Weathering the Storm: A Homeowner’s Guide to Storm Damage Restoration

Storms can wreak havoc on homes, causing damage both inside and out. Storm destruction can be extensive and disruptive, from broken windows and downed trees to flooded basements and wind-torn rooftops. As a homeowner, knowing what to look for after inclement weather and how to work with professional storm damage restoration experts to get your house back in order is important.

What Types of Damage Can Storms Cause?

Storms can unleash an array of damage on homes through intense winds, heavy rain and flooding, hail, lightning strikes, and more. Some of the most common storm-inflicted destruction include:

Roof Damage

Powerful winds can tear off shingles, damage flashing, bend gutters, and even lift entire roof decking. Hail and falling trees/branches can also puncture and hole roofs. Leaks can then cause water intrusion into attics, ceilings, and walls.

Siding Damage

High winds can rupture and detach vinyl, wood, brick, and other sidings from the home exterior. The turbulent air can also force debris to fly into windows and walls.

Window Damage

Speaking of windows, the glass is highly vulnerable to storm impacts like wind pressure, flying debris, falling trees, and hailstones. Cracked, broken, and shattered panes are commonplace.

Water Damage

Torrential downpours, flooding, roof leaks, and busted pipes lead to extensive water damage. Standing water seeps into wall cavities and soaks structural elements, furnishings, and belongings. If left untreated, pervasive moisture can spur mould growth.

Foundation Damage

The combination of saturated, swelled soil and strong winds can shift, crack, and destabilize home foundations. Basement flooding also damages foundation integrity over time.

Electrical Damage

Lightning strikes, power surges, and physical and electrical system damage can lead to fried appliances, electronics, and wiring. Live wires and other electrical hazards endanger homes.

Identifying Storm Damage

Once the storm passes, it’s critically important to thoroughly inspect your home’s exterior and interior to pinpoint any damage. Here are some of the top things to look for:

Missing or Damaged Shingles

Inspect your entire roof visually, paying close attention to the edges/ridges. Look for any missing, cracked, curled, or torn shingles. Also, check the attic for leaks.

Holes in Your Roof

In addition to shingle damage, keep an eye out for puncture holes from fallen tree limbs or hail. These can be trickier to spot but allow water intrusion.

Damage to Your Siding

Check around all sides of your home for dents, cracks, holes, and areas where siding has peeled off or become detached from the house.

Broken Windows

Ensure all windows and associated screens are fully intact without any cracks or breach points. Check for window frame and trim damage.

Water Damage

Scan ceilings, walls, and floors for water stains, leaks, or visible moisture. Pull back carpets, rugs, insulation, and wallboards if necessary to check behind them for hidden water damage. Check for standing water in the basement as well.

Cracks in Your Foundation

Inspect your home’s foundation for any new cracks wider than 1/4 inches, shifting, or crumbling brick/stonework. Also, look for gaps between the foundation and walls/ceilings.

Electrical Problems

Test all appliances, electronics, outlets, and wiring for functionality. Check circuit breakers and fuses. Be on the lookout for blown electronics, flickering lights, sparks, exposed wires, burning smells, and frequently tripped circuits.

Document all storm destruction thoroughly with dated photos and video since insurance companies will require evidence of damage. If you need more clarification on any findings, it’s wise to have storm damage restoration experts take a look. They can also do more advanced assessments for less visually obvious moisture-meter issues, thermal imaging, and other diagnostics.

Working with a Storm Damage Restoration Company

Storm destruction often warrants working with specialized restoration contractors equipped to remediate the various types of damage. Here’s how to find and choose reliable providers:

Get Recommendations

Talk to neighbours, friends, and family who have previous experience with local storm damage restoration firms. Online recommendations and reviews can also point you in the right direction.

Check Online Reviews

Speaking of online reviews, spend time researching companies of interest on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and other review platforms. Look for contractors with consistently positive feedback and high ratings. Be wary of any concerning complaints.

Get Quotes from Multiple Companies

Contact three to five highly reviewed companies to come to assess your storm damage in person. Be sure to get binding, written quotes breaking down cost specifics from each to compare pricing and services.

Ask About Insurance

Find out if the restoration firms work directly with homeowners insurance and can liaise with your provider on your behalf for claims processing. Many reliable contractors have deep insurance experience.

Get Everything in Writing

Before signing an agreement, ensure you have an itemized contract clearly defining the exact restoration plan and a breakdown of all costs. Reputable companies will guarantee their storm repair work in writing as well.

What Services Do Storm Damage Restoration Companies Provide?

Once you’ve selected a qualified storm damage restoration firm, what services can you expect them to offer? Here are some of the most common storm restoration services:

Board-Up Services

If windows or other openings are damaged, contractors can install plywood board-ups to prevent intrusion until proper repairs are made.

Water Damage Mitigation

Companies use industrial dehumidifiers, pumps, vacuums, and other equipment to extract invasive moisture. They can also employ antimicrobial treatments to prevent mould.

Roof Repair or Replacement

Roofing crews repair minor storm damage or completely replace rooftops with punctures, lifted shingles, or wind damage beyond repair.

Siding Repair or Replacement

Siding specialists fix dented or detached vinyl/wood panelling, brickwork, stucco, and more. For extensively damaged sections, full siding replacement is often needed.

Window Replacement

Damaged windows undergo complete removal and installation of new panes, frames, trim, and structural reinforcement as necessary.

Content Cleaning and Restoration

Restoration technicians clean stormwater residue off furniture, rugs, artwork, documents, and possessions. Or coordinate professional treatment or replacement if unsalvageable.

Mold Remediation

For homes with moisture issues, companies conduct lab testing to check for mould. If found, licensed professionals remove mould and repetitively treat it to prevent regrowth.

The Storm Damage Restoration Process

Working in tandem with your insurance provider, the storm damage restoration contractor will facilitate getting your home fully repaired with the following structured process:

Emergency Services

The first priority is any emergency stabilization, like covering roof leaks or boarding up broken windows, to protect the property from further rainfall damage. Other urgent safety issues are also addressed.

Detailed Assessment

Restoration technicians conduct thorough visual inspection combined with moisture readings, lab testing, and diagnostics like thermal imaging. This reveals the full scope of destruction for insurance claims and repair planning.

Developing a Restoration Plan

With insurance adjustors, the restoration company designs a customized plan for your home, addressing all necessary repairs – including priorities, work stages, projected costs, and timelines.

Water Removal and Drying

Equipment like subfloor drying systems, dehumidifiers, and air movers dry out soaked structural cavities. Treatments also prep surfaces for reconstruction.

Cleaning and Decontamination

Affected areas undergo extensive cleaning from ceiling to floor to remove contaminants left by floodwaters or wind-driven rain. Any lead, asbestos, or mould receives proper mediation as well.

Repairs and Reconstruction

Finally, specialized crews handle all repairs – whether roofing, masonry, framing, drywall, electrical, or plumbing. Damaged items get refinished or replaced. The goal is full restoration.


Dealing with storm destruction is undoubtedly stressful. But ultimately, the extent of damage does not have to define the future of your home. By promptly identifying all impacts, partnering with trusted storm damage restoration professionals, and working closely with your insurance provider, you can develop an actionable plan to systematically bring your house back to normal. With time and dedication, even severely storm-battered homes can become revitalized. So when inclement weather strikes next, you’ll know how to weather the storm effectively both during and after.