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An Expert General Contractor in Dallas Wants You to Know: Steps to Take After Home Storm Damage in Texas

Natural disasters can cause structural damage, water damage, and other issues that can compromise the safety and stability of your home.

Chris Bishop here of Bishop Builders, a general contracting company in Dallas and the greater DFW Metroplex. After over 30 years in the construction business in Texas, I have seen my fair share of post storm renovations. I want to share with you the most important items homeowners can do after sustaining storm damage to their properties.

In the aftermath of a storm, it is important to take steps to minimize the impact of storm damage. You need to follow the proper safety procedures, document the damage, and work with your insurance company and contractor to determine replacement cost and repair your home.

Home Storm Damage Steps Guide

Ensure Safety After Storm Damage

There may be danger due to hazardous conditions from a storm, like power lines, gas leaks, or structural damage. If this is the case, evacuate the area and contact emergency services. You may need to shut off any utilities connected such as water and gas.

If you're forced to evacuate your home due to storm damage and it's deemed unsafe, here are some key steps to take regarding your homeowner's insurance.

Focus on Safety First

Evacuate when authorities instruct you to and prioritize your well-being. Don't re-enter a potentially unsafe structure.

Document the Damage

If possible, take photos and videos of the damage before you leave. This will be crucial evidence for your claim.

Contact Your Insurance Company Promptly

Call your insurance company as soon as possible, even if you're at a shelter or temporary housing. Report the damage and explain the situation.

Inquire About Additional Living Expenses (ALE)

Ask your insurance company about coverage for additional living expenses (ALE) if your home is uninhabitable. This might cover hotel stays or other temporary housing costs. (See more below.)

Document the Damage

Take photos and videos of the damage as soon as possible. This documentation will be important for insurance claims and providing evidence to the insurance company and insurance adjuster as the claim begins and proceeds. In my experience, I have found that the more proof and evidence you can provide to the adjuster up front, the smoother the process will proceed.

Label the photos carefully since this will make it easier for you to communicate with the insurance adjuster and the storm damage contractor.

Storm damage can cause obvious extensive damage to your home, including your roof, windows, and siding. Document any damage you can see thoroughly. This damage can be costly to repair and may require you to temporarily relocate while repairs are being made.

Signs of structural damage are not always obvious. Damage caused by wind can be hidden, affecting walls and the foundation. These structural problems can get worse, causing more severe secondary damage if left undetected and even destroy your home.

If you have hail damage, same story. There is obvious damage, but there can also be hidden damage from hail that's not so obvious like damage to your HVAC system including electrical issues and fan blades.

Mitigate Further Damage: The Homeowner's Responsibilities After Storm Damage

According to most homeowner's insurance policies, homeowners have a "duty to mitigate". This means after a storm, you have to take reasonable steps to prevent further damage to your property after a storm.

Do what you can to prevent further damage to your property. You may need to place a tarp over a damaged roof, board up broken windows, or shut off the water supply if you have water leaking.

You are certainly not expected to put yourself in danger. You can contact your storm damage contractor to make these temporary repairs. If you start the insurance claim quickly, the insurance adjuster can arrange for mitigation. Just be careful not to sign any agreement with whoever comes out to make these temporary fixes. You want to be able to decide for yourself who will make the major fixes and not get stuck with the insurance adjuster's choice.

Make sure to keep any receipts for materials and update the insurance company on what you have done to prevent further damage. Do not make any permanent repairs at this time, and make sure you document with photos and videos of the damage before and after mitigation.

It is your responsibility to mitigate further damages or your insurance company may not approve your claim.

Image of a home with damage to the roof and a tarp covering an area of the roof and boarded up windows

Check for Loss of Use Coverage

Storm damage can disrupt your daily life by forcing you to relocate temporarily and causing delays in repairs. This can be especially challenging if you have children or other family members who rely on you for support.

If you do have to seek temporary housing, make sure and read your insurance policy carefully regarding loss of use coverage. This type of insurance covers any costs for a hotel stay, rent, additional food expenses, moving, and storage. Make sure to keep all receipts so that you have good documentation for your insurance company.

Loss of Use Coverage Brochure for Storm Damage Claims

Consider Hiring a Public Adjuster

When filing an insurance claim, the insurance company will send someone to assess the costs of repairs. Remember that this adjuster works for the insurance company. You may choose to hire a public adjuster that works for you. Their fee is usually a certain percentage of the claim money you receive, usually this is around 10%.

It may be worth the fee since they look for all damage and represent you in communicating to the insurance company. They will also work to make sure that the insurance is fairly compensating you. They will oversee the process and enlist the help of experts to make sure no damage is overlooked.

Hiring a Storm Damage Contractor

The next step is to start searching for who will be in charge of your home storm damage renovation. Storm damage contractors frequently work with insurance companies and may be able to help guide you through the claims process.

It is common after a storm for out of town contractors to come in to try to win your business. Be careful though, because often these companies may look professional, but may not be your best bet for getting your damage repaired properly.

I have heard too many stories of "storm chasing" contractors cutting corners and leaving homeowner's frustrated and unhappy with shoddy workmanship, taking a deposit and then not completing the work, or starting on something like the roof that they make a lot of money on, and then disappearing leaving homeowners scrambling to find someone else to complete the smaller, less profitable work.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your homeowner insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage and start the claims process. Be clear and concise. State your name, policy number (if you have it on hand), and the date of the storm. Do not say anything specific like hail damage or water damage. Just stick with storm damage.

Briefly describe the damage without going into causes or repairs. Focus on facts like damaged areas (roof, windows, etc.). Ask about the claims process, what documentation they need, and next steps. Keep your tone polite and professional. This will help get your claim started smoothly.

Keep a record of the date, time, and who you spoke with at the insurance company. Note any reference numbers or next steps discussed. Send a confirmation email summarizing the conversation and any key details. Whenever dealing with an insurance claim, always document and get everything in writing, even if it's an email.

Stay Organized

Keep all paperwork, receipts, and communication related to the damage and repairs in one place. This will make the insurance claim process smoother and help you keep track of expenses.

Create a Claim File

Dedicate a physical folder or digital space to store all claim-related documents. This includes photos and videos of the damage, receipts for temporary repairs, and any communication with your insurance company.

Maintain a Detailed Log

Keep a running record of all interactions with your insurance company. Note the date, time, who you spoke with, and a summary of the conversation. Include any reference numbers or next steps discussed.

Utilize Checklists

Make a checklist of tasks you need to complete throughout the claim process. This might include submitting photos, obtaining estimates from contractors, or following up on claim updates. Checking off completed tasks keeps you on track.

Organize Communication

Keep all communication with your insurance company in one place within your claim file. This includes emails, phone call logs, and any official documents they send you.

By following these steps, you can ensure that storm damage restoration is performed quickly and efficiently. Here at Bishop Builders, we understand the stress and disruption that home storm damage can cause.

We are a trusted storm damage contractor in DFW and North Texas and are here to help you get back on your feet as quickly and efficiently as possible. We will also work closely with your insurance company to ensure that the claims process is smooth and stress-free.

With our dedication to quality craftsmanship and customer satisfaction, you can trust that your home is in good hands. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help with your home storm damage repairs in Texas.



The Bishop Builders Team

Chris Bishop and Dennis Hall

Chris Bishop brings over 30 years of expertise to the construction industry in Texas. With a comprehensive understanding of construction techniques, materials, and project management, Chris oversees every aspect of the building process, ensuring exceptional quality and attention to detail.


Dennis Hall is the strategic business operations specialist. Dennis plays a pivotal role in the success and growth of Bishop Builders with his adept handling of contracts, seamless communication with clients, and financial management. Together, Chris and Dennis form a dynamic partnership, combining construction expertise with astute business acumen to deliver outstanding results.

Photo of Dennis Hall and Chris Bishop
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