Checking Your Property After a Storm

  • Home Owner Tips
  • Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Calgary’s thunderstorm late yesterday afternoon affected all areas of our city. It was a doozy, delivering toonie-sized hail, flash flooding and knocking out power for more than 20,000 Calgary residents. As city workers clean up our streets, there are a few things you should consider when cleaning up your own property.

Safety First

After a storm, there is a possibility of broken glass, damage to roofs, and trees that have fallen down, which still have the potential to fall down. Ensure that when walking your property to keep an eye out for hazards.

Severe storms may also knock down power lines. If this happens on your property, always assume that the downed lines are still powered, and stay at least 10 metres (33 feet) from the wires or anything in contact with the wires. Warn others, and if possible rope off the area, then call the Enmax Power Trouble Line as soon as possible to report the downed line.

Checking Your Home

Even if you have no reason to suspect that damage occurred, check your home and its surroundings. It’s important to identify problems, make emergency repairs and determine if an insurance claim is necessary. Be sure to do a full check of your property, including things such as your air-conditioning unit, fences, vent caps, etc. And don’t forget to check your vehicles if they were not under cover at the time of the storm.

  • Your Roof. Your roof might be the area of your home most vulnerable to damage in a storm, because so many things can impact it. Whether you’ve had high winds and downed tree branches or an aggressive hail- and thunder storm like we did yesterday, look for these indicators of damage: visible holes, split seams, damaged or missing shingles, leaks appearing in your ceiling.
  • Your Home Exterior. While siding, stucco and brick are all made of durable materials, they also are susceptible to storm damage. In some instances, homeowners don’t notice until it’s too late to file a claim, so check carefully for: cracking, chipping or dings and dents on siding; holes in stucco; an damaged brick and tuck pointing, detached or damaged trim, gutters, etc.
  • Driveways & Sidewalks. Concrete can chip, crack and split, not only reducing the lifespan of your driveway or walkway, but potentially creating a safety issue.
  • Trees. Fallen trees and limbs cause the most damage to homes every year. Keep in mind that property owners generally are responsible for removing trees and limbs that have fallen on their property, even if it is a tree from a neighbour’s yard. Your insurance policy may help to cover the cost of removal and repairs, depending on the coverage you have and the circumstances of the incident.

Finally, ensure you are aware of the details of your homeowners coverage, your limits and your deductibles so you know what to do during the insurance claims process.

For information on how insurance works and what you can expect from your coverage, visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

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