Our local community has been devastated by the derecho storm that blew through Iowa. At this time, we are currently dedicating all of our resources to our local recovery. We are booked with emergency repairs and restoration and may not be able to service all requests at this time. If you are in need of a full roof replacement, please contact us after you have received your assessment of damage from you insurance adjuster. We will update our availability as the situation progresses. Thank you for your understanding.

Just like every other home, your property is susceptible to the formidable forces of Mother Nature. When it comes to spring storms, the best advice is to hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Just as you should prepare your family with a Spring storm safety plan, you should also prepare your home for any potential outcome. Equipping your home for spring storms, preparing for the potential damage, and knowing how to handle the wreckage once you’re in the clear can give you peace of mind and add an extra level of security to you and your home throughout the spring months.

 

Preparing for Spring Storms

 

While there’s no way to avoid tumultuous spring weather, you can prepare for it. With a little bit of forethought and good old-fashioned elbow grease, you can set your home up for success during the spring weather season. Once the weather outside begins to warm up, it’s time to get to work.

country-house

 Inspect Exterior

Your home’s exterior is its first line of defense, so it’s important to keep it in optimal condition. To prepare your home for spring storms, first examine the exterior. Check that your siding isn’t  loose or damaged from heavy wind and replace sections as necessary. Next, determine whether your roof has sustained damage, including damage to shingles, flashing, soffit, and fascia. Be sure to address any trouble spots on your home’s exterior right away so you’re prepared when the next storm hits.  A professional roofer understands how to maneuver around a roof with minimal risk so have a technician inspect it for you. If you identify trouble areas or think a professional is needed to thoroughly inspect your homes exterior, you can find a home inspector through the American Society of Home Inspectors.

  
 

Tune-Up Gutter System

A crucial component of your home’s defense against spring storms is the gutter system. Gutters collect and direct rainwater safely away from your home’s façade and foundation. If your gutter system is damaged or clogged, your home will be vulnerable to leaks and flooding. To prevent this from happening, clean your gutters by removing all leaves and other waste. This should be done at least twice a year—once before spring rainstorms and once before the winter snows. If you’ve never tuned your gutters before, it’s a good idea to have a professional come and inspect, repair, and secure them.

  
 

Remove Yard Waste

With spring storms come high winds that can quickly turn your property into a scene from The Wizard of Oz. To prevent unnecessary damage, remove all yard waste and potentially harmful landscaping (e.g. unstable trees, bushes, and shrubs). Take time to trim small tree limbs that may be lost in storms, and clean up any fallen twigs, sticks, and branches. If you have any dead or broken tree limbs that need to be taken care of, call a local professional and have them removed. Tree damage can not only be an eye sore in the aftermath of a storm but can create substantial damage to your home if not properly managed beforehand.  By eliminating these hazards, you’ll be reducing your risk of exterior damage from trees and other yard debris.

 
lightning

 

SOURCES OF SPRING STORM DAMAGE

 

 

Spring weather can wreak havoc on your home, subjecting it to abundant rain, high-powered winds, damaging hail, or erratic lighting. Spring storms are simultaneously expected and unpredictable, as are their consequences.

LIGHTNING

While it may not be a common occurrence, lightning striking your home can cause serious damage. In severe cases, it can ignite a fire, but more commonly, it can cause damage to your electrical work or create power outages. If your home is struck by lightning, it's important to rule out the possibility of a fire. First, check your attic for visible smoke or flames, and put out any fires with an approved extinguisher. Avoid using or touching water, electric appliances, or anything metal immediately after the lightning strikes. Call the fire department as soon as possible to report what happened. Even if you can't see flames, there may be a hidden smoldering fire in your attic or walls. It’s important to have an emergency plan in place for any potential situation. The top priority in any storm is the safety of you and your family.

  

HAIL

An unfortunate product of spring storms is hail, which can cause serious damage in a short amount of time. In most cases, you won’t be able to identify the damage until after the storm has passed. When it is safe to go outside, inspect your siding, windows, and roof for damage from hail, but never climb on your roof right after a storm. Seal off any broken or cracked windows until you can have them repaired. If you intend to file a homeowners insurance claim, report the damage to your insurance agent as soon as possible. Choose a trustworthy construction professional to perform the repairs for you and have them give a second opinion when the claims adjuster comes to estimate the repair costs.

  

RAIN

Heavy rain can cause a number of unpleasant conditions within your property, including roof leaks, flooding, and erosion. Many of these issues can be avoided by implementing proper roof and gutter maintenance, but sometimes, the storms will get the best of even a well-prepared home. If possible, minimize the damage by removing the water as it comes in by placing a bucket under the leak to prevent water from damaging your floor. If any electronics are near the leak, either in an attic or under the ceiling, it’s important to move them and unplug anything else nearby. The last thing you want is an electrical fire, and it’s important to move any potential hazards away as quickly as possible. Rain damage should be taken care of as quickly as possible to eliminate the possibility of mold growth. Rain and spring temperature changes can also lead to moisture build-up on windows. Keep windows and other trouble areas clean and sealed to prevent mold growth. Contact a professional to have your roof repaired and water damage remedied.

 

WIND

High gusts of wind can send debris and other objects flying. Wind—and its tagalongs—have the potential to seriously damage your roof and siding. After a particularly windy storm, it’s not uncommon to find shingles, branches, and even pieces of siding scattered throughout the yard. High winds can even make trees topple over onto homes. When it’s safe to go outside after high winds, assess the damage and plan your next steps, including submitting a report to your insurance agent if appropriate.

 
house

 

Identifying Storm Damage

 
 

It’s likely that your home will face more than just one storm this spring. Because of this, it's important to return all of your external systems to working order as soon as possible once the severe weather has passed. Work with a professional to identify areas that will need to be addressed to stand up against the next round of poor weather. Be sure to take photos of any damage immediately after the storm and before you attempt repairs. This will be helpful when contacting your insurance company and professional contractors.

Roof

If your area has been hit by a particularly bad storm, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected for damage. If your roof is leaking or if a tree has fallen on your home, it’s important to schedule repairs immediately. Other issues like missing shingles or hail damage should also be remedied promptly, but be sure to follow any applicable guidelines in your homeowners insurance policy. You can begin inspecting your roof by starting in the attic, checking for sunlight showing through, dark stains from water, or sagging. When in doubt, contact your local roofing professional. A trained technician can identify problems and resolve them effectively.

  
 

Gutters

Following rain and wind, unwanted gunk will appear in your gutters. After a storm, do a quick once-over to be sure there isn’t anything clogging your gutters. If there are areas of the system that are broken or sagging, address the issue quickly so the gutters are ready for the next big storm. For major repairs, contact a trustworthy professional.

  
 

Siding

Do a quick walk around your home. Look for any areas of your siding that may have been damaged in the storm. Identify missing sections and loose pieces so you or a professional can replace them promptly. You may be able to repair small holes or cracks, but for more serious damage, it’s best to replace the siding or have a professional do it for you.

 

 

Repairing Spring Storm Damage

 
 

Once you’ve identified any damaged areas of your home, it’s time to get them repaired. First and foremost, it’s important that you act quickly and safely. The sooner the damage is taken care of, the better off your home will be. If your home needs repairs that you’re not comfortable doing on your own, contact your local construction professional.

roofer

Repairing Spring Storm Damage

Once you’ve identified any damaged areas of your home, it’s time to get them repaired. First and foremost, it’s important that you act quickly and safely. The sooner the damage is taken care of, the better off your home will be. If your home needs repairs that you’re not comfortable doing on your own, contact your local construction professional.

  
 

Understand Your Insurance

Contacting your insurance agent is your first step when facing storm damage repairs. They will be able to assess the damage and let you know if you should file a claim. Remember to understand the terms of your insurance policy so you can get the most out of your homeowners’ coverage. Keep receipts for all work, even work done by you, to receive reimbursement if you file a claim. Most natural disasters are covered in homeowners insurance, with the exception of flood insurance.

  
 

Know What You Can (And Can’t) Do

Some repairs cannot be done without professional help. Don’t risk your safety or the welfare of your home by attempting a repair out of your range of expertise. Never attempt to fix any electrical wire damage. If temporary fixes need to be made before a professional comes, be sure that you approach those fixes with care, as well. Temporary fixes are not long term plans. Doing seemingly quick and easy yearly repairs can be more costly in the long run than doing it right from the start.