Earthquake, Flood And Storms: Examining Your Home After A Natural Disaster

Posted on: 30 September 2014

Your home is your safe haven, but when a natural disaster strikes, it could become a danger. Check out these three common natural disasters and how to check for damage to your home after each one.


The seismic waves created by earthquakes shake the ground, which causes an unstable platform for your home. Worldwide, there are about 100 Earthquakes a year that are strong enough to cause damage. Even if your home is not in the epicenter of the earthquake, you may still be in danger because the waves spread outward, growing weaker until finally dissipating. Common damage caused by major earthquakes includes buckling roads, damage to buildings, broken electrical lines and landslides.  

Damage Checklist:

After a major earthquake, it is important to check your home for any damage, but some effects of earthquakes don't appear right away. Continue to check your home for a few weeks following the quake.

  • Examine outside of your home and make sure there is no collapsed, cracked or damaged areas
  • Look at your house to determine if it is leaning or has shifted off the foundation
  • Inspect the chimney for gaps and cracks
  • Make sure your utilities are intact, such as sewage, power and gas
  • Check inside your home for any cracks or gaps, especially where the walls meet the floor


Floods are one of the most common disasters and one of the most costly when it comes to property damage. In fact, in Canada, water damage is the leading cause of property damage, but it doesn't matter where you live, just about everywhere is at risk forflood damage. Whether it's a flash flood bringing a 10 foot wall of water or a slower one bringing in a few inches, floods wreck towns and cause serious damage, including soil erosion, sewer contamination, collapsed bridges and damage to buildings and homes.

Damage Checklist:

Regardless of the amount of water, you must inspect your home after a flood to prevent further problems. Make sure to wait until the floodwaters have completely receded and authorities and professionals have told you it is safe to reenter.

  • Look for fire hazards like submerged electrical appliances or frayed wires
  • Check for cracks, gaps and other damage in the foundation, walls, floors and ceilings
  • Examine the color and smell of your drinking water to ensure it has not been contaminated by sewage
  • Ensure the roof and overhangs are still properly supported


A little rain or wind here and there is normal, but when environmental disturbances in the atmosphere occur, mild weather turns into a storm. There are many different types of storms that can negatively affect your home, but some of the most common include hail storm, windstorm, thunderstorm and blizzards. Extremely powerful storms can cause additional problems like flooding, landslides and wildfires.

Damage Checklist:

Storms can cause all types of damage to the outside of your home, but roofs tend to take the brunt of the damage. It is important to thoroughly examine your home for any damage after the storm has passed, but only inspect your roof from the ground, and then hire a professional roofer to take a closer look.

  • Inspect your roof for any broken or missing shingles or fascia. Make sure to check the ground too for missing pieces
  • Check around your chimney and exhaust pipes to make sure there is no gaps or holes
  • Look for any down trees or limbs that could have fallen on your roof and caused serious structural damage
  • Identify any leaks and water damage inside your attack
  • Check for dents, cracks and holes on the exterior walls of your home and the foundation
  • Examine windows for any cracks or breaks

Don't let your home fall victim to a natural disaster. Make sure to expect it completely after the storm, flood or earthquake has passed. For more information about repairs, contact a contractor in your area today.