After a devastating storm wreaks havoc on your home, the disaster cleanup can be just as scary as the storm itself. With a seemingly endless list of tasks like filing an insurance claim, finding another place to stay, and figuring out how to clean up the mess, it’s understandable if you don’t know where to begin.
Depending on the type of damage your home has suffered, storm cleanup usually involves time-sensitive urgency. Even minor or moderate home damage can quickly progress into serious safety or structural issues, so managing the mess as soon as possible is a top priority. Whether you’re dealing with broken roofing, fire damage, or another dangerous home hazard, here are 5 realistic ways to approach the mess with long-term resolutions in mind.
1. Assess the Damage & Take Pictures
Since severe weather events can damage everything from shingles to plumbing, performing a detailed property analysis is the first step. If the damage is extremely severe, you may need to contact a Philadelphia storm damage company to assist with this process; if there is dangerous flooding, fire damage, or other high-risk hazards like broken glass and insulation present in the home, it may be too dangerous for you to investigate the damage alone. A licensed damage restoration company knows which hazards to look out for, and can help you define a step-by-step plan of action to manage the problem in an organized and cautious manner.
If the storm damage is less serious, you may be able to handle the initial home assessment on your own. As you patrol your home and inspect for damage, take pictures as you go (to support your insurance claim). During your home assessment, here are a few common issues to look for:
- Roofing, Gutter, & Siding Damage
- Broken Windows, Frames, & Doors
- Leaking Water Near the Sinks, Toilets, & Water Lines
- Damaged Tiles, Cabinets, & Other Interior Items
- Malfunctioning HVAC, Furnace, & Other Appliances
- Cracks in the Walls, Flooring, & Other Exposed Surfaces
2. Remove Debris With Caution
After the assessment, you should have a clear idea of which cleanup tasks require your immediate attention. Begin by clearing any storm debris from your exteriors, clean up interior debris like broken glass and other tripping hazards, and leave any high-risk debris issues to the professionals. Your mess may be filled with dangerous materials like asbestos, insulation, or moldy particulates, so your cleanup may require the attention of specialists who are trained in handling and disposing of dangerous materials.
3. Begin Drying Your Home if Water is Present
Among the most common storm-related issues is serious water damage. Whether the storm cracked your roof or burst a pipe, removing water quickly and preventing more from entering is essential. Even small water leaks or minor roofing damage can lead to serious problems like mold accumulation or electrical fires if left unattended.
Before our water damage restoration company in Philadelphia arrives, do your best to remove electronics, furniture, and other sensitive materials away from the source of the water. Of course, if the leak or flooding damage is serious, it may not be safe for you to enter the area if electrical issues or submerged debris are a factor. However severe the water damage is, do your best to ventilate the area by opening your windows and doors. Once our specialists arrive, we’ll quickly contain the source, remove the water, and utilize a multi-tiered drying strategy to prevent mold and other moisture-related damage from spreading.
4. Smoke & Fire Damage Cleanup
If the storm caused an electrical fire or furnace issue that’s filled your home with dangerous smoke or extensive fire damage, these are serious cleanup tasks that should not be managed alone. Since these rooms may be filled with caustic chemicals and particulates that can damage your lungs, eyes, and skin, respirators and other specialty cleanup equipment are required. Allow our professionals to remove the soot, ash, and other damaged materials safely before we restore your property to its like-new condition.
5. Contact Us for Strategic Mold Remediation
If a cracked section of roofing or a minor leak was overlooked during your initial inspection, you may discover an unexpected mold issue in your walls or attic. We’re tactical mold removal experts, and protect our clients and their homes with comprehensive mold elimination. We identify and stop the source of the moisture, remove all traces of the mold accumulation, and utilize advanced solutions to prevent mold recurrence with your long-term home safety in mind.