Hurricane Damage: What To Do After a Storm
Texas is no stranger to hurricanes. From the Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, to Harvey in 2017, the best that can be said of them is that they finally blew away.
Hurricane damage is no laughing matter and dealing with their after-effects can often be worse than the storms themselves. There are certain steps that need to be taken after any such damaging event. Getting to it and taking them one step at a time is par for the course.
Cautiously Assess the Damage
A particularly challenging hurricane season can devastate entire communities. Don’t tax emergency services by returning to your home to inspect damages before your local authorities say it is safe to do so. Once you’re allowed home:
● Avoid standing water and downed power lines
● Mitigate mold formation by pulling up wet carpeting and padding; it may be best to call a restoration company
● If you have a well and/or septic system, protect your health by having them inspected
● Discard any spoiled food or drink
● Take plenty of pictures of the damages to your home and property. You’ll need these to file an insurance claim.
Quick Tips for Insurance Claims
If there’s one thing you can count on during hurricane season, it’s a LOT of insurance claims. Get yours in quickly. Not only do you want to be at the head of the pack, but you also want to know what your policy will and will not cover.
● Get 2 or 3 written estimates from LICENSED contractors. Your insurance provider may require as many.
● Have your contractors review the estimates from your insurance provider to make sure no details were overlooked.
● Check to make sure temporary living expenses will be covered and how much your carrier will provide you.
● Iron out discrepancies if your insurance quote won’t cover the actual costs. If necessary, hire a public insurance adjuster.
What to Keep
The most important thing to keep is good records. Keep a notebook and write your insurance claim number at the very top. You’ll need to refer to it often. Consider taking a picture with your phone so you have the claim number in case you get a call when you are away from your folder. Record every conversation you have with the insurance company, the adjuster, restoration companies, and contractors.
Include names, dates, and instructions they give you. Keep any paperwork you receive and make copies of any you send to the insurance company. Keep a running record of any time you or your family invests in the cleanup.
It’s also very important to keep receipts of everything you spend that is related to your loss. This includes repair and replacement costs, temporary lodging, and meals. Additionally, before throwing everything away, take samples of flooring, paneling, and carpeting so adjusters can calculate the cost of their replacement.
Hurricane Damage to Your Home: Time to Sell?
Unfortunately, flood insurance is very expensive, which is why few homeowners carry it. And that lack of coverage can sometimes come as quite the shock when your insurance payout doesn’t come near the cost of repairing your home. Additionally, if your entire area has been laid low by a hurricane, even if you want to sell your house, the best real estate agencies won’t find much of a market for it.
What to do? Houston-based home buyer Flash Realty Solutions can help. We buy all sorts of homes, including those that are severely distressed by fires, floods, and–yes—hurricane damages. While we’re licensed real estate agents, we’re also buyers so you don’t have to fuss with listing your property. Nor do you have to pay us a commission when it is sold.
We’ll assess your home and offer you a fair price. And the cost of repairing it will be on us. You pick a time when it’s convenient to close for you, and we’ll take care of the rest.
If you find yourself in this type of situation, Flash Realty Solutions can offer you an out. And since there’s no obligation on your part, it’s certainly worth investigating. Give us a call today. We’ll do our best to give you that fresh start you need.