7 Tips for when disaster damages your church building

by Keith Crouch on September 1, 2017 in Harvey Response

When storms damage your church building consider these options:

Watch out for live wires.

Be very aware of exposed electrical hazards and submerged live power hazards. Take proper precautions. Keep people out of hazardous conditions.

Watch out for nails. 

Wear strong soled shoes and boots in debris and submerged areas. Soft soled shoes, sneakers and sandals make you vulnerable to stepping on nails.

Consider covering it up. 

Usually you should tarp any openings like roofs, walls, doors and windows to reduce additional rain and water damage to the interior of the building. Be sure to check with your insurer though, since some will recommend you not touch the affected area until an adjuster can view the damage.

Keep a journal. 

Keep a dated record of timeline, conversations and instructions from your insurance adjuster and insurance company along with the contact name and number of the source of the instructions so that you can be in compliance. Keep a Project Directory of all your contacts with contact information as you work through recovery.

Take photos. 

Get photos of the extent of damages. Usually the insurance adjuster does not want anything moved until they can evaluate the extent of damages.

Don’t cover it up too soon. 

In many churches and homes, well-meaning people make the mistake of covering up sheetrock walls too soon after the flooded sheetrock was cut out and wet insulation was removed. This creates an opportunity for mold to grow. It sometimes can take up to a month for the wood studs to dry. Find someone with a wood moisture meter.

Find your floor plans. 

Along with compiling all your important papers and records before and after a storm, try to find a copy of an “As Built” floor plan of your building as it is currently configured. This will be helpful for verifications with insurance settlements, restoration and estimates.  

2017 Texas Baptists Church Architecture 

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