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12 Tips For Handling Storm Damage, From Prevention To Restoration

Summer is high season for thunderstorms, with strong winds, lightning, and hail all increasing your risk of suffering property damage.

Storm damage can be a costly problem, and while home insurance policies typically cover most forms of it, there are exceptions and exclusions that can leave you on the hook. That’s why it pays to implement some simple but effective prevention strategies while brushing up on best practices for efficient and cost-effective repairs and restoration.

12 Tips For Handling Storm Damage, From Prevention To Restoration

12 Storm Damage Prevention & Repair Tips To Keep In Mind This Summer

Storm Damage Prevention

1. Trim your trees

Heavy overhanging branches are one of the most common causes of storm-related property damage. Keep yours trimmed and well away from the house to reduce your risk.

2. Secure lawn furnishings

Patio tables, chairs, barbecues, and other heavy items should be tied down to make sure they don’t get thrown against your siding or windows during a windstorm.

3. Clean your gutters

If your gutters are blocked, rainwater won’t be able to drain properly. This can damage your roof and attic. Keep your gutters clean and clutter-free.

4. Upgrade your doors and windows

If you live in an area that’s particularly prone to stormy weather, it may well be worth the investment to upgrade to stormproof doors and windows. Shattering glass isn’t just damaging; it’s dangerous.

5. Inspect your roof

If your roof has existing problems, like loose or missing shingles or other structural weaknesses, you could be in for trouble following a major rainstorm. Have it professionally inspected early in the season, and fix any issues promptly.

6. Clear debris promptly

If a storm has blown through your area and spread debris into your yard, clear it promptly so it isn’t hanging around during the next bout of violent weather.

Storm Damage Restoration

1. Contact your insurance company

The current national average for wind, hail, and storm damage is about $7,100. That’s a hefty chunk of change that can really eat into your budget if you’re not prepared.

If your home has been damaged by a storm, your first step should be to contact your insurance company and open a claim.

2. Document the damage

Once you’ve contacted your insurance provider, use your smartphone or camera to go around your home and property to document the damage. Documentation is more effective when you also have “before” photos to compare your “after” photos with, so take snapshots of your home’s current condition and file them with your insurer now.

3. Treat damaged trees

Damaged trees can pose perilous hazards, especially if their trunks become unstable. Remove loose and hanging branches, and if a tree’s trunk has been seriously compromised, you may need to cut it down altogether.

4. Make repairs promptly

Damage to roofs, doors, windows, and structural elements must be repaired as quickly as possible, as they create serious vulnerabilities. The last thing you want is a leaky roof or broken window to allow water to come gushing into your home if another storm hits before repairs are made.

5. Deal with floods and moisture

If your home’s interior has been affected by flooding or moisture, remediate it immediately:  wearing protective gear, get rid of water and any damaged items, then clean and disinfect affected areas repairing or removing any toxic structures, preferably with the help of a professional restoration contractor. Otherwise, you may develop a serious and hazardous problem with toxic mold.

6. Contact a professional

Anything other than light damage should be repaired by a professional. Choose a reputable local company that has proven experience with storm remediation.

If you need help repairing your home after a storm, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. We are a family owned and operated Virginia home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience.

We handle all insurance claims, so you don’t have to! 

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

Let Us Handle Your Damage Repairs

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In the Aftermath of a Flood: 9 Mold Damage Remediation Tips

Flooding is one of the major causes of mold damage, and any mold in your home must be promptly addressed as it can pose serious health hazards.

Mold feeds on microorganisms that are invisible to the naked eye, as well as many materials that are commonly used in construction. Thus, it is practically impossible to stop them by eliminating their food sources.

Rather, the key to successful remediation is to remove the water sources mold relies on to grow and spread.

In the Aftermath of a Flood: 9 Mold Damage Remediation Tips

In the Aftermath of a Flood: 9 Mold Damage Remediation Tips

Getting Rid of Mold After a Flood

Here are nine helpful tips, curated from professional remediators, to help guide you if you’ve got a mold problem as the result of a flood:

  • Wear an N-95 respirator as you work, along with goggles. These items will ensure you don’t breathe in mold spores, or have them come in contact with your eyes.
  • Begin by addressing all plumbing leaks and problematic plumbing fixtures. You need to take care of any and all water problems in your home before tackling the mold. That means getting the flooded area fixed up and dried out.
  • Remove all water-saturated items from the area affected by the flooding and dry them thoroughly. It’s best to hang-dry such items outside, if possible.
  • Use a mixture of detergent and water to remove mold from buildups from hard surfaces. Be sure to wear protective rubber gloves so the detergent and water solution doesn’t irritate your skin as you work. Once you’re done, dry the affected areas using fans and dehumidifiers.
  • If you have mold buildups in porous materials or materials that absorb water, you will likely have to throw them out. This advice applies to items like ceiling panels, curtains, drapes, and carpets. Mold can easily spread into the empty pockets in such items, making it virtually impossible to eliminate.
  • Never apply caulking or paint to surfaces that still have live mold on them. Not only will these compounds fail to solve the underlying mold problem, but they will also crack and peel if the mold isn’t removed first.
  • Valuable items and items with sentimental value should be cleaned by an expert. If possible, consult a professional with specialized expertise, such as a furniture repair, art restoration, or carpet cleaning specialist.
  • Check carefully for signs of mold near your home’s HVAC vents and intake points. If mold has contaminated your home’s air circulation system, the spores could spread throughout your home and create a much bigger problem.
  • Mold buildups caused by sewage leaks or floods involving contaminated water require special considerations. Most inexperienced lay people do not have the skills or equipment to address these types of problems, so if this case applies to you, your first step should be to call in a pro.

Call Professionals For Help

While minor cases of mold growth can be addressed in DIY fashion, extensive or severe situations are best left to professionals. It can be difficult and dangerous to your health to attempt to undertake major mold repairs yourself, so if you’re unsure of how to proceed or encounter any setbacks along the way, your next move should be to contact an experienced mold removal contractor.

If you need help restoring your home after a flood, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement. We are a family owned and operated Virginia home improvement contractor with over 40 years of experience. Whether you need mold removal or water damage handled, we’re here to help!

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

Let Us Handle Your Next Project

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Home Water Damage: 5 Major Causes and Prevention Tips

Water damage is a major headache that often necessitates costly repairs. Aside from immediate damage it creates, it can also lead to serious problems later on, including toxic mold and problems with your home’s structural and foundational elements.

However, the good news is that most types of water damage are preventable. You can even take action to reduce the chances of suffering serious damage as the result of something you can’t prevent, such as a flood or backed-up city sewer.

Home Water Damage: 5 Major Causes and Prevention Tips

5 Most Common Types of Water Damage and How to Prevent Them

Water damage can be dangerous and expensive, so preventing it is an important part of home maintenance. No matter the type of damage, there are numerous things your can do to protect your property.

#1. Floods

Floods caused by natural events such as major storms are among the leading culprits when it comes to home water damage. While nobody can control Mother Nature, there are several things you can do to safeguard against storm-related flooding:

  • Keep valuables off the basement floor. Most storm-related floods affect basements. As such, it’s not a good idea to keep valuable items, like high-end furniture and electronics, in these areas of your home. This is particularly true if you live in a flood-prone geographic region.
  • Raise your electric sockets. Flood damage will wreak havoc on affected parts of your home’s electrical system. One strategy is to elevate the position of the electric sockets in your basement. Instead of placing them near the floor, move them higher up on the wall.
  • Install a basement sump pump. A battery-powered basement sump pump will help you clear water in the event of a flood.
  • Put indoor/outdoor carpeting in basements. Use stone, tile, sealed concrete, waterproof wallboard and other water-resistant building materials in areas prone to flooding.
  • Seal foundation cracks. Water in the foundation can cause serious damage to your home’s structure. Make sure that the grounds around the house slope away from the home to keep water from the foundations and basement.

#2. Burst pipes

Burst pipes can be a major problem, especially during the winter months. Water can freeze inside the pipes, causing expansion that can lead to a burst…and thousands of dollars’ worth of water damage. The good news is there’s an easy three-step method to avoid such a situation:

  • Set your water thermostat to 60 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees Celsius)
  • Turn on your faucets ever so slightly, so any water in your pipes will drip out
  • Once your pipes are empty, insulate all exposed pipes to help trap heat inside so water will not freeze.
  • Fix and replace leaking pipes, clogged drains, and malfunctioning drainage systems immediately.
  • Check washing machine and dishwasher hoses to make sure that they aren’t cracked.

#3. Water heater failures

Water heater failures usually result from slow leaks or bursts inside the water tank. Performing regular routine maintenance is the best way to avoid these problems.

  • Have your water heater regularly serviced by a qualified technician, and flush out built-up sediment on a regular basis according to manufacturer guidelines. Consult your owner’s manual for specifics.
  • Replace your aging water heater – if your water heater reaches its life expectancy, the risk of a slow leak or sudden burst increases.

#4. Roof leaks

Roof leaks are another common culprit of home flooding, and you can avoid them by being vigilant about possible problems with your roofing and performing regular maintenance of your roofing system.

  • Every spring and fall, you should perform a detailed inspection of your roof, noting any areas where shingles or roofing elements show signs of wear. Have them repaired promptly.
  • Replace shingles that are coming loose, and pay extra attention to areas around the chimney and vents.
  • Do the same if you notice leaks coming from your roof, even if you didn’t notice signs of damage during your inspection. Something may have eluded your eye, and a professional can help diagnose and solve these problems.
  • Use galvanized or stainless-steel nails and fasteners.
  • Make sure that gutters drain water away from the house, and that all the joints are all properly sealed.

#5. Toilet and drain backups

Finally, beware of toilet and drain backups. Regular inspections and preventative maintenance will help you avoid problems with your toilets and drains.

  • Check your toilet’s supply valve, supply line, and flush valve at least once a year, and replace any components showing signs of wear.
  • Act promptly if any of your home’s toilets stop functioning normally.
  • With drains, do periodic checks to make sure water isn’t clearing unusually slowly. If it is, something is likely clogging your drain. Drain cleaners are readily available at home improvement stores, and they’ll help in most situations.
  • For persistent problems, or for issues that you can’t readily solve using frontline techniques, contact your local plumber.

If Water Damage Has Occurred…

If you have water damage in your home, there’s a series of steps you need to follow to solve your problem. These include identifying the source of the damage, fixing that problem and then dealing with the water damage itself.

If you’ve been affected by water damage, you will be dealing with your homeowner’s insurance. Here are few tips:

  • call your insurance agent right away,
  • list all of your damaged property before beginning the cleanup process, including pictures if possible,
  • keep receipts for all of your cleanup supplies and any services that you hire,
  • know that flood damage is not covered under homeowner’s insurance, you will need flood insurance purchased separately,
  • additionally, not all water damage is covered by insurance, especially if the damage resulted from lack of proper maintenance or was ongoing but ignored.

In the aftermath of water damage, hiring a quality contractor is the best way to ensure your water damage gets fixed right, the first time, every time. For immediate help, call Mid-Atlantic Home Improvement, a family owned/operated Charlottesville & Culpeper VA home renovation contractor with over 40 years of experience. We are experts at insurance restoration and offer 24/7 emergency service to our Virginia customers!.

Call (804) 647-0649 or (800) 852-4142 or Request Your Free Quote below

We work for you, not the insurance company!

Get your no-obligation quote!