A flooded house after a storm.

With hurricane season looming from June to November, now’s the time to batten down the hatches. Although hurricanes occur most frequently in September, with August being the second most active, hurricanes can strike outside of that time frame, too. The Colorado State University forecast predicts a more active than normal hurricane season for 2021, with at least four major storms in the year. Hopefully, these storms pass by quickly and safely with no need for home damage restoration afterward. If they don’t, this is what you need to know.

Home Restoration When You Need It Most

Our entire Louisiana region sits at or below sea level. Our beautiful geography and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico mean glorious sunsets and lazy days on the bayou, but it also means an increased chance of damage due to hurricanes and major storms. In 2020, insurance companies paid out $4.5 billion dollars to over 100,000 storm-related claims.

Hurricane damage can affect your home from the foundation to the roofline.

Wind speeds of over 150 miles per hour can rip off roofs, break windows, send tree limbs through your upper stories, and fling cars around like paper airplanes. Heavy rain and storm surges can cause flooding and water damage from leaking roofs and unsealed windows.

Quick home damage restoration is crucial. A water-logged home that is not properly dried and repaired can lead to black mold and problems in the foundation. Leaky roofs continue to allow water into the rafters and walls of your home.

MLM Incorporated is ready to help. This guide covers the basics of home damage restoration, but please reach out if you have specific questions or need more information. Our experienced Louisiana contractors are here to help.

What Are The Most Common Types Of Storm Damage?

There is a wide variety of potential types of storm damage, but they all arise from just two causes: wind and water.

Common storm damage due to wind and water includes:

  • Flooding
  • Roof damage (roof removed entirely or missing shingles/tiles)
  • Blown-in garage doors
  • Water damage in walls
  • Damage from projectiles
  • Damaged exterior doors
  • Damaged in-ground pools
  • Torn off siding
  • Blown off roof turbines
  • End gable collapse
  • Blown off porches or carports
  • Leaking septic tank

The above list doesn’t begin to include damage to items inside your home (e.g., furniture and spoiled food) or discuss the possibility of fire. It’s clear from this list, and from the Gulf Coast’s stormy history, that locating a professional and timely disaster restoration company is crucial for hurricane season.

How Does The Hurricane And Storm Damage Restoration Process Work?

The first two things to do when your home is damaged in a major storm are to prevent further damage by covering any openings in your home and call your insurance company. Once this is done, home damage restoration can begin.

We’ll cover water damage more specifically in the next section, but here’s the general process we’ll take for non-water-related home damage restoration.

Windows

If your windows are blown out during strong winds, or broken by projectiles, it’s important to get them covered as soon as possible.

After covering them, home damage restoration includes not only replacing the windows but also checking to make sure there is no water or wind damage to the frame around the windows.

Roof damage

Roof damage can range from a few missing shingles to the entire roof sent swirling down the block. You’ll need a qualified contractor to take a look at the entire roof – not just the damaged section – to see if there are other structural issues to address.

Once the damage is assessed, repairs can begin.

Blown in doors and garages

As with windows, home damage restoration of blown-in doors goes beyond just replacing the door. Any damage to doors in the home represents a minor structural weakness that is usually supported by the door. When the door is ripped away or blown, it’s possible that walls and floors may buckle.

Replacing a door also means evaluating the whole wall, looking for weak points and other potential damage to the framing.

Other damage from wind

Ripped off roof turbines, crumpled gazebos, and crushed siding are all common types of wind damage. Even if the damage appears isolated, it’s always important to evaluate the area around the damage.

How Do You Fix Water Damage In Your House?

Water damage is some of the most challenging to address. If you are experiencing flooding in your home, take immediate steps to move to safety. Water not only presents the threat of drowning but water in a flooding event can also be filled with harmful chemicals and bacteria.

Once you are safe, there are other actions to take. If it is possible to reach it without harm, turn off power to your house, stop the water if you can, and call your insurance company to report the damage.

When the storm is over, it’s time to call in professional help.

How Does The Water Damage Restoration Process Work?

Water damage restoration begins with phone calls. Call your insurance company if you have not already done so, then reach out to the electric, sewer, and gas companies if you see or suspect damage.

Next, you’ll need a clean-up crew that specializes in flood damage restorations. They are the advance team that moves in to get rid of potentially dangerous water, debris, and detritus.

An expert, dependable contractor is your next call. Look for a residential expert – one that deals specifically in historic homes if you need one in the New Orleans area. You may need expert mold remediation, or you might need demolition and rebuilding. Disaster restoration companies will assess the damage and create a plan to repair it.

It’s hard to predict how long this process takes. Much of it depends on how extensive the damage is. If your home has experienced standing water, plan on at least a three-day dry-out time, followed by a week or more of water damage restoration.

How Does The Fire Damage Restoration Process Work?

Fire is another serious risk during a storm. Downed power lines can set trees and homes ablaze in seconds.

It’s important to stay away from your home until you receive permission to enter it. Hidden sparks and chemical off-gassing from a fire can be hazardous to your health in the short and long-term.

Once it’s safe to return, you’ll retrieve whatever personal items you can before home damage restoration professionals move in. They will assess the extent of the damage and work with you to plan repairs.

In some cases, fire damage may be so extensive as to warrant more demolition before repairs can begin. An architect or design-build contractor is necessary to develop blueprints for reconstruction.

Damage from soot also requires extensive cleaning that may reveal areas of drywall that need to be replaced or repaired.

There is no set time for how long these repairs will take. A small area of fire damage may be repaired in a few days, but a more extensive area can take months.

Can Home Restoration Companies Work With My Insurance?

At MLM, we want to make home damage restoration as simple as possible for you, so we work with your insurance company to streamline your restoration process whenever we can.

Here are the four steps to get started:

  1. Take pictures of the damage
  2. Call your insurance company and schedule an adjustor’s visit
  3. Secure a statement of loss
  4. Call MLM Incorporated to schedule your estimate

That’s it! Getting in touch with your insurance company as soon as you can jumpstart the process and choosing a contractor who deals with a variety of insurance companies makes it easier too. We’ll help answer any questions or provide clarity to your insurance adjuster.

What We Do At MLM

MLM Incorporated has been serving the Gulf South since 2006. We bring extensive knowledge and experience on a variety of projects. From ground-up design-build services to period-restorations of beautiful historic homes, our attention to detail and desire to meet your high expectations make us one of the leading contractors in the area. We’ve been consistently awarded Best of Houzz since 2015 and have been named a “top 5” remodeler by GC Magazine and recognized as 40 under 40 by Professional Remodeler Magazine.

Stormy weather rolling across the Gulf of Mexico is hard enough to deal with. Let us help you with the aftermath. If you need home damage restoration, MLM Incorporated can help. We can even help you prepare your home for storms yet to come.

Get in touch today to hear more about what we do.