It’s amazing how much frustration one hail storm can inflict on a community. Responding to this challenge with prompt storm damage restoration will help you avoid even graver headaches down the road. First, we have to understand the signs of storm damage and how it applies to homeowners insurance. We’ll be focusing on external home trauma in this quick guide.
What is Storm Damage?
The term encompasses a wide array of catastrophes. There are three principle categories of storm trauma: hail, wind, and water damage. Each is responsible for billions of dollars in homeowner repair expenses each year, so they should all be taken seriously.
Storm damage may also refer to any secondary damage that was caused as a result of these force. Depending on the circumstance, severe wind causing a tree to collapse on your fence could be considered storm damage. This by-extension type of reasoning should be kept within reason however. A hail storm can’t be blamed for your the termite damage in your backyard deck.
What to Look For When Identifying Storm Trauma
There are several areas to examine when searching for external storm damage. The best place to start is your roof, where you can scan for pock marks (after hail storms), uplifted shingles, and gaps in the rooftop. If you detect any of these symptoms, you need to schedule an inspection and storm damage repair as quickly as possible. We’ll discuss why prompt repairs are so important later.
Be sure to take pictures of everything, especially damage that is obviously connected with the storm. You can followup your roof check with a quick siding assessment. Here, you’ll be looking for holes, scraped paint, and displaced boards. Be sure to take a close look at your windows for any signs of damaged glass.
Finally, examine your fencing for signs of deteriorated paneling, especially if it’s made of wood panels. Not all wood fencing materials are created equal when it comes to storm damage. The extend of the trauma will likely hinge on what type of wood fence you own. Cedar fences typically weather storms the best, there are several other capable wood materials. Anyway, take special note of any badly scared panels or blown over sections.
Storm Damage Restoration
So now that we’ve carefully assessed the post-storm damage, what’s next? Now you examine your homeowners insurance policy and see what all is covered. Then you can start filing your claim for the roof, siding, and fencing. You may be wondering, “Is fence damage covered by homeowners insurance?” According to a recent article by Allstate, most homeowner insurance policies do indeed cover fencing damage (to a point). It’s still prudent to examine your policy. Here’s why.
Filing an Insurance Claim for Fence Damage
While your storm damage roof repairs probably don’t have one, there may be a limit on how much of your insurance policy will cover for your fence. For instance, a $350,000 homeowners policy may have a 10 percent cap for “other structures” (which the fence would fall under). That would mean your insurance would pay a maximum of $35,000 for your fence, minus any out-of-pocket expenses. You should talk with your agent before rushing a repair and see what your exact coverage is for your fencing.
Next, you may probably need to prove that the damage was, in fact, caused by the storm. A fallen tree on your fence can be the result of severe wind, but it could also be caused by years of degradation from termites or disease. If the tree collapse was the result of negligence, you might be out of luck.
What Work Needs to Be Done?
That depends entirely on the extent of the damage. Perhaps you only need to repair a few cedar picket fence panels, or maybe the whole fence needs to be replaced. If there is significant scaring throughout the fencing system, or if there are many panels missing, it might be best to install a new fence entirely.
Ignoring damage to your fence, siding, or roof is simply not an option. The consequences of doing so are too costly. Your roof could develop leaks that lead to expensive wood rot, insulation damage, and even mold growth. Siding can suffer from many of the same problems.
How Can I Protect My Home From Storms?
For Your Roof
Your roof should take priority when it comes to protecting your home. Contact your local roofing professional as swiftly as possible to get started on repairs, just in case it rains again in the near future. This will save you from that costly water damage we mentioned earlier. If you have to get replacement roofing for your home, consider switching to a more storm-friendly rooftop material, such as architectural shingles or impact-resistant shingles. You’ll rest much easier when the next storm comes!
For Your Siding
Vinyl siding isn’t for everyone, but it does provide a great shield against weather damage. It’s difficult to ding and practically immune to corrosion, making it a very great low-maintenance siding option. For those that prefer metal, aluminum siding also provides durable weather protection.
For Your Fencing
Damaged fencing is much more susceptible further damage. Immediate storm damage repair or replacement will help you avoid many future headaches. Benefits of prompt repair include:
- Preventing wood exposure to carpenter ants and termites
- Restoring the color and presentation of your fencing
- Discovering any areas affected by wood rot
- Reinforcing weakened areas to extend the life of your fencing
Preparing your fencing against future storms doesn’t have to be a struggle. First, you can start by reinforcing the posts and supporting rails. Home Depot has a great article that outlines the process step by step. You can start this process by installing bracers beneath the cross-rails, using simple 2 x 4 cleats. If you want to further strengthen the rails on your fence, you can even install a duplicate sister rail beneath your existing one. Afterwards, you can easily replace any individual panels that are too damaged for repair.
Our team provides all manner of fencing solutions, including our signature T-Town Fence & Gate cedar fence repair service. We would love to help you repair, restore, or replace your storm damaged fencing in Tulsa, OK! Give us a call today at 918-221-0048!