Earth, Wind and Fire – 5 Steps for Restoring Your Damaged Home

home damage #1Finding your home devastated by a natural disaster, flooding or a fire can be very stressful. From losing personal valuables to wondering how you can afford to rebuild, there are lot of thoughts that can go through your mind in the days after the damage. Whether you need to rebuild a specific area or fix up your entire home, following the five steps below can help you come up with a smart recovery plan that works for your needs and budget.

Call Your Insurance Carrier

The sooner you start the claims process, the faster you can get the funds you need to repair the damage to your home. When you contact your insurance company, have your insurance plan on hand to avoid any confusion over the extent of your coverage. The sooner you start the claims process, the sooner you will be able to take care of the disaster and get everything cleaned up and fixed. Your insurance carrier or agent can also answer any questions or concerns you have about costs or damages, so don’t be shy about going to them with concerns.

Take Pictures

Before you start cleaning up, take close-up pictures of all damaged areas. If you plan to file an insurance claim, chances are that your insurance carrier will ask for proof of loss. You will also need to submit proof of repairs if you want to get compensated for any out-of-pocket repairs you do before your claim is paid out. Although you might be stressed or traumatized because of the disaster, this is an important step that people often skip over. Luckily, today most phones have a camera on them so you can snap a few shots before you clear the area. The more pictures you get ,the better.

Stay Safe

While paying for a hotel room or packing up for a relative’s house can seem especially stressful in an emergency situation, your home may not be suitable for human habitation if it is severely damaged. Warning signs you need to take seriously include exposed wiring, broken gas lines, structural damage and standing water. Remember to turn off your gas and electric power supply before you head out. Until you are told by a professional that it is safe to stay in your home, it is best to get out as soon as possible and find other arrangements. You need to get the “all-clear” from a pro before you think about moving yourself and your family back in.

home damage #2Talk to Independent Insurance Adjusters

If the estimate you get from your insurance company sounds too low, do not accept any settlements before you get a new quote from an independent insurance adjuster. While it is good to get and original estimate, don’t be afraid to question it. It’s okay to shop around to make sure you are getting what you deserve. If you don’t know much about insurance or have a good idea of what your estimate should be, it might be a good idea to talk to an insurance agent who is not your own. An outside agent should give you an honest estimate and could tell you if you are getting ripped off or not.

Hire Professional Contractors

When you are financially ready to begin repairs, look for reputable contractors in your area with experience in damage recovery. Before committing to a specific company, make sure their workers are licensed and insured. Calling a fire damage restoration company or water damage company should really be done as soon as possible so you can get a professional in there to check things out. If you stay in your home too long after a disaster or emergency like this, you could be threatening the safety of your family. These companies know what they are doing and have the equipment and expertise necessary to salvage your home.

 

As you go through the process of dealing with your home’s damage, keep in mind that there are many different resources you can look into if you are feeling overwhelmed. For example, homeowners who experience a large-scale natural disaster may qualify for public emergency funds from the local or federal government. You can also get in touch with local non-profit organizations for homeowners to learn more about financial assistance services and restoration programs in your area.

 

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