Here’s what you can do if a summer storm, hurricane or hailstorm strikes, plus what to do if a tree falls on your house.
You don’t need a hurricane warning to crank up your stress level about possible storm damage to your home. Even a short-lived hailstorm can literally take a bite out of your siding or your roof.
Here’s what you need to know to help your home’s exterior recover from a brutal storm.
How the Wind Blows
Odds are, your house won’t be carried off and land on a witch — that only happens in the movies. But there are some real risks: power lines could come down, trees and branches may fall on your roof, shingles may get whisked away, and gutters could loosen or fall.
*Call the police and power company right away if power lines are down. If you feel unsafe, leave the property.
*If a tree falls on your house, call a professional tree service to remove it. And call your insurance company and take photos or video of the damage, if possible.
“If there’s debris and you can safely remove it from your roof, you should clean it up,” says Dave Lincon, a home improvement expert for Sears Home Services. “Check for holes or intrusions and tarp those off until you can get a professional to go over your options. If you need a full roof replacement, Sears has you covered.”
On the front and sides, if your shakes have lifted or pulled completely away, you can cut out an area and replace it with something that blends in.
“But that can be difficult,” Lincon says. “You might consider replacing them with siding. For a better price point and value, Sears can take out the shake and replace it with a similar-look vinyl, which will last longer.”
Gutters won’t do you any good if they’re hanging perpendicular to the ground.
“If a storm’s bad enough, even if you had gutters with steel rods attached to your joists, they still might blow off,” Lincon says. “And if your gutters are blowing off, it’s likely they were on their last legs.”
New gutters will have new fasteners, and everything will be sealed properly.
How to Identify Water Damage
Heavy rain doesn’t necessarily mean damage, but flooding and standing water can do a number on siding.
“Any areas exposed to water have the potential for mold, algae growth or rot,” Lincon says. “Examine them to determine if there will be long-term negative effects.”
Even vinyl siding should be checked out. Pull it back slightly at the base of the house to look for any signs of mold or water damage.
“If there’s a flood, you can almost guarantee there will be some sort of damage; you just have to determine what level of damage,” Lincon says.
Water can seep into the insulation, which acts as a sponge. “Look for swelling, bowing or buckling on your siding,” he suggests.
Call a professional if you have any concerns about siding after a flood or storm. Sears offers myriad options in vinyl siding replacement.
Learn more about Sears’ options for roofing, siding and windows so you and your home will be prepared for anything.