Green Bay, WI is one of those cities that seems to get Winter storms right up until the first day of Summer… and Summer storms are serious business in Wisconsin, too. Even a mild storm can cause serious damages from wrecked fences and siding to shredded roofs, broken windows and uprooted trees. So, the first step to making sure you’re going to be in good shape after a storm: Check your homeowners insurance policy. You’re probably protected from all the basics like wind damage, but you may need extra protection against things like flooding. If you know you’re covered, you have peace of mind that no matter how bad the storm gets, your insurance provider has your back.
So what else do we need to do to stay safe after a storm?
Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
The initial damages caused by the storm, the torn shingles and siding, the broken windows, that’s probably going to be covered by your insurer. But these damages can create a domino effect. Today it’s a broken window; tomorrow it’s a soaked carpet from mild rain coming in through that broken window. So any damages you can get under control, get on it. Tarps on broken windows, buckets under leaks, you know the drill. Right now, you’re probably covered. But if further damages only took place because you didn’t get the problem under control, that might be chalked up to homeowner negligence.
Don’t Talk To Contractors Just Yet
There’s no point in hiring a contractor until you’ve called your insurance agency and had their appraiser come out and get an idea of what it’s going to cost to fix everything. Any contractor who tries to get in touch with you before you can call your agent is probably a storm chaser, a fly-by-night huckster who swoops in after a storm, and usually just takes the insurance check and skips town. You can also spot these guys by their makeshift websites, lack of online reviews or yellow pages listing, and strong-arm sales tactics. Talk to your insurer, first.
Research Your Team
Once you’ve got your claim filed and your damages under control, it’s time to call in a team of contractors to fix your house up. Research, research, research. Look up online reviews and reports, check them out on sites and databases like Better Business Bureau. Make sure that they’re on the level, that they do the job as promised, and that they deliver good, reliable work. Your insurer is only going to pay for those storm damages once, so you don’t want to have to pay out of pocket three months down the line when the first crew’s glue-and-sawdust patch starts to fall apart in the rain.
The most important thing is just to keep a level head. Storm chasers prey on the anxiety that homeowners experience immediately following a storm, and that anxiety isn’t going to help you figure out how to control the damages, or which contractor to hire. The damages can be repaired, and your insurance provider will pay for most of it. So don’t stress. Keep your cool and get it done.