If you live in areas that experience tropical weather like Florida, you are no stranger to hurricanes, high winds, and storms. These extreme weather conditions could cause severe damage to your home and other belongings such as your car. Unfortunately, your garage door is the weakest part of your home, making it highly susceptible to damage by storms or hurricanes. Ideally, it would be wise to make your garage door hurricane-proof before a storm hits. However, the weather could catch you off-guard, leaving you without a garage door and a hefty bill on your hands. This article will discuss the steps you should take after a storm damages your garage door.
Inspect the area
After you are sure the storm has passed, it would be best to inspect your garage door and take note of any damaged areas. Fortunately, even though hailstones are heavy, they fall straight down unless strong winds push them directly onto your garage door. The impact from the hailstones could cause minor dings such as scratches and dents, which are not too bad. However, leaving these minor issues alone for too long wouldn't be a great idea. On the other hand, strong winds could loosen the panels, twist the door or tear it completely off its hinges. Other problem areas you should look for include the cables and springs that allow the garage to move freely. A pro tip that will enhance your safety during the aftermath of a storm is to avoid pushing or forcing your garage door to move. Since most parts work under tension, the additional force could cause the door to jerk in your direction, causing you bodily harm.
Take plenty of photos
The next step after assessing the damage would be to capture photographic evidence of your findings. Ensure you catch all the angles of your garage door and zoom in where possible. It would also help if one of the photos you took showed the full damaged garage door. Some insurance companies might try dodgy and require further proof that that garage door in the photo is actually at your house. Therefore, it wouldn't hurt to include a picture of your home and the street name for further proof. If your phone memory is full, ask your loved one to snap photos for you and send them via email.
Reach out to your insurance company
The photographs we discussed above will come in handy the moment you decide to approach your insurance company. Once the agent assesses the photos, they will begin processing your claim. In other instances, the insurance company might send an adjuster to your home to confirm the extent of the damage. Since repairing your garage door could place a massive dent in your pocket, it would help to discuss the deductible cost the agent expects you to cover for the repairs. However, if the damage is not too extensive, you could opt to hire a professional and skip contacting the insurance company.
Contact an attorney
Finding out your garage door got damaged in the storm might cause you to be disoriented and susceptible to making poor decisions. On the other hand, insurance companies will do all they can to delay your claim or deny it altogether. Therefore, it would be wise to contact a hurricane insurance claims lawyer to give you seasoned advice and help you get the best possible compensation. Ensure you hire an experienced attorney who has handled a case like yours in the past.
Hire a professional to replace your door
The last step after hearing from your insurance company would be to source a qualified garage door specialist. If you fly solo, you are spoilt for choice, provided the specialist fits your budget. However, if your insurance company caters to the cost of repairs, they will limit your options to a list of companies and their quotes. It would be wise to hire someone who knows what you are doing, lest you end up with more problems than when you started.
You can take plenty of steps to prevent a storm from damaging your garage door. We suggest you install a newer garage door model as old doors tend to be more prone to damage. It would also be wise to trim the bushes and trees regularly to prevent projectiles from damaging your garage door. Lastly, ensure you take time to reinforce essential elements of your garage door, including the hinges and door tracks, to make it extra strong.