5 Essential Storm Cleanup Tips for Homeowners
These days, it seems like severe weather is everywhere. Many homeowners are taking the brunt of the damage. If you’ve recently gone through a severe weather event, check out these five essential storm cleanup tips. We’ve got the info that you need to know about how to help your house get back to normal as quickly as possible.
5 storm cleanup tips that every homeowner needs to know
1. Take photos of any significant damage first.
Although this isn’t necessarily a cleanup tip within itself, it’s an important step that many homeowners forget in their haste to get back to normal after a major storm. If the damage to your home is significant enough that you’re thinking of making an insurance claim or contacting FEMA for assistance, either organization is going to want photo evidence. Make sure you take dated photos of the aftermath before you start working on the cleanup process.
2. Properly dry out after a flood (The top priority among all storm cleanup tips).
Once you have your photo evidence in hand, the next step should be to clean up any standing water. To start, turn on your sump pump. However, if there is any standing water after it does its thing, the next step is to clean the remainder up with a wet vac. After that’s done, take another pass over the area with a mop and bucket.
Next, do your best to ensure that air starts circulating in order to dry the area out. Open any windows, turn on any fans, and bring in a few dehumidifiers to help speed up the process. However, if the area has been drywalled and the drywall is wet, it’s unlikely that it will dry out completely. Plus, it can become a breeding ground for mold. To that end, you’re going to want to replace any wet patches, as well as any wet insulation.
Then, turn your attention to your personal belongings in the space. You’ll likely want to throw away anything that has a high chance of starting to mold, such as area rugs or window treatments. Once that’s done, you can start disinfecting the rest of your belongings with a mixture of warm water and bleach.
3. Check the interior and exterior for roof damage.
If your storm brought high winds along with it, checking for roof damage should be near the top of your to-do list. After all, exposed roof areas can lead to further damage from the moisture that can seep into your home through those areas during future weather events.
First, walk around the outside of your home and make a note of any damage you see to the roof’s exterior. If there are any missing shingles, replacing them should be your first priority the next time you’re ready to do some home maintenance. However, for any more extensive damage, you’re going to want to bring in a roofing contractor.
Then, once that’s done, check your home’s ceilings for wet spots or other signs of an active leak. If you find any, make a call to a roofing contractor, as wet spots are often a sign of greater roof damage. The contractor should also be able to tell you how to protect your home’s interior until they can complete the visit.
4. Safely handle yard cleanup.
When you’re ready to tackle yard cleanup, the first thing you should do is look for any fallen trees. If a tree has fallen or been seriously damaged, you’re going to want to call a tree specialist to help you. That said, if a tree has fallen close to power lines, your first call should be to the utility company to get them to discontinue service to the line until the problem can be fixed.
In all likelihood, you should be able to handle the rest of the yard work on your own. Any damaged shrubs will need to be pruned, regardless of the season. Additionally, any smaller branches and debris can be disposed of using yard waste bags. Finally, all you need is a rake to help you get rid of excess leaves.
5. Tackle any broken windows.
Lastly, if your windows broke during the storm, you’ll want to board them up for safety. Most of the time, you’ll need to call in a trained professional to help you fix or replace the damaged window. Still, if there is only a single pane of glass, you may be able to re-glaze it yourself.
The bottom line on these storm cleanup tips
Unfortunately, storm cleanup is never pleasant, but it is important that these tasks get handled the right way. If you’re unsure how to handle a fix, this is one situation where you shouldn’t be afraid to call in a trained professional to assist you. These tasks can often be dangerous and, as always, it is much better to be safe than sorry.