Residents should be very careful when returning home following tornados. Once it is safe to do so, Allstate (NYSE: ALL) recommends that homeowners carefully inspect their homes for signs of damage.
While checking for damage, Allstate reminds residents to pay particular attention to the following areas:
- Look for wall cracks in spots where there weren’t cracks before. Cracks of a quarter inch or more are signs walls may have shifted or settled.
- Look carefully around windows and doors because these are typically the weakest spots in a home’s construction.
- Make sure to closely check rooms not regularly used.
- Look outside for physically visible, new cracks in the home’s foundation. Look inside for changes in the levelness of floors. Changes in the level of the floor could be signs of a lift in the home’s foundation.
- Inspect plumbing. Look closely around the water heater and or water softener for signs of water leaks that did not exist before. Flush all toilets, turn on all of the water faucets, and check connecting pipes for any leaking water.
- In the days or weeks after a tornado, check walls and ceilings for water stains or yellowing that did not exist before. It could indicate damage on the roof.
- Carefully inspect the outside gutters. Damaged gutters could cause water damage inside the home long after the actual gutter damage occurs.