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4 Actions to Take After a Chicagoland Storm

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Most storms do little to no harm to your property. BUT, every once and a while the other shoe drops and a powerfully destructive storm rages through the Chicagoland area along with the inevitable damage. Thunderstorms can occur any time of the year but are most prevalent in the springtime as Chicago’s central location within the United States as well as its lakeside location makes it a center of conflicts between large volumes of warm and cold air, which can trigger a wide variety of severe weather. In fact, Chicago’s weather is influenced by the nearby presence of Lake Michigan during all four seasons.

If your residential or commercial property suffers damage from one of these storms, then it should be addressed and repaired by storm damage restoration professionals. But before a professional can get to you, you may need to take the following courses of action.

Think Safety

Following a severe storm, you’ll reasonably be concerned about the status of your home or business. However, your main priority should be safety; yours, your family’s, and/or your employees.

While inspecting your property, look out for hazardous debris, such as nails and sharp, broken edges that may cause you injury. If there’s water damage or standing water present, DO NOT turn on the power or using any appliances.

If a tree has fallen into your building, then it’s advisable not to not enter the property. Tree limbs can be a hazard as they’re extremely heavy and may have left the building structurally unsound.

In general, if you feel unsafe, then trust your intuition and stay out of any damaged structures until the professionals at ServiceMaster By Simons make it safe to enter again.

Assess the Damage

IF it is safe to do so, carefully go through your property to see what damage has occurred. Start by inspecting the outside of the structure. To ensure your safety, evaluate the roof for any damage from the ground where you should be able to spot obvious damage, such as holes or missing shingles.

While inside, check for damaged building materials, leaks, and other signs of structural and/or water damage. Water stains on ceilings and walls can indicate a leaking roof, which will require repair or replacement.

As you inspect your property, take plenty of photos, videos and written documentation of the damage. This will be necessary evidence your insurance company will want when you’re filing claims for the damage. Remember to keep several copies for yourself.

Tarp the Roof

We strongly suggest that you wait for professionals to handle this as it can be dangerous. But if the storm has created a hole in your roof and it continues to rain or snow while waiting for help to arrive, then here’s what needs to be done (watch video) if you have the ability and equipment:

  • Clear any leaves, branches, and other debris off the roof first.
  • Get a thick, high quality tarp. You’ll want to make sure it’s large enough to cover the damaged section and allow for a four-foot overhang.
  • Nail the tarp to a 2×4, wrap it around the board, and then screw the board to the roof. This board serves as the anchor board.
  • Then take more 2×4 boards and attach them to the roof perpendicular to the anchor board. When you screw the boards in, they should first go through the board, tarp, then roof.
  • Finish by attaching the overhanging tarp to the roof eave, making sure it’s secure.

If you have broken windows or holes elsewhere, then use plywood to cover up those openings.

Get Storm Damage Restoration Help

If your Chicagoland property has been damaged in a storm, it’s important to get help immediately! Prompt action will prevent the damage from worsening and allow your property to be restored to its previous condition faster. ServiceMaster By Simons is nearby and ready to respond 24/7 to any storm damage emergency. Our highly trained crews have the specialized equipment and resources to handle the job, large or small, residential or commercial.

About Us: ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons, is a 2020 recipient of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics, and recipient of the 2020 Skokie Business of the Year Award, Honorable Mention Category. ServiceMaster Restoration By Simons (MBE/WBE) is a family operated, IICRC & OSHA Certified company serving Chicago, Oak Park, River Forest, and the North Shore. We provide commercial disaster restoration services including Water & Flood Damage Restoration, Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration, Mold Remediation and a wide range of interior specialty cleaning including COVID-19 Cleaning Services, Hoarder & Clutter Cleaning, Post-Construction Cleaning, Carpet & Upholstery Cleaning to residential and commercial customers. For more information, call 773-376-1110 or visit www.servicemasterbysimons.com or info@servicemaster-rbs.com

Nasutsa Mabwa
Nasutsa Mabwa
Nasutsa Mabwa is President of ServiceMaster by Simons, a MBE/WBE City of Chicago and State of Illinois certified firm. She is a 2018 Chicago Business Journal Influential Women in Business Honoree, a member of Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 and a 2018 ServiceMaster(c) Achiever Award recipient. She is a Civic Federation Board Member, an Advisory Board Member for Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate, and serves on the Executive Committee for the Evanston Chamber of Commerce. She is IICRC certified for WRT & FSRT.