Your “After-the-Rainstorm” Homeowner Checklist
Congratulations! You’ve made it through one of those violent, scary rainstorms with your house still intact. But now that the weather has calmed, it’s time to examine the aftermath.
Certainly, you’ll want to check your fence, clear your yard of debris, and make sure that any vehicles parked outdoors do not require repairs. However, just because you don’t have a fallen tree sticking out of your roof doesn’t mean that your house made it through the maelstrom unscathed. So it’s important to take the time to inspect your house for signs of damage.
Here is your “after-the-rainstorm” checklist:
- Roof. Walk away from your home to where you have a good angle to observe the roof. If you see any spots which may look damaged or where shingles have been displaced, get a ladder and go up on the roof to take a closer look.
- Gutters. Walk around your home and inspect your entire guttering system. Look for any places where your gutters have become unattached to your roof. Check to see if any of the metal gutter sections are cracked or bent. If you have gutter covers, be sure to check those as well.
- Plumbing. Flush all of the toilets in your home and turn on all of the faucets (not all at once!). Look for water leaks around the fixtures themselves and on the pipes that connect to them. Inspect all other interior pipes for evidence of leakage.
- Water heater/softener. Examine the bases of these appliances and the areas around them. See if there is any water damage that was not there prior to the storm. Hand-check the connections to the surrounding pipes for tightness as well.
- Foundation. Observe your house’s foundation and any slabs on your property. Try to identify any cracks that are new or weren’t visible before the storm struck.
- Interior cracks. Look at the walls inside your home to determine if there are any new cracks. If these cracks are a quarter inch or longer, then they could indicate that your house has shifted or settled. Scrutinize the areas around doors and windows; these are the weak spots in your house where cracks tend to appear.
- Floors. Note any elevation changes in your flooring. If the floor slopes, buckles, or dips where it hadn’t before, it may be a clue that your foundation has shifted.
- Closets. Don’t forget to check closets, cabinets, pantries, crawl spaces, and any rooms which are rarely used. You don’t want any storm-related problems to fester and worsen in areas that you don’t see every day.
If there is anything that requires a professional to fix, contact a contractor as soon as possible. Lots of homeowners in your area might be experiencing the same issues — and you don’t want to be put on a weeks-long waiting list because you put off making the call.
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