Your home has been devastated from water or fire damage. Now, you wonder if your home will ever be the same. Is your home safe? Please don’t panic. Water or fire damage does not mean you have to throw in the towel. As long as your foundation is intact, you can continue to restore your home. Start by contacting your insurance company. Everyone should have homeowner’s insurance as soon as they buy a home. They may be able to cover the cost of your home’s damage. The extent of damage to your home will determine what course of action you need.
Water damage can be as minor as a roofing leak that created a water stain on your ceiling or as bad as long-term drywall damage from flooding.
- First, make sure there isn’t a leak in your home. You may need to call a plumber if you are unsure of the leak source.
- Locate all the damage. If the damage is in your ceiling, attic, or roof, you may need to call a roofing company first. If water damage has occurred to beams under the house, floorboards, or drywall, you need to call a foundation repair company. For fireplaces or wooden chimneys, call a mason. (Many foundation repair companies offer chimney repairs.) Check your local foundation and roofing companies if you need help fixing a damaged window and call a kitchen contractor for damaged cabinets.
- Avoid the damaged area. Water damage can create dangerous situations such as cave-ins and mold.
- Once you know what services you need, call a company that offers free consultations for homeowners.
- Remove any valuable items. (If your home is flooding, remove any valuables asap.)
Fire damage can mean that most of your house is unlivable or that you might just have minor damage to your kitchen.
- Start by calling your local home inspector or fire martial to determine if you can still stay in your home. Generally the fire department will call the electric or gas company to have those shut down. After a fire, heating and electrical systems can become unsafe. Wait for clearance from the home inspector, gas company, and electrical company before staying in your home. If your floors, walls, and ceiling have little to no damage, your home is probably safe.
- Avoid placing warm appliances or candles in damaged areas. They may reignite another fire.
- Monitor changes in your floor, drywall, or ceiling.
- Find a company that can cater to your needs. If your home only has its foundation left, you may need to call a construction company. If you notice minimal burning to your floorboards, walls, and ceiling, but see some cracks forming, call a foundation company. Burnt floorboards may need to be tackled by a flooring company. If your chimney or fireplace is damaged, find a local mason. Roofing and damaged ceilings are repaired by roofing companies, while detailed accents may require a carpenter.
Call three companies that offer free consultations for homeowners on fire or water damage. Once you have a price in mind, you can decide whether or not you can pay upfront. If your budget doesn’t allow for upfront payments, consider finance payments. This will allow you to save your family home and still have peace of mind.*
If your family or you have been through a traumatic event reach out to the U.S. Fire Administration, the American Flood Coalition, or SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline (1-800-985-5990). For any natural disaster-related damage contact FEMA or the National Disaster Relief foundation.
*Disclaimer: StaDry Roofing is not qualified to give fire, flood, natural disaster, electrical, gas, or home safety advice. We are not a home safety inspection organization. (We only offer roof inspections through our qualified individuals.) All the advice given is intended to give resourceful information. Contact your home inspection agency and fire marshall for home safety. Gas and Electrical advice should only be given by qualified individuals such as a gas or electric company. We accept no responsibility for death, injury, or loss concerning the article above. We cannot guarantee that the advice provided above will result in home restoration or safety.
Sources- Can You Get Federal Relief For Natural Disasters? – Forbes Advisor Helping community residents after a home fire (fema.gov) Home – American Flood Coalition What to Do in a Roof Repair Emergency – HomeRoofer (stadryroofingnc.com) What To Do After A HomeFire, gas, solid fuel and electrical safety | Independent Age Fire | American Red Cross Electrical safety in the home | NFPA