Here in the Tampa Bay area hurricanes are a constant source of concern until hurricane season finally ends on November 30. Since we’re in the business of helping to protect homes from water and storm damage we’ve put together some simple tips for inspecting your home once the storm has passed.
Be aware that you should rarely try to solve these problems yourself. Hurricane home damage often requires the aid of an experienced professional for the sake of safety and your home’s long-term comfort and value.
Don’t stress over the expense. Instead, put in your homeowner’s insurance claim as quickly as possible after the storm has passed so you can get the help that you need.
What to Check
Check for the following:
- If you find standing water, especially around appliances or your gas meter, turn off the power and call a flood restoration pro right away.
- Call the power company if you see sagging power poles, downed power lines or power lines entangled with trees.
- Test your plumbing to make sure all your faucets and toilets work.
- Check your internal pipes for any new drips or leaks.
- Check for water damage in closets and crawl spaces – don’t count on seeing it later since these areas are rarely used.
- Look for loose shingles on your roof which might develop into roof leaks later.
- Check for cracks or buckling at your foundation slab.
- Walk your floors to see if the floors are warped in any way, which can also be an evidence of foundation damage.
- Check interior cracks, especially around windows and doors, for areas that might leak or become drywall holes.
- Check to make sure that the pipes to your water softener and heater are still tight.
What About Your Gutters?
In the scheme of things, your gutters will be the least of your worries AFTER a hurricane. Ideally, you’d check your gutters prior to a hurricane as they are an important part of keeping your home safe from water damage. Make sure, for example, that you clean your gutters before the storm is expected.
Once you’ve checked all the more important things outlined in the list above, you should check your gutters and downspouts after a hurricane as well. Look for evidence that your gutters need repair, since high hurricane winds can sometimes pull them loose.
Note that standing water around your foundation after a hurricane is not necessarily a symptom of a bad gutter system, since rainfall in hurricanes can sometimes become so intense that some standing water accumulates in spite of a gutter system’s best efforts.
You should also make these kinds of home inspections after any storm involving heavy rains and high winds, since Florida can experience this kind of severe weather beyond the hurricane season.
If your gutters do become damaged in a storm then call us for a quick, timely, and free estimate on repairing or replacing them. We’ve been repairing and installing gutters for residents in Land O’ Lakes, Clearwater, Largo and all of central Florida for over 37 years. Our gutters can help protect your home from other kinds of expensive water damage associated with heavy storms and rainfall.