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Why DIY Home Repairs are a Bad Idea After a Storm

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Hurricane season is about to reach its peak and that means potential damage to millions of homes across hurricane-prone areas. According to ABC News 4, the 2020 hurricane season has already seen record-breaking storms with more storms on the way.

South Carolina homeowners have seen some serious damage in the past from tropical storms; many devastated homeowners have had to rebuild their homes from scratch. During each storm, some people are lucky enough to only experience minor damage like broken windows and a partially destroyed roof.

With hurricane season coming to a peak, you need a plan for what you’ll do if a hurricane hits your home. While it’s possible that your home could be wiped out completely, you might end up with a big repair job on your hands. If you’re the DIY type, you might be inclined to make all of your own repairs. However, after a storm, there are a few reasons to hire professionals.

  1. Replacing a window after a storm isn’t the same as a normal replacement job

You might have replaced many windows in your lifetime, but have you ever replaced a window after a storm? If not, the job might throw you some curveballs. For example, just standing outside inspecting the damage can be dangerous. Your roof may have suffered structural damage like broken shingles and you might even have tree limbs or other heavy debris just waiting to slide off of your roof.

If you suffer window damage from a storm, you’ll probably have to repair dented window frames and damaged siding at the same time. Replacing a window is fairly easy when the window frame is intact. However, if you’ve never repaired or replaced a dented window frame, you’ll probably struggle with the whole project. Even if you manage to make it work, you risk making mistakes like not creating a proper backslope to divert moisture and keep it from getting inside your home.

To put yourself in the best position possible, it’s advised to storm-proof your windows prior to hurricane season. If you haven’t already storm-proofed your windows, call your local professional and get that handled quickly.

  1. You can do more damage trying to fix a broken window

After a storm, there will probably be structural damage in addition to broken glass. Replacing or repairing broken windows after a storm often involves more than just glass panes. If you inspect a broken window and decide to replace the glass pane and then fill in the gaps with expanding foam, you could end up doing more damage.

There are multiple types of expanding foam and it’s not recommended to use these foams to fill in gaps. Ideally, your windows should be properly fitted and professionally installed. When a storm creates structural damage and you fill in gaps with expanding foam, you can expect more damage as the foam expands and cracks the structural components.

  1. You might not notice severe water damage right away

Water damage is the worst part of a storm’s aftermath, mostly because it’s not easy to spot all leaks. For instance, your roof might look perfectly fine, but one loose shingle – or even a slightly bent nail – has the potential to allow water into your home. You won’t see this water for a period of time until it starts dripping from a random area or a water spot starts showing through the wall.

If you hire a professional to perform an inspection and complete your repairs, they’ll inspect your roof armed with the experience needed to spot those hard-to-see problems.

Water damage through windows

Water leaks through windows aren’t always easy to detect. Usually, small leaks go unnoticed until the damage to the home becomes visible. If you don’t get a professional window inspection after a hurricane, you could end up with extensive water damage. Professionals will actually test your windows to see if there are any leaks using water.

If you’ve got special hurricane impact windows, you might think you’re protected. However, these windows are water-resistant and not waterproof. These windows are rated to be water-resistant only in winds up to 55 miles per hour.

During a hurricane, the wind drives water at high speeds of about 74 miles per hour, which means more water is likely going to enter the windows and not all of it will drain out. This can cause major property damage to any belongings or furniture in the area by the window, and can create mold and mildew in the walls and the carpet.

Make your life easy and hire the pros

DIY projects will save you money short-term, but when done incorrectly, you’ll pay more to have it fixed professionally. Unless construction is your trade, leave all your post-storm repairs to the pros.

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