What to look out for During an Post-Hurricane Inspection
There’s only a few more weeks until the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season ends on November 30, but areas across the country can be suspectable to storms long after the hurricane season is over. Nor’easters, winter storms, flash floods, and extreme weather events don’t have a strict season, and any vacation rental company can be affected by a disaster.
When this occurs, many of our clients utilize our FREE Disaster Recovery Tool to address preparation and assessment inspections before and after a storm.
If you are familiar with this tool, and / or perform off-season inspections regardless of the weather, then you likely already know how customizable your ensuing inspection forms can be. With the Disaster Recovery Tool, as well as the Survey Tool, you create the questions that best address the unique problems you may experience in your area when a storm or the off-season winter months roll around.
But if you’re just setting up your inspection forms, or want to ensure that you cover all your bases, what should you include?
Start by making sure that these items are on your list of things to check when a hurricane, storm, or just a summer full of wear and tear has affected your properties.
Mold is something that your maintenance staff and inspectors should always be on the lookout for, regardless of whether you are checking properties after a storm, or just doing an annual inspection. A small black spot on a wall can often be just the tip of the iceberg, as mold has an unhealthy ability to spread just below the surface. As such, ask your team to look for these telltale brown or black spots, which may indicate that mold is a prevalent issue. If the drywall surrounding the spot is moist or soft, it’s a clear sign that there’s a larger and active problem.
Have you ever walked into a home that had sour smelling carpet near the slider doors and windows? This is likely due to water creeping in through the cracks. When there’s a strong storm with high winds, rain and saltwater can leak in through the windows or doors, causing the carpet to dampen, and eventually, emit a foul smell. Ask your team to keep their noses to the grindstone, so to speak, and be on the lookout for wet carpet or the telltale odor that indicates that the windows and doors have a leakage problem.
Power and Services
After a storm, your maintenance staff will likely turn on the lights to ensure that the home still has electricity, but what about the other electronics, services, and appliances in the property? Outdoor air conditioner units or cable wires can be affected during a strong storm or other disaster, so it’s important to check everything that is wired into the home. Ask your team to ensure the A/C or heat is working, to check the cable and internet, as well as the operation of major appliances – especially if there’s been a recent thunderstorm in your area. This way, you can minimize any maintenance-related guest calls when the home is ready for check-in again.
Accessibility and Access
The interior of the home may be spotless, but what about the yard and surroundings? Make sure your team checks the exterior of the property after a storm, as that’s likely where the majority of the damage will be. Things like loose power lines in the neighborhood can present a safety hazard, while broken docks or beach boardwalks can lead to guest calls and complaints. So ensure that everything around the home is properly in place and readily accessible – inside and out.
Outdoor amenities can disappear with the wind and water when a storm arrives, so ensure that these facets of the home are accounted for. Ask your team to check for trash cans, outdoor furniture, grills, and other items that can be easily affected by the weather. You’ll want to make sure you double check the private pools and hot tubs, too, for excess debris or sand.
A hurricane, storm, or other natural disaster can present a world of headaches for property managers, but with a little organization and effort, you can ensure your homes are in peak condition and ready for guests. Contact us today if you have questions on the Disaster Recovery Tool or the Survey Tool, and let’s work together to ensure your properties are continually ready for check-in, regardless of the what the weather or the season brings.