03-09-2012 01:50 PM
Recent news events show many parts of the country being hit with tornados, severe weather, and major storm activity. Once the challenging weather conditions have passed through the area, the clean-up begins. After the safety of your family, the safety of your house is the next priority: structural soundness, physical safety, and security. Some clean-up projects may be minor while others are major undertakings.
Whether you rode out the storm, or returned to your home afterwards, you want to be safe and proceed with caution. My article, “What to do after the hurricane goes through” was written last year after Hurricane Irene went through the Northeastern US. It contains detailed information about returning to your home after a major weather event. Here are the best tips:
1. Return home only when officials have declared the area safe and be prepared to present photo identification with your address. Wear protective clothing, work gloves, and eye protection. Photograph and videotape your property.
2. Look for visible damage when first entering the affected area. Identify parts of your home that may have collapsed or be damaged. Be alert for broken bottles, nails, and debris.
3. Approach the entrances carefully and see that porch roofs and overhangs have all necessary supports. Look for foundation cracks, loose power lines, and broken or damaged gas lines.
4. Proceed inside with caution – watch where you step. Jammed doors may be providing support to the structure of your home - forcing the door open may cause parts of your home to collapse or become more damaged. Check the ceiling and floors for signs of sagging.
5. Turn off the utilities. Turn the power off in your home at the main breaker box or fuse box. If you suspect a leak, hear a hissing noise, or smell natural or propane gas, leave your home immediately and call the gas company or fire department from another location.
6. Cleaning up after wind and water damage is hard work. My post, Hurricane Aftermath: Clean up and get back to normal, gives specific tips for getting back to normal. Deal with standing water, remove damaged insulation, and inspect the floors. Troubleshoot the telephones, electrical systems, and climate control systems. Disconnect and check all appliances for damage and broken connections before using them.
7. For larger projects involving your roofing, siding, or windows, The Home Depot’s Home Services teams can help. Our experienced, licensed, and insured experts offer total project management from measurement to installation to job cleanup. Labor and product are backed by The Home Depot.
- Our roofing professionals give you peace-of-mind long after the job is done: roofing shingle warranties up to 50 years and craftsmanship labor warranties up to 25 years. One competitive price covers everything from roofing materials to installation to the safe removal and disposal of your old roofing shingles.
- From HardiePlank® to vinyl siding, our installation teams offer virtually maintenance-free and beautiful siding options with a wide variety of accessories to complement including shutters, gable vents, gutters, and downspouts.
- The Home Depot has installed millions of windows including the brands you trust: Andersen, American Craftsman, Sequel, Jeld-Wen, and Vantage Pointe by Simonton - ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction" by JD Power & Associates.
How to get started
1. Visit your local store and ask an associate to schedule an appointment
2. Call 1-800-HOME-DEPOT (1-800-466-3337) and select option 1 to speak to a representative
3. Text INSTALL to HDEPOT (433768) (local messaging rates may apply) to receive a call back from an installation representative
4. Find us online to learn more about the services available in your area and schedule an appointment
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