It’s been a tumultuous decade in the mighty hands of mother nature. Hurricanes like Katrina and Irma have ravished South Florida and with them, tens of thousands in repairs for homeowners. After a storm of this magnitude, a new storm begins, that of difficult decisions, complex repairs and sifting through the muck. Your home is the temple for your heart, so it’s important that you save it at all cost. After a storm, there’s a laundry list of items you must accomplish if it means ensuring the safety of your home and preventing further structural damage.
When it’s safe to do so, investigate your home and try to find sources of structural damage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests that you give a thorough inspection to avoid a potential collapsing roof. What you should be scoping out for are warping, loosened or cracked foundation elements, cracks, and holes. Do this before you even enter the house to avoid a potential accident. Also, contact utility companies immediately if you sense water, gas and electric damage. You don’t want any water or power running, especially since these two elements don’t play well together. Shut them all off.
We live in the age of instant gratification and instant documentation. This bodes well for purposes of insurance claims. So get your smart phone at the ready and photograph every piece of damage. Take video walk throughs as well to get a full wide angle of the damage and make sure to do all of this before you make any repairs. You want to make sure you get the best possible coverage, so become a documentarian and capture the evidence.
There’s nothing more unhealthy than flood water. This muck is contaminated with raw sewage, chemicals and can harbor sharp objects like glass. If you have an open wound and expose it to this muck, you run the risk of catching a bacterial infection. When entering water for all of the above items, be sure to wear waist-high waterproof boots, and rubber gloves.
You don’t want to mess with mold, a parasite that can spread throughout your temple in a matter of 24-48 hours. Mold is so serious that the result of a claim could mean having your home taken away from you. Wall materials (drywall), wood framing, baseboards, flooring, insulation, air ducts & HVAC systems are among the areas that can become victim to the parasite. It’s a complex area so you should link up with a qualified public adjuster to alleviate the amount of mold damage in your home.
Finally, it’s time to secure your home. You can do this with a tarp to prevent any more contaminated water to enter your home, along with boarding up your windows. Doing this and all of the above will show the insurance company that you have taken a proactive approach to protecting what’s yours, which should promise a better result.