Let’s face it: living in Orlando, FL, has its perks. And who wouldn’t love being near world-class theme parks, beautiful beaches, and enjoying an almost eternal summer? But let’s not forget; it’s also part of the Sunshine State, which gets its fair share of stormy weather, including hurricanes.
According to the National Weather Service, Orlando experiences an average of 50.6 inches of rainfall annually. Moreover, as reported by the Orlando Sentinel, Hurricane Irma alone caused damage to more than 7,900 homes in Orange County in 2017. Residents must know how to effectively repair their homes after a storm. If you’re looking to safeguard your property and restore it to its former glory, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s delve into some actionable tips.
Evaluate the damage
Before anything else, the very first step is to evaluate the damage. Safety is paramount. Check for hazards like exposed nails, broken glass, or potential electrical issues. If you’re unsure about something, don’t hesitate to call a professional to assess the situation. Even in a city like Orlando, where the construction is generally solid, storms can wreak havoc.
Contact your insurance company
Your home is one of your most significant investments. If you have home insurance (and you should, especially in a storm-prone area), contact your provider immediately to report any damage. Photograph and document everything before you start any repairs. This is imperative for validating your claim and can significantly speed up reimbursement.
Start by addressing the most pressing issues. Fix broken windows, patch up holes in the roof, and remove hazardous debris from your property. While perfecting your living room decor first is tempting, your primary concern should be structural integrity and safety.
In Orlando, FL, the expense can fluctuate widely, ranging from $1,306 to as much as $5,721, with the median cost settling around $3,477. Several factors contribute to this price variation, including the extent of the damage, the category of water involved, and the specific location where the damage occurred. An Orlando water damage company can help with water extraction, drying, and mold prevention, helping to restore your home to its pre-storm condition. The Flood Pros USA is a leading provider of flood and water damage restoration services, known for their quick response and high-quality solutions that help homeowners recover from the aftermath of severe storms.
Seek professional help for electrical repairs
Storms often wreak havoc on electrical systems, causing outages, fried circuits, and even dangerous situations like fires. If you notice flickering lights, dead outlets, or strange burning smells coming from your electrical panel after a storm, it’s not a situation for DIY heroics.
Tackling electrical repairs yourself can lead to severe injuries or exacerbate existing problems. Instead, opt for the expertise of licensed electricians who can safely assess and address your home’s electrical issues. They’ll not only fix the problem but also ensure your electrical system is up to code, which is essential for your and your family’s safety.
Clean up and prevent mold
Storms and water damage go hand in hand. It’s a lesser-known fact, but the average relative humidity throughout the year in Orlando is around 74%. High humidity levels make a cozy breeding ground for mold, and it can form in as little as 24 to 48 hours. To prevent this, start the clean-up immediately. Remove water-logged furniture, carpet, and other materials, and use fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the space.
Repairing the roof
The roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements and is often the most vulnerable during severe storms. High winds, heavy rains, and falling branches can cause minor leaks or significant structural damage. If your roof has suffered after a storm, the first step is to assess the extent of the damage safely. Use binoculars to check from the ground or, if it’s essential to go up onto the roof, ensure you take all safety precautions, like using a secure ladder and wearing non-slip shoes.
Temporary fixes like tarping can be helpful, but these aren’t long-term solutions. Depending on the damage, you may need anything from shingle replacement to an entirely new roof. If your home has older shingles, consider upgrading to architectural shingles that offer better wind resistance. Alternatively, metal roofs are durable and energy-efficient because they reflect sunlight and keep your home cooler.
Your yard may have also suffered during the storm. Fallen trees and branches can make your property look like a disaster zone. Clear out this debris and consider replanting to restore your yard’s beauty. It may be a long-term project, but the aesthetic and property value benefits are undeniable.
Check plumbing systems
It may not be apparent initially, but storm damage can affect your home’s plumbing. Inspect for leaks, blocked drains, or backed-up sewers. A faulty plumbing system can lead to long-term water damage and should be addressed immediately.
Reinforce your home for the future
Once you’ve patched up your current problems, think long-term. Reinforcing your home against future storms is an excellent investment, especially in a region as storm-prone as Orlando. From stronger roofing materials to impact-resistant windows, there are plenty of ways to storm-proof your house.
Once you’ve assessed the damage and initiated repairs, turn your attention to preventative measures that could safeguard your home against future storms. Consider upgrading to storm-resistant windows and doors designed to withstand high winds and flying debris. Another smart investment is a high-quality roof with weather-resistant shingles.
Additionally, think about the exterior elements of your home. Can your siding use an upgrade to something more durable? Can your gutters handle heavy rainfall, or do they clog and overflow, creating water damage? Invest in gutters that are less prone to clogging and can handle larger volumes of water.
Storms are a part of life, especially if you live in an east coast state like Florida. Knowing how to repair your home after one is not just practical knowledge; it’s essential. From contacting your insurance company to hiring professionals for complicated jobs like electrical work, these steps can help you navigate the taxing journey of post-storm repairs. Your home is not just a building; it’s a sanctuary filled with memories and love. It deserves the care and attention necessary to stand tall against the next storm. Stay safe, Orlando!