Even though we plan for everything, life remains unpredictable. After all, you never know when a natural disaster turns your life upside down – all in a matter of seconds. Floods, cyclones, and earthquakes have destroyed many homes, leaving people vulnerable and helpless. Not only looking at the damaged home feels overwhelming, but homeowners also feel daunted by the size of the task. After all, restoring a home after a natural calamity is no cakewalk.
However, you can use it as an opportunity to make changes you always wanted in your home. Instead of taking a lot of stress about rebuilding, look at this as a renovation process to get your humble abode back in shape. Firstly, you have to find a reputable contractor and list down things that need significant overhauling. For instance, if the walls or ceiling have cracked from corners, you’ll have to repair that before anything else.
Most importantly, you have to work with the insurance provider to reduce the financial burden on your shoulders. They would cover at least 80% of the damage costs, eliminating out of the pocket expenses. If you don’t know from where to begin, have a look below. Here is a guide to restoring your humble abode after a natural calamity.
1. Look for Qualified Contractors
In the home restoration service industry, you would find plenty of contractors claiming to be the best. But unfortunately, not all of them have expertise in rebuilding homes; instead, some are only storm chasers who swindle miserable homeowners. Therefore, you have to be extra vigilant while looking for a contractor. Besides social media, search for contractors within your region.
If you reside in flash flood alley – Texas, look for contractors specializing in total restoration of Austin to hire the best in town. Bringing someone on board with years of experience and a versatile skill set will ensure your home is in good hands. Besides this, a qualified contractor would conform to the highest industry standards, providing a specialized process. You can even ask them to use high-quality material that prevents future damages.
2. Create a Restoration List
When it comes to restoring a home, you have to look after a myriad of things simultaneously. Well, preparing a comprehensive restoration checklist can help during the entire process. You can start by noting down the cleaning chores since removing the debris and waste is the first step. After that, include everything that would go in the remodeling and restoration process. From repairing minor dents to fixing cracks in the ceiling, you have to write everything in one place.
Once the list is ready, prioritize the most urgent tasks to get your home back in shape quickly. Remember, the aftermath of a natural disaster can be physically and emotionally exhausting. But, having a proper plan will help you figure out things quickly, ensuring your family has what it needs. In addition, this list would give a realistic idea about the potential restoration costs.
3. Protect Your Belongings
During the cleaning process, remove the items that you can clean and use again. Often, the clothes and shoes secured inside closets remain unharmed after the natural calamity. Hence, ensure to take out everything and store them in a safe location. Likewise, open the drawers of your dresser and check if all your belongings are undamaged. You have to move the entire dresser outside in the garage and clean it up.
The same goes for the furniture. If any piece of the furniture is in an acceptable condition, place it outside, under the sun. After cleaning, wait for a couple of hours to let everything dry properly; otherwise, mold might start developing. You can place everything inside the garage or at a safe location until your home’s restoration process gets completed.
4. Restore the Roof
Sometimes, homeowners have to replace the entire roof after a natural disaster. When it comes to the ceiling, you have to get your hands on high-quality shingles and complete the flashing. It would ensure the roof can survive future cyclones and storms. For additional protection, you can add hurricane strapping since it holds onto the roof better. It consists of a truss system where the roofer attaches clips and straps to the house-framing system.
The job doesn’t end after restoring the roof; you have to keep checking it regularly. You have to look for curled shingles, water leaks, and hail damage. Even a slight bit of damage on the roof can leave your entire home vulnerable. Thus, ensure you are on top of everything.
5. Toughen Up Interior Walls
Did your home sustain water damage? Floodwater carries contaminants that hurt the entire home’s structure which might include some sensitive storage. It means you have to remove the materials down to the framing. Also, you have to deodorize everything to kill the microbes that water leaves behind. Once you have cleared up the material, toughen up the interior walls. For the attic and basement, install water-resistant materials. Similarly, consider replacing the dry walls with a cement board since it won’t absorb moisture.
Besides this, replace the wooden frames around the walls. Wood soaks all the water immediately, making it look undamaged, but after a few days, the wood starts falling apart. If not timber, you can use a polyvinyl chloride-based board to strengthen the interior wall’s grip.
6. Work Closely with the Insurance Company
Truthfully, getting a rightful claim from the insurance company is the most challenging bit. After all, they rarely accept claims. Therefore, notify your insurance provider and cater to all requests they have regarding your damaged property. You can even allow them to thoroughly evaluate the damage if the insurance provider has the expertise to survey the property. In addition, give a list of expenses and damage costs to ensure it aligns with the settlement.
Moreover, polish up your negotiation skills because insurance agents have incredible convincing power. Instead of letting them talk their way into a low claim, negotiate for the settlement you deserve. However, if the insurance company doesn’t agree on a rightful claim, bring your lawyer on board. You can appeal to get compensation for the damages and take the case to court.
Honestly, seeing your humble abode getting damaged can be super overwhelming. The flood destroys the floors, whereas hurricanes drastically damage the walls and ceilings. Instead of being sad, try to restore the house at your earliest possible. You have to find qualified contractors, create a restoration list, and protect your belongings. Also, work with the insurance company to get a rightful claim covering all the restoration costs and saving you the financial burden.
Article Submitted By Community Writer