The immediate aftermath of a major storm can be a chaotic, emotional time as you take stock of the damage to your home or business and its contents. There may be fire, water, and wind damage all at once and every minute you hesitate means a greater chance of permanent damage. Follow these action steps to take control of the situation and limit the devastation.
1. Make Personal Safety Priority #1. Ensure that all injuries have been treated, no matter how minor. Turn off the electricity to the building if there’s water damage. Turn off the water supply and gas if there is structural damage, in case pipes have been broken, and avoid using the sewage system if it looks clogged. The last thing you need is water damage restoration from a sewage backup on top of everything else.
2. Call Your Insurance Company. The sooner you call, the sooner they can get started on your claim. In the case of a major disaster, waiting can delay settlement of your claim by weeks or months. It’s a good idea to have your adjustor’s contact information stored in your phone, along with any information you may need to file a claim, such as a policy number. Your files at home may be destroyed, but if you have your phone, you can still start the claims process without having to find phone numbers and remember names. Consider storing the information as “Homeowners Insurance” in your contacts; that way it’s easy to find and you don’t have to change the name if you change companies.
3. Record the Damage. As soon as you can enter the building, start documenting the damage for your insurance company. Use your smartphone to take photos and videos of damaged items both inside and outside the structure. Be sure to zoom in on identifying marks such as brand names that will help prove the replacement value of items. Organize the photos and videos into files for each room (kitchen, master bedroom, etc.) to expedite the claim process. Email the photos and videos to your adjustor and upload them to a cloud storage site so you can quickly retrieve them if you need them again.
4. Check the Roof. The roof often receives the brunt of storm damage during disasters, but you don’t always realize it until the first heavy rainstorm. Embers from a fire can burn through shingles, or winds can rip them off completely. Once the roof has been compromised, water starts to seep in with every storm, causing damage and leading to mold growth. Have the roof inspected early in the restoration process to catch problems before they start.
5. Call for Storm Damage Restoration. Cleaning and restoring flood damage by yourself is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Items can’t be restored by setting them in the sun or spraying them with cleaners. The equipment and cleaning products available to the public aren’t strong enough to remove all traces of water and sanitize the area. Mold starts to grow within 48 hours after a water leak, and it grows and spreads quickly. The expensive electronics that fill out homes, including computers, videogames, and TVs, can be salvaged, but not if they stay wet too long. That’s why it’s so important to call for professional disaster restoration as soon as possible.
ServiceMaster Storm Damage Restoration
When you need comprehensive water damage mitigation in Houston, TX following a storm, you can rely on the experts at ServiceMaster Restoration and Cleaning. Our professionals are industry certified and work with project coordinators to start emergency water extraction, drying, and dehumidification. This reduces the remediation time dramatically. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to contain the spread of the damage and begin the restoration and rebuilding process before dangerous mold can grow and cause more destruction.
As a ServiceMaster Recovery Management center, we provide commercial large loss disaster remediation anywhere in the world, with 12 strategically positioned command centers and 400 first response locations. Our projects have included military installations, R&D facilities, clean rooms, and more. We can mobilize an army of equipment, manpower, resources, and expertise almost immediately to provide emergency restoration services for businesses that have experienced major storm damage.
Storm damage restoration costs vary, depending on the extent of the damage and types of remediation needed.