MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – April 14, 2009 -- Following the tornado that struck Murfreesboro, Allstate cautions homeowners to be extremely careful when re-entering their homes. Allstate recommends that homeowners carefully inspect their homes after a tornado for signs of hidden damage.

If consumers check their homes for damage, they should consider following the below steps:
  • After wind or earth movement events, you should look for wall cracks in spots where you didn’t have cracks before. Cracks of a quarter inch or more are signs your walls may have shifted or settled. Look carefully around windows and doors because these are typically the weakest spots in your construction.
  • Make sure to closely check rooms you don’t usually use.
  • Look for cracks or signs of lifting in your foundation. Look outside for physically visible, new cracks in your home’s foundation. Look inside for changes in the levelness of your floors. Changes in the level of your floor could be signs of a lift in the home’s foundation.
  • Inspect your plumbing. Look closely around your water heater and or water softener for signs of water leaks that did not exist before. Flush all your toilets, turn on all your water faucets, and check connecting pipes for leaking water.
  • In the days or weeks after a tornado, check walls and ceilings for water stains or yellowing that could be signs of unseen damage on your roof.
  • Carefully inspect your outside gutters. Damaged gutters could cause water damage inside your home long after the actual gutter damage occurs.
If your home shows signs of hidden damage and needs repair, Allstate strongly encourages homeowners to be extremely cautious when hiring contractors. Unscrupulous contractors may take advantage of people who have experienced a catastrophic event.