After a storm hits, people tend to look for obvious signs of structural damage in their home. There are many signs that something is amiss that might not be noticeable right away. Keeping an eye out for these can help you to catch problems before they advance.
Many of the issues that can occur can turn serious quickly. Has the hidden damage caused moisture to leak into the home? If you do have any leakage, there is chance of mold or mildew invading. Here are a few signs of damage you should check for:
- Lifted shingles or ones that are cracked can be problematic. These might not be obvious from the ground, so you might need to have the roof checked by a professional after a storm that produced heavy winds. Blown off shingles are easily noticed, and a sign that immediate attention must be given to the roof.
- Splits, chips and cracks in the stucco, siding or exterior of your home, can lead to more troublesome issues. Larger issues might be easily noticed. However, smaller defects can remain hidden. It is especially troublesome if the issue is deep enough to allow water to enter the wall space.
- Defects in window frames can occur even if you don't have any window damage. If you have impact glass, it will give with strong winds, but this comes with a risk of trouble with the frame. The problem is in the walls, so it isn't easy to spot. A good rule of thumb is to have the window, frames and surrounding areas checked after a bad storm, such as a hurricane or a storm with winds that make it on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
- A musty smell in your home could signal that there is hidden water damage. This might come from some of the issues that are listed above. It can also occur if the home had minimal flooding. In some cases, water on the exterior of the home might seep into the seams of the structure, especially near the foundation, door frames or low windows. Homes with basements are more prone to this since the moisture can seep into the walls below ground level.
It is imperative that you address any issues you notice. The faster you have things corrected, the better your home is likely to fare.
Of course, this might mean that you have to deal with the insurance company. If this is case, remember that they are out to protect their own interests, not yours. Contacting an attorney familiar with construction and insurance can help you to protect your rights.