Whether your home has been damaged by termites, flooding or another other type of event, you may understandably be concerned about your ability to continue to live in the property as well as about the financial consequences associated with the damage. Some damage may be identified and repaired immediately, but other damage can be neglected or may even go undetected for a period of time. The long term effects on your home can be difficult to overcome, but there are a few options to consider.
File an Insurance Claim
Just because the damaging event took place months ago does not mean that you cannot file a claim. Many insurance companies will still process a claim for you when the damage is dated, but there may be special contingencies. Before you file an insurance claim, it can be helpful to speak with your agent personally about the issue. He or she can advise you about the best course of action to take regarding filing a claim.
Seal Off the Area to Contain Damage
In some cases, the damage may continue to grow until it is remedied. For example, if there is wood rot or mold growth after a flood or if you have active termite infestation, damage can continue until treatment is available. Therefore, seal off the area to contain the damage, and begin treating the affected area to kill termites or mold or to remedy the situation in some other way. Restoration of the damage can then begin when you are ready, but this will prevent any further damage from taking place.
Enlist the Help of Friends
In many cases, homeowners who are dealing with property damage do not want to pay an insurance deductible, or the damage may be only slightly more than the deductible is, making it not worthwhile to file a claim. You may be able to do some or most of the work on your own when you enlist the help of a few friends. Many friends may have projects in their homes they want to complete as well, and you can offer your services the following week or two for help with their homes in exchange for their time and effort now. You can also offer to buy a meal or drinks in exchange for their help.
Sell the Property
A final option to consider if you have long term damage and have no way to remedy the situation is to sell the property as-is. Generally, if you can file a claim with insurance, this is what you want to do. Keep in mind that a new buyer will not be able to file a claim for the damage. Some people will pay below-market for a fixer upper with upside potential, and you can position your property for this type of sale if you are willing to potentially take a loss or sell the property for less than what it is worth.
Damage can be difficult to deal with, but it is helpful to have a solution in mind so that you can take appropriate steps. Review all of the options today so that you can make the best decision possible about how to proceed.