nightmare. Whether the damage was caused by a storm, flood, fire, bug infestation or an accident, it's necessary to resolve the issue promptly to prevent further damage from adding to your repair bill.
Most often, the first step after experiencing any type of property damage is to contact your home insurance provider. They will instruct you on steps you can take to protect your property from further loss, such as boarding up your windows if they're broken and securing entryways with heavy-duty padlocks. An adjuster will be assigned to visit your home to assess the damage and to help you through the claims process.
After the insurance adjustor evaluates the damage to your home, you become responsible for hiring contractors to perform the actual repairs. Research the available fire restoration, flood restoration or other services in your area. Take the time to secure multiple bids from contractors, and be sure to obtain written estimates and check their references.
Storm damage can be varied and extensive. Tornado damage is usually the worst, as entire homes can be flattened if they are unlucky enough to be in the path of a tornado. Even hail damage can be dramatic. Hailstones hitting an older roof can cause serious problems. Wind can peel shingles or entire sections off roofs as well as blow debris to break windows, and the introduction of excessive moisture can lead to a need for mold remediation.
The sun's damaging ultraviolet rays can be detrimental to furniture, artwork, carpets and wood floors or paneling, causing noticeable fading over time. Window treatments such as curtains and blinds block the sun, but they also block light. Window films applied by a professional can block up to 99 percent of the damaging UV rays while preserving views and light. These films are now so technologically advanced that, when applied, the appearance of the windows from both outside and inside is unchanged.
Termites are the most prevalent wood-destroying bugs in the U.S., yet they're completely preventable in many cases. Keeping moisture away from the home's foundation, preventing contact between the soil and the wooden parts of the home and taking care not to spread wood mulch near the home's foundation can all prevent termite infestations.
The presence of termites can often be identified by the appearance of small tubes of dried mud that protrude from the cracks in exposed wood. If termites already have a hold on your home, professional termite control companies have many ways to eliminate the pests. Again, obtain more than one written estimate and check the company's references.