Was Your Home Damaged in a Natural Disaster? What You Need to Know About Repairing Damages
If you’ve been struck by a natural disaster that left your home in poor condition, you’re likely looking for a way to make repairs or sell your house altogether. Whether the Act of God was a fire or earthquake (most likely to take place in California), or a flood or hurricane…any natural disaster can turn your world upside down if it affects your home.
According to a news article, California ranked #2 as top states for natural disasters in the country. California is home to potential disasters like wildfires, landslides, flooding, winter storms, severe freeze and even tsunami waves. But, maybe most prevalent, is the threat of earthquakes. The last severe earthquake took place in Southern California in 1994 with a magnitude of 6.7.
One of the first things you should do after a natural disaster takes place and damages your property is to report the damages to your insurance company. This includes taking photos of all of the damage, and speaking to your local insurance agent about your options. Most policies include coverage for loss due to tornadoes, hurricanes, and fires. But, things like flooding are typically not included in your homeowner insurance policy (unless you purchase additional flood insurance coverage).
Repairing Your House After a Natural Disaster: Tips
Fire and water damage are two of the most debilitating problems for many reasons. Fire damage is sometimes hard to correct, especially the damage from soot in the interior of your house. Start by drying all items that got wet in trying to get the fire out. Then, a contractor will work to remove all soot throughout the house. Because soot is oily, it can be really messy and ultimately ruin your carpet and textiles, among many other household items. After that, the walls and ducts will need to be addressed to have odors removed. The smell of smoke can linger for a very long time, especially if not properly addressed and remediated from the get-go!
Most of what is involved in repairing water damage from flooding will involve removing all remaining water and the mitigation of mold, which can creep up even long after the water damage occurs. Many items damaged beyond repair will not be salvageable and instead will need to be replaced (such as flooring and carpet etc.).
Finding a trusted contractor to make needed repairs:
The construction industry is booming right now, and many legitimate contractors can be booked out for months in advance. With this, it can be difficult to find a qualified contractor in times of trouble such as a natural disaster. But, even as stressful as the hunt can get- don’t settle for working with any company that you wouldn’t otherwise (if you had the time to spare). Unfortunately, there are scammers out there who will take advantage of people in desperate times such as this. Here are some ways you can get linked up with a qualified contractor to make your repairs:
- Only work with licensed and insured contractors. Ask for a list of recent customers, and do your homework looking at reviews online as well.
- Check with your local chamber of commerce and BBB for accredited companies, and ask your trusted friends and neighbors for referrals.
- Take your time sourcing different contractors. During the bidding process, don’t take the first bid you receive and don’t take the lowest either. In some cases, the lowest may be fine, but ensure that you’re working with someone who can produce the quality of work you need.
- Never pay for the entire job upfront. Any company or contractor that asks for this should be refused or refuted- you shouldn’t pay more than 1/3rd Only pay the final amount once the work is entirely done.
- Consider asking a third party professional or attorney to review the contract before you sign and get locked in.
If You Don’t Want to or Can’t Take on Repairs
If your homeowner insurance doesn’t cover the damage that your home has incurred, you could be looking at a hefty bill to repair everything that’s been damaged. In many of these cases, homeowners can choose to try to take out a loan for repairs, dispute insurance coverage, or even choose to sell the house. In some cases, repairs are so extensive that it’s not worth it to the homeowner to invest the thousands it would take to make the home livable again. Or, maybe your insurance will cover some of the damages but you still want to sell…and the previous damages are now scaring away prospective buyers. Literally whatever the scenario, we can help you if you’d prefer to sell your damaged home. We buy homes with all kinds of damage and restore them back to health. So, if you can’t make repairs or would like to avoid making them due to financial or time constraints, selling direct to an investor like us may be a viable option for you. We will provide you with a fair cash offer, and ultimately you can walk away from the damaged home with cash to invest elsewhere. Moving on from a natural disaster can be painful, but sometimes a fresh start is just what the doctor ordered. If you’d like us to make an offer on your damaged home, give us a call and we will schedule an inspection within just 24 hours.