I never knew the extent of damage that hail could cause to a home. Of course, I realized that windows could break, but I never imagined my roof getting damaged, the siding getting destroyed and the gutters nearly being taken off the side of the house. After our neighborhood was hit by a storm that included golf-ball sized hail, I quickly learned how devastating those little ice-balls can be. If you are going through the same repairs and clean-up efforts, visit my blog. My blog includes tips that can help you identify hail damage and learn what to do to repair it.
If your home has recently suffered water damage due to fire or a severe flood, you may be at a loss as to what to do to save your home and belongings before a reconstruction crew can begin to restore order. And although most reconstruction crews are available within a few hours, if your home was damaged in a localized natural disaster, water restoration companies may have their hands full for a few days -- or even weeks -- before they can begin to repair your home. Read on to learn about the steps you can take to minimize damage to the structure of your home, as well as remaining possessions, after major water damage and before the contractors arrive.
Contact your insurance company.
You may assume that the existence of an official report (or even a news story) about the incident that damaged your home will be reported to your homeowners insurance company somehow. However, you'll need to make this report yourself -- and in some cases, making the report immediately can get contractors to your home even more quickly. Because your homeowners insurance company has a vested interest in keeping the cost of your fire or flood damage as low as possible, they'll do all they can to ensure your home's water damage is remediated quickly.
Secure your valuables.
If your home isn't safe for you to sleep in and it's growing late, you'll want to help secure any valuable items against potential intruders who may take advantage of the vacancy before the restoration crew can arrive. You may also want to collect any secure or personal documents you may need, like birth certificates or Social Security cards. Whether you bring these belongings with you to a hotel or find a safe third-party location, you'll rest assured that these items are secured from looters and other opportunists.
Open the windows.
One of the quickest solutions to the high indoor humidity after a flood is to open all windows and doors to allow outside air to dry out the home while humid air escapes. This constant air circulation can help prevent mold and other significant damage from setting in to your home's floors and lower walls, which will minimize the amount of work the restoration crew will need to perform.
Move permeable items upstairs or outside.
The longer these items (including wooden or upholstered furniture, rugs, and books) remain inside a humid, water-damaged home, the more quickly they will begin to suffer permanent damage. By moving these items to an unaffected area of the home (or outside if weather permits) you should be able to save most of the affected items.