How to Check Your Property for Damage After a Storm
When a big storm hits in Franklin, New Berlin, Milwaukee, etc. you hunker down inside, relying on your home to protect you and your family. Once that storm passes, it’s time to repay the favor — identifying damage and protecting your home from further issues.
The National Storm Damage Center has a number of resources and tips for homeowners. Here are three major things the agency (and the agents at Insurance Center of Milwaukee) – recommends you check after a storm:
1. Your roof: If you see missing shingles on your roof or if you notice leaking inside or out, it’s a good idea to have a qualified inspector come assess the situation.
2. Your exterior: Aluminum/Vinyl siding, brick and stucco are all vulnerable to storm damage. You’ll want to look for cracking, chipping or dings in the siding, and for holes in stucco. Look closely and at different times of the day. Some homeowners don’t notice damage until it’s too late to file a claim, and different lighting can reveal damage you didn’t see before.
3. Trees: According to the National Storm Damage Center, fallen trees and limbs cause more than $1 billion in damage annually. Check roofs, vehicles, fences, etc. for fallen limbs that may have caused damage or could pose a risk. Clean up what you are safely able to clean and rely on a reputable tree removal service to handle the rest. Depending on the circumstances, your homeowners insurance policy may help with tree removal and damage repair costs – if you experience a covered loss, that is.
A few more helpful tips:
Keep trees well maintained and trimmed. Keep limbs a safe distance from your home.
Know your insurance. Take a look at your policy so you know what’s covered, what your limits and deductibles are, etc. This will prevent any surprises during the claims process.
Take pictures. Photographs can help you show the cause and extent of any storm damage that occurs.
Of course, if you’ve suffered damage from a major storm, don’t hesitate to call us at the Insurance Center of Milwaukee at 414-744-6614 for help with an insurance claim or with finding a professional property inspector.