How to detect and handle storm damage on your home

5:37 AM, Jun 20, 2012   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Thousands of people throughout Minnesota have to deal with severe weather and the damaged caused by it every year.

But how do you know what kind of damage you should look for when it comes time to fix it, and who can you trust to help make those fixes?

Terry Derosier, owner of Window World Twin Cities and Window World St. Cloud, visited KARE 11 Sunrise to offer helpful hints, to get you through that tough time.

1. After a severe storm of high winds and possibly hail, what can be readily seen as damage on my home?
Damage to Roof, Siding, Gutters, and there may be cracked vinyl or dents on metal window frames.

2. How can I detect hail damage on my home? What specific damage should a homeowner look for, and what are the risks if not repaired?
It's easier to see in early morning or early evening light when shadows play along the home and highlight uneven exteriors.

You can also shine a flashlight sideways against an exterior during the darker evening hours.
a. Home Exterior -
• Vinyl Siding: there will be multiple dents and holes. RISK: If not repaired, water can enter and cause rot.
• Aluminum Siding: there will be multiple dents, but not holes. RISK -The risk of water damage isn't great, but can affect home resale and cause a home inspector to lower list price.
• Stained Wood Siding: There will be bright spots all across the siding.
b. Windows -
• Window panes: broken glass. RISK: the glass may fall out. Or the window seal may be damaged, which will create fogging. This can cause a loss in home's energy and efficiency, creating higher heating and cooling bills.
• Window frames: dented vinyl or glazing. RISK: water can get into the home and sill, developing rot.
c. Roof -
• Shingles: This is difficult to see from ground level - you must get on the roof to examine. You will see big black spots in multiple areas across the roof where shingles have torn. Also, you may notice shingles on the ground around your home.
• Drain spout gutters: Another indication that your roof has suffered damage from hail and wind storms: little granules the colors of your shingles are shooting out of the water in your drain spout.

RISKS:
*Water leaks, causing rot and a sagging roof. If there is water, it must be stopped immediately before causing further damage.
*If a homeowner decides to wait a year after noticing some storm damage, the four seasons of hot and cold with all of the elements can rapidly weather a roof, gradually widening to an even greater area than the original damage, causing overall roof quality that was meant to last 30 years, now lasting 5 years.

3. How do I know who I should do business with?
• Be sure you are working with a licensed contractor, who is licensed to work in the state of Minnesota.
• Always ask for a free inspection before signing anything.
• After an area is hit by a severe storm, people often walk through a neighborhood handing out materials and offering estimates, often called "Storm Chasers." Check to see if these contractors are from Minnesota by viewing license plates and driver's licenses. Often, contractors from any state can provide great work, but if follow-up service calls are required, it is difficult to track down an out of state contractor.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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