Here is a great hurricane damage checklist when your inspecting your home after the storm has moved out.
PLEASE be safe when doing this. Do NOT take any chances when inspecting roofs or sources of electricity. ALWAYS call a professional before taking any unnecessary risk. We at B. Chaney Improvements are always happy to help or recommend a specialist to help.
1. Start at the roof and work your way down. If the roof is steep and high, use binoculars to inspect it. If it’s shallow and you’re comfortable on a roof, get up there and have a peek. Look carefully at valleys where roof planes intersect. Check anything that comes up through the roof, such as vent stacks. Look at the chimney top and flashing.
In all these places, look for anything loose or missing. If you do see that some pieces blew away, roofing cement and other materials can provide a temporary repair to seal out water. But you’ll need a permanent repair for loose or missing shingles before winter comes.
2. Have a look at the dryer vent outlet. Is it plugged with debris that flew in during the storm? If necessary, get up on a ladder and look inside with a bright flashlight to see if there’s anything you need to remove. When the dryer’s running, the louver flaps should open easily and you should see signs of a steady stream of warm, moist air coming out of it.
3. The same goes for your home’s furnace or boiler vents if they run directly through the wall. Inspect the vent opening for damage and look inside to make sure it’s not plugged by debris, especially bits of shattered leaves hurled into it by hurricane force winds.
4. Visually inspect your home’s electrical service entrance. It should look as it did before the storm. If it’s sagging or leaning you’ve got trouble. Contact an electrician immediately.
5. Are the shutters and exterior trim okay? If anything looks like it’s loosened, get up there on a ladder and have a closer look.
6. Check gutters and downspouts, which can come loose if the wind catches them. If you can, have a look from a ladder. A gutter loosened by high winds will eventually swing loose; it can do some real damage when it finally works itself free, such as breaking a window or flying off the house and onto a car parked in the driveway. If you suspect you have a loose gutter and it’s too tall for you to get at with your ladder, call a roofing and gutter company immediately.
7. Fences are notorious for suffering post-storm problems. Take a walk down your fence row and push against it to check for storm-weakened areas. Also check features such as vine-covered lattices or house-mounted flag pole brackets, which could be hanging by a thread after the storm. Manually inspecting these takes just a few minutes, and securing them takes not much more. Do it now, before damage happens in winter, when such features will be harder to fix.
8. Finally, if you’ve got large trees on your property, this is the time to reconsider them. The bigger they are, the more likely it is that you’ll need a licensed tree professional to give them a thorough inspection. Think twice about whether you even want those big trees anymore. In the post-Matthew world, big trees are as likely to devalue your property as they were to contribute to it.