The roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements. However, there’s a good chance it may suffer extensive damage during storm season. Being prepared is crucial to facing this potential problem head-on, which is why it pays to know the steps you need to take following severe weather events like hailstorms and strong winds.
The primary goal of executing these measures is to restore your roof and home as soon as possible. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be able to accomplish three things: determine the severity of the damage, perform the necessary repairs and expedite the filing of your storm damage insurance claim.
Assessing the Roof
Knowing how badly your roof has been damaged by a storm helps to prevent further harm to your home and valuables. The extent and severity of the roof damage are also essential pieces of information to provide your insurance company, especially when you decide to file a claim.
Here’s a checklist to use when you perform a roof inspection yourself. Of course, you can always play it safe and leave the task to the professionals.
Start inside your house – Look up at the ceiling and see if there’s dripping water or isolated wet spots or stains. Any of these are indications of roof leaks. Access the attic to confirm this. Do so during daylight hours so you can see sunlight streaming through any small holes or cracks. Don’t forget to bring a flashlight as well. Use it to check the decking for visible stains or streaks and signs of swelling or sagging.
Go outside safely – Be sure the skies are clear and that there are no potential hazards before heading out. Standing on the ground with binoculars in hand, start inspecting your roof. Take note of shingles that have gone missing or are displaying signs of cracking or curling. Pay attention to detached or deformed flashing around chimneys, dormers and other roof structures. Inspect the gutters and look down at the ground as well and check for black specks of material. The protective granules on the surface of the asphalt shingles may have been dislodged due to wind-carried debris or hail impact.
Get up the ladder – As long as the weather is fine and you’re physically able and comfortable with using a ladder, taking a closer look at your roof to check for damage is recommended. Check for loose nails or fasteners on the roof surface. Get rid of debris that’s collected in the gutters. Again, you can always err on the side of caution and hire a qualified professional to perform a thorough inspection for you.
Clear signs of roof damage must be addressed promptly. Detached or deformed flashing must either be repaired or replaced. The same goes for missing or damaged shingles. Before implementing repairs, however, make sure to document the extent of the roof damage by taking photos or videos from ground level and taking detailed notes. By so doing, you can submit them to your insurer to help justify any claims you intend to make.
Call Your Insurer and/or Roofer
You can choose to get in touch with a professional roofing contractor first before your insurance agent or vice versa. Either way, they’ll need information from each other to evaluate the damage and provide an estimate for your insurance claim. To prepare your claim and jumpstart the roof restoration process, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Steer clear of “storm chasers” – Keep an eye out for people who visit homes in areas that have experienced storm damage. These so-called “storm chasers” represent themselves as roofing experts but are actually in it for the money, providing less-than-stellar workmanship and using substandard products to fix your roof.
Work with a certified roofer – Reputable roofing companies don’t roam around the neighborhood offering their services following a storm. They only come in response to a customers’ call. Be sure that the one you choose for your roof repair has the necessary licenses, manufacturer certifications and insurance.
Invite your roofer and insurer to your home – This is an ideal scenario you want to happen to ensure both parties can work together efficiently. Once the insurance adjuster and roofing contractor have worked out the essential details, the settlement may be enough to pay for a new roof that’s similar to or better than the one that suffered storm damage.
When choosing a new system to replace your storm-damaged roof, make sure to ask your roofer about your options. Apart from the style and color of the shingles, consider the warranties, accessories and installation methods that might provide the new roof with better weather performance. For instance, select asphalt shingles with high wind and impact resistance ratings.
Mitigate Roof Damage
Upon informing your insurance agent about the roof damage or scheduling roofing work with your chosen contractor, you must do everything you can to avoid further damage to your roof and keep moisture out until the roofing team can start the repairs or replacement.
One way to minimize further damage to your home following a storm is to protect your home’s interior. Start by placing buckets or garbage cans under active leaks. Move valuables as far from the source of the leaks as possible, or consider covering them with plastic sheets to safeguard them from moisture damage.
Albeit temporary, tarping your roof can protect your home’s interior effectively for a few weeks. To do this, you need to first determine the location of the leaks. Then, lay the tarp over the damaged area, draping one of its edges that measures at least four feet over the roof’s ridge. Make sure the material you use is large enough to ensure adequate coverage. Lastly, place several 2x4s on the tarp to weigh it down and keep it secure.
To make the job easier, you can have an able-bodied family member or friend help you with laying out the tarp. Of course, you can also choose to have the roofing professionals handle this important roof mitigation step when they come over to inspect your storm-damaged roof.
For all your storm damage needs, turn to Ryan Construction Systems, Inc. Whether your roof suffered hail or wind damage, our team is committed to getting it fixed as soon as possible. As a GAF-certified roofer, we only use the best roofing materials and components to restore your roof to its original condition. We can also assist you with your insurance claims, allowing you to navigate the process without any worries.
Call (816) 741-1941 to get started. You may also fill out our contact form to request a free estimate.