IRVING, Texas, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Residents should be very careful when returning home following the tornadoes that struck the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Once it is safe to do so, Allstate 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.
For residents who received hail, there are a few places you can look for signs of damage:
- Check patio covers, screens, windows and soft aluminum roofs for hail damage.
- Be safe when checking for roof damage, and consider using binoculars to check your roof for hail damage.
- Check vehicles for dents and broken or cracked glass caused by hail.
- If you find hail damage, consider doing the following:
- Cover any broken windows and holes in your roof, as well as any broken glass on the car, to prevent further damage.
- Report your insurance claim as soon as possible; no matter what the level of damage.
- If possible, have your auto insurance, homeowner insurance and/or renter's insurance policy numbers available when you report your claim.
- Take pictures before you make any temporary repairs.
- Keep receipts for necessary temporary repairs due to a covered loss to present to your adjuster. These costs may be reimbursable under your homeowner policy.
Allstate policyholders that suspect their home may have sustained damage during the recent storm can contact Allstate through The Good Hands Network by dialing 1-800-54-STORM or visiting at Allstate.com.
If your home shows signs of damage and needs repair, Allstate strongly encourages homeowners to be careful when hiring contractors. Following large natural disasters, contractor fraud is more common.
The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL) is the nation's largest publicly held personal lines insurer. Widely known through the "You're In Good Hands With Allstate®" slogan, Allstate is reinventing protection and retirement to help nearly 16 million households insure what they have today and better prepare for tomorrow. Consumers access Allstate insurance products (auto, home, life and retirement) and services through Allstate agencies, independent agencies, and Allstate exclusive financial representatives in the U.S. and Canada, as well as via www.allstate.com and 1-800 Allstate®. As part of Allstate's commitment to strengthen local communities, The Allstate Foundation, Allstate employees, agency owners and the corporation provided $28 million in 2011 to thousands of nonprofit organizations and important causes across the United States.
SOURCE The Allstate Corporation