Almost every season is storm season in Oklahoma. Sometimes, these events occur suddenly and are very localized, so the sun may be shining in Tulsa while there is a dangerous hailstorm in Broken Arrow. Other times, commercial weather forecasters “cry wolf” about almost every approaching storm, and so both residents and business-owners are unprepared when serious damages does occur.
Weather-related events cause over $4 billion in property damage a year, most of it due to hailstorms and flash floods. Knowing what to do in the hours after the storm passes is often the difference between a successful resolution with the insurance company and an expensive and protracted legal dispute that is difficult to win.
Types of Storm Damage
In general, building materials are designed to withstand everyday wear and tear, as well as long-term exposure to ultraviolet rays and other mild adverse conditions. So, one rather serious event is enough to either do damage or weaken the structure to the extent that damage is inevitable. Some of the more common types of damage include:
- Hail: A hailstorm is almost like striking one’s roof with a hammer. As a rule of thumb, anything larger than pea-size can leave pockmarks on roof shingles that weaken the roof and dislodge the protective granules that guard against UV ray damage.
- Wind: Sustained high winds or large wind gusts literally peel the shingles off the roof; moreover, high winds transform loose objects into high-speed projectiles.
- Rain: In most areas, municipal drainage systems quickly become overwhelmed during sustained heavy rains, and water virtually destroys anything it touches.
All these events require prompt responses, because insurance companies are often quick to deny or reduce payment if there is any evidence that delay on the owner’s part may have made the damages worse.
What to Do
As is the case in many other disasters, preparedness is a key to recovery. To make restoration less costly and time-consuming, here are a few things to do:
- Visual Inspection: Laypeople can obviously not see all the damage that professionals identify, but a broken shingle is a broken shingle. In addition to offering a starting point for repairs, pictures can often be effective before-and-after displays.
- Check Non-Roof Areas: If windows, gutters, walls, and other structures are damaged, there is probably hidden damage on the roof as well.
- Leaks: Even if there is no dripping water, the roof may still be leaking, so check for discoloration and hanging drywall. Also, check the attic with a flashlight.
- Get Help: Having established a baseline, reach out to an experienced contractor. Do a little research before you call anyone.
- Call the Insurance Company: Many people reverse the process and call the insurance company first, so they really do not know what they need. Once the inspection process is complete, and once you have a contractor you trust, have the adjuster come out to the property.
Don’t hesitate to ask the contractors things like how long they have been in business under the same name, their status with the Better Business Bureau, and how much insurance they have. If you don’t like the answers, call someone else.
Contact Dedicated Contractors
At Dason Fire & Water Restoration, we are committed to the Tulsa/Broken Arrow community. Contact us online or call today at 918-379-0390 for prompt assistance.