Weather and climate disasters have always wreaked havoc in the US, accounting for over $1.875 trillion in losses between 1980 and 2020. But few weather disasters have threatened America more than storms. In 2020 alone, severe storms accounted for 13 of the 22 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in the country.
Homeowners usually bear the largest percentage of losses caused by storms. Each year, American households lose $34 billion to these events.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to prevent a storm. But taking the appropriate action after the event is necessary. That includes proper home window replacement.
The fact is your home’s windows are among the most likely components of your home to suffer severe damage during a storm. In this comprehensive post, we tell you how to deal with window damage after a storm.
Read on to learn more.
Always Take Action Immediately
One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is thinking they can get away with damaged windows for some time. The truth is broken windows can be extremely dangerous. Those loose shards and broken pieces of glass can cause serious injury.
Moreover, broken windows make it easier for criminals to break into your home. That puts both your loved ones and valuables in danger. Besides, any evidence of a break-in that could have been averted could interfere with your ability to make an insurance claim against theft.
Broken windows can also let in water into your home and lead to flooding and mold issues.
Simply put, you stand to lose infinitely far more by ignoring window damage than the overall cost to get new windows.
Assess the Full Extent of the Window Damage
Before considering window repair or replacement, you need to determine how much damage you’re looking at. Be sure to wait until the storm is completely over before you move into your property to inspect the storm damage.
If you notice any flooding or loose electrical wires, don’t risk moving into the house. Alert a professional to check whether it’s safe to do so. Once you’re sure, take your time to inspect your windows, starting with the exterior.
Avoid touching any shattered, broken, or dented glass. Take note of any damaged window frames. Photographs of all damage you notice will come in handy when making an insurance claim.
Talk To Your Insurance Company
Depending on the extent of the storm or hail damage, window replacement may not come cheap. But as long as you have insurance, this shouldn’t be a big worry.
However, don’t touch anything before documenting the damage. Take as many photographs as you need to show the full extent of the damage. You may record videos too to show every affected area of your home, both inside and outside.
Note that how you go about documenting the damage can significantly affect your insurance claim. That’s why you need to take your time and take note of every little detail.
As soon as you’re through documenting the hurricane damage, it’s now time to submit a claim. Do so without delays, as most companies have a set time limit within which to submit claims.
A representative from your insurance agency will usually visit your property after you’ve submitted the claim. They’ll give you a quote based on what they see. Compare this quote with the quotes you get from your local contractors.
Cover Broken Windows
After you’ve documented all the damage, it’s time to make your home safer for you and your family. You may want to check with your insurer first whether it’s okay to secure your home without compromising your chances of claiming damages successfully.
If your insurer is okay with it, you can begin to board your windows with plywood. The idea is to reduce the chances of injury from shards of glass that may escape into your indoors. Covering your damaged windows also averts break-ins.
Note that boarding up your windows is only a temporary solution as you arrange for window replacement.
Invest in Storm Windows
Obviously, you want to avoid the same ordeal you’ve just encountered. One way to storm-proof your home is to invest in storm windows, which are specially designed to withstand storms.
These windows typically feature two frames of tempered glass plus a layer of film. They provide heavy-duty protection from the severest of storms.
Generally, tempered glass is significantly impact-resistant. The film is meant to prevent shattering in case the window does break. Thus, you have the peace of mind you need, particularly for homeowners with children or pets living in the house.
Certainly, storm windows come at a higher price than your regular windows. However, they prevent you from worrying about replacing windows after every other storm. Besides, your insurance company may even give you a discount for taking this security measure.
Choose the Right Home Window Replacement Contractor
The window replacement contractor you opt for work with will determine the quality of the results. Take the time to talk to a few contractors in your area to get a good idea of what to expect from them.
Generally, you want to work with someone who’s been in the industry long enough and who has a stellar reputation. Ensure they’re licensed and insured to work in your area before you hire them. It also helps to see some of their previous work before making a final decision.
Deal With Window Replacement Correctly Following a Storm
A storm can devastate your windows, but that doesn’t have to be the end. As long as you understand how to go about home window replacement the right way, you can secure your home soon enough and even stay prepared for future storm-related events, including hail and hurricanes.
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