June is when the storms start hitting here in Wisconsin, and it’s always a little tense for homeowners. You want to be prepared for anything that’s going to happen when those winds hit, and you want to be prepared to deal with any damages that your home suffers throughout the process. The good news is that the damages do tend to be manageable. We can get some pretty bad storms, but it’s unusual to see anything truly catastrophic here. Just keep a cool head and follow these steps:
- Make sure things don’t get any worse. Your insurer will cover anything that’s covered (this might not include flooding without additional coverage, but usually includes wind damages), but if you neglect an opportunity to, say, point a room fan at a wet floor and air it out, the resulting mold may be seen as owing to the policy holder’s negligence. So anything you can do to manage the damages, get that out of the way soon.
- Call your insurer and file a claim. They’ll send someone out to appraise the damages, and begin communication with your chosen contractor. Note: You really want to avoid talking to anyone about repairs before calling your insurer. However it is your responsibility to protect your property from any further damage.
- Call your contractors. This step is easiest if you already have your go-to contractors. You know you can trust a roofer if he’s been working on your house for years. If not, do your homework and research any contractor you’re considering hiring.
- Be on the lookout for storm chasers. These are shady dealers who will roll into town after a storm, going door to door with big promises and strongarm sales tactics, promising that “You won’t pay a dime!” Best case scenario they just do a poor job fixing your roof. More likely they’ll take the money and run, or even fabricate damages that need to be repaired “right away!” with doctored photos or even damaging the roof themselves (this is why you don’t let anyone on your roof until your insurance appraiser’s had a look at it). It’s easy enough to spot these guys. Just make sure always to make sure that they’re legit.
- Dealing with a storm is stressful, and you deserve a break.
If you’re one of the lucky ones, you might not have anything to deal with but a leaky roof and a few missing shingles. Maybe a cracked window here and there, but those are easy enough to replace. It’s unlikely that a storm is going to cause any severe structural damage. Storms are no fun; they can chew your house up and leave you a bundle of rattled nerves. But in Mequon, WI, the damages tend to be manageable, and your insurer has your back more often than not. So our advice: prepare for the storm, but try not to stress about it.