How to Identify Storm Damage

Storms can frequently occur during the summer months, bringing rain, hail, damaging winds, and even tornadoes and flash flooding. According to the National Weather Service, hailstones can fall at speeds of up to 120 mph and causes over $1 billion in damages to property annually. The potential for serious issues to arise makes it important to swiftly recognize signs of damage to your home and begin taking steps to address them, to make sure your investment remains secure.

Exterior Inspection

The first step is to thoroughly inspect the property and home’s exterior. If you notice broken tree limbs and other debris, that’s an indicator that there might be more damage. Check around your home or building for broken shingles and note any dents or dimpling on the siding, HVAC systems, windowsills, screens and doors.

If you notice several of these signs, take a closer look at your roof. Check in the gutters for loose granules from shingles and note any missing, loose or curling pieces. Also, keep an eye out for hail hits, especially those that are black in appearance or soft to the touch. Hail damage will look random, with no discernable pattern. You may also notice patches of asphalt or mat that appear shiny.

Interior Inspection

It is also a good idea to inspect the interior of your home or business. Check the attic for any moisture or leaks, and make note of any recurring ceiling leaks, water stains, mold or mildew present. These could be signs that the damage has spread beyond the roof coating and into the structure of the building and will be important during the insurance claims inspection and proceedings.

File a Claim with Insurance

Time is of the essence, especially if you have substantial damage. You should contact your insurance agency as soon as you can to file a claim. Take photos or video of the damage you witnessed during your preliminary check, along with the date of the incident and the size of the hail event.

Time and Cost of Maintenance

Changes in lifestyle and priorities can make it hard to keep up with the routine maintenance for standard siding, such as wood, cement board, or vinyl. Whether it’s patching or replacing panels, washing, painting, or staining, these chores get to be expensive and time consuming. If you’re feeling as though the upkeep needed is more than you’d like, it’s possible it could be time for a change.

With metal siding, your exterior can be virtually maintenance-free. EDCO’s metal siding offers an unmatched, non-pro-rated lifetime warranty. It also includes 35-year fade protection. We design our products with durability and longevity in mind that gives a home the same stunning appearance for years to come.

Find the Right Contractor

One of the best things a home or business owner can do is choosing the right installation professional for their job. Unfortunately, large storms are a chance for less reputable contractors to take advantage of property owners with quick scams that could  lead to subpar craftsmanship and potential for larger issues down the road. Be wary of door-to-door solicitation from contractors, or “special” pricing. Keep these tips in mind as you begin your search:

  • Ask neighbors, friends or family if they can recommend a professional with whom they have had success.
  • Search for someone with experience in the job you require, such as roofing or siding, and knowledge and confidence in the products you want to install.
  • Check the Better Business Bureau and identify any industry associations to which they belong.
  • Ensure the business is licensed (if required by your state) and carries Workers Compensation and Liability Insurance.
  • The contractor should have a permanent place of business, a working phone number, and be willing to share references from past jobs.
  • Inquire about project supervision and personnel on-site, and quality control measures in place.

Request a written estimate from three qualified professionals that includes the quantity of material needed, rate of labor, work specifications, proposed start and finish dates, payment procedures, building permits (if needed), and warranty details. Be sure to review the fine print on any paperwork they give you and identify any items that appear inconsistent or out of the scope of your initial discussion.

Finally, don’t sign anything quickly. The insurance claims adjuster will also need to inspect the roof or exterior of your home or building. If you have a top choice for a contractor, invite them to join the inspection to discuss their findings. For more information on choosing the right professional, read our article on “How to Choose A Roofing Contractor” or reach out to us using our Find a Professional tool.

Moving Forward

Secure your home by boarding up any broken windows and salvaging undamaged items. If there are damaged items, hold on to them until your insurance representative has reviewed them. Carefully move debris away from doors, windows, and walkways (be sure to wear protective eyewear and gloves if available) and take caution around damaged power lines.

Dealing with the aftermath of a storm can be a stressful addition to a busy schedule. EDCO is proud to offer metal building products that require little maintenance and can help protect against future damage, standing up to the most extreme weather conditions including wind and hail. EDCO’s metal exterior building products are backed by the industry’s best warranty that includes hail protection. Enjoy the peace of mind that comes with beautiful products manufactured to stand the test of time.

Sources: AllState, Insurance Information Institute, Disaster Safety Org., NAHB, Family Handyman, Travelers, Inspectopedia