How to Assess and Repair Roof Damage after a Storm

If you’ve recently experienced a storm that has caused damage to your roof, you may be wondering what steps to take to repair it. Repairing your roof after storm damage is crucial for the safety and longevity of your home.

Over the years, I have encountered various forms of roof damage, ranging from minor hail damage and missing shingles to severe destruction caused by falling trees and branches. This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of storm damage, including methods for evaluating it, anticipated costs, and the step-by-step process of restoring a damaged roof to its original state.

How to Assess Your Roof’s Damage after a Storm

Please take a survey for storm damage as soon as it’s safe. I strongly advise against accessing your roof yourself, as roofs are hazardous even for professionals in good weather. Instead, a visual examination from the ground and in the attic or interior is enough to detect signs of damage.

The most important thing to look out for initially is roof leaks. If you discover substantial water leakage, it is crucial to contact a professional immediately. Sustained water leakage can lead to severe damage, such as collapsing drywall, electrical hazards, and the spread of water to hidden and hard-to-reach areas of your home.

Find a Water Leak

Dealing with water damage can be quite a hassle, and it’s definitely something homeowners would want to avoid if they can. If you notice any signs of dampness, discoloration, sagging, or swelling, it’s likely that water has infiltrated an area where it shouldn’t be.

To tackle water leakage, it is advisable to begin by checking the attic, as it is the most common area where this issue occurs. Take a flashlight, venture into the attic, and conduct a thorough visual examination. Pay particular attention to the far sides where the roof slopes down into the wall, as well as the rafters, for any signs of water dripping or running down.

If you happen to find water, it might require some effort to locate where it is coming from. Due to the angled structure of roofs, water tends to seep in and then run down the sloping surfaces, ultimately dripping in a different spot from where it initially entered.

In case you are unable to pinpoint the source, there’s no need to worry. Some leaks can be incredibly difficult to detect. It is advisable to contact a professional roofer and arrange for an inspection.

Once you have determined that your house is not immediately at risk, it is important to document any damage you come across. This will be useful when you file a claim with your insurance company, as they will require as much evidence as possible.

It is crucial to document everything, even if you are uncertain whether the damage was caused by the storm. Remember, insurance is a service that you pay for, so there’s no need to hesitate in being proactive and thorough in your investigation.

Identifying roof damage

Yeah, there are some obvious signs of roof damage to look out for. Like holes from falling limbs, structural damage that mess up the shape of the roof, missing or torn shingles, and dings and dents on the fascia or metal roof.

There are additional signs to be aware of as well. If you notice that the granules (cinders) on your asphalt shingles have been knocked off in certain areas, this indicates damage from a storm. It is important to address this issue and it may be eligible for a claim on your insurance.

If you notice any dents on your metal roofing, be aware that it could be a result of storm damage. Other signs to watch out for include drooping or detached gutters, swells caused by ice or snow, missing or torn away soffit, and dented or damaged fascia. It’s important to address these issues on time to prevent any further damage.

Repair cost to Your Roof after Storm Damage

Unfortunately, roof damage repair can vary substantially in terms of costs and time frames. Repairing a few shingles can be done for a few hundred dollars and a couple of hours of work, but major damage can result in a significantly higher bill.

It’s not just the cost of the roof that you have to worry about; your roof also protects important components of your home such as the framing, drywall, electrical, and flooring. I have witnessed roofs severely damaged by falling trees, which caused extensive damage to these components.

The cost of repairs in such cases can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars. While the thought of spending that much money and time on repairs is indeed disheartening, it is important to note that incidents involving entire trees falling onto houses are rare.

The type of storm damage that most homeowners can anticipate typically involves issues such as damaged shingles, gutters, or possibly a small hole. Essentially, these are issues that can be easily fixed and don’t require extensive structural repairs or a total roof replacement, which would significantly increase the repair costs.

As a helpful reference, I have created a brief working to provide a general understanding of what a repair might entail.

The cost of repairing storm damage to your roof will depend on the size of your roof.

  • For a 1,000 square foot roof, the low cost average is $250, the medium cost average is $1,000, and the high cost average is $5,000.
  • For a 2,000 square foot roof, the low cost average is $500, the medium cost average is $1,750, and the high cost average is $6,800.
  • For a 3,000 square foot roof, the low cost average is $1,000, the medium cost average is $2,250, and the high cost average is $8,100.

It’s always a best idea to get quotes from various roofing contractors before making a decision. This will give you an idea of the average cost of repairs and help you compare the services and prices offered by different contractors.

Yes, the type of roofing material on your roof does affect the repairs needed, but it’s not a major concern, so no need to worry.

If you have asphalt shingles or wood shakes, you can easily replace individual pieces. Metal roofing can also be replaced by unfastening it. Slate is quite durable and should not be easily disturbed unless there is significant impact damage.

When it comes to storm damage beyond the surface, the cost of repairs will vary slightly depending on the roofing material. Some materials may be more expensive than others, but overall, the costs should be proportional to the total cost of the roof.

The Process of Making an Insurance Claim

Once you’ve reached out to your homeowner’s insurance company about possible storm damage to your roof, the process of filing an insurance claim begins. It’s important to be aware that this can be a lengthy and occasionally frustrating journey. To help you navigate through it, here are the 5 key things you need to know about the storm damage claim process.

The insurance claim process for storm damage can be quite frustrating and convoluted

Regrettably, there is a significant number of roofing and insurance companies that may not always prioritize your best interests. Hence, we often describe the insurance process as complex and confusing. Some companies exploit this situation and take advantage of homeowners who are desperate to resolve their roofing issues.

However, it is important to note that not all roofing or insurance companies will attempt to exploit you. Our aim is simply to inform you that there are individuals on both sides of the industry who may attempt to take advantage of homeowners in distressing situations. By understanding this beforehand, you can help ensure that you do not fall victim to such circumstances.

Wait to sign any paperwork until your storm damage claim is approved

Sometimes roofing companies can be pushy, trying to pressure homeowners into signing contracts before inspecting the roof. If this happens, it means they want to secure control over your roof before your insurance claim is approved. It’s a clear indication that the company is not looking out for your best interests.

A reliable roofing contractor will guide you through the insurance process and provide an honest evaluation of any storm damage, without requiring any commitment from you. If you’re concerned about storm damage, it’s important not to sign any documents from a roofing company until your insurance claim is actually approved.

Insurance adjusters are responsible for approving your storm damage claim

The insurance adjuster has the sole authority to approve your claim, regardless of what your insurance company may state. A roofing contractor can assess for storm damage and support your case if they believe it exists.

They can even present photographs with explanations of the identified damage caused by the storm. However, even if the roofing contractor is absolutely certain that you require a roof replacement due to storm damage, it is ultimately the insurance adjuster who holds the power to approve the claim.

Insurance adjusters make mistakes

When insurance adjusters assess storm damage, they are usually able to spot it accurately. However, it is important to acknowledge that they are human and can occasionally make errors that result in the denial of a storm damage claim.

There’s no need to panic if this happens. There are methods available to thoroughly examine your roof for storm damage multiple times.

The most effective approach is to request a second insurance adjuster to visit your property and inspect the roof. If the claim is approved, that’s fantastic. However, there are instances where the second adjuster may still deem the roof unsuitable for a claim.

If you remain certain that your roof has sustained storm damage despite the second adjuster’s denial, you have the option to have an engineer visit your home. They will conduct a thorough roof inspection and, if possible, provide evidence to your insurance company demonstrating the necessity for roof replacement due to storm damage.

You have the freedom to select your own roofing contractor for your storm-damaged roof

Once your claim is approved, you have the freedom to choose any local roofing contractor in your area. It is crucial to select a contractor with experience in handling insurance claims. However, seeking multiple quotes to find the lowest price is unnecessary; as the insurance company determines the cost of your replacement once your claim is approved.

Nevertheless, it is advisable to conduct thorough research and engage with various roofing companies to find the most suitable one for your needs. When making your selection, ensure that they offer exceptional workmanship and are willing to advocate for you throughout the insurance process.

Preventive Measures for Future Roof Damage from Storms

It’s important to protect yourself from nature’s fury, but there are some precautions you can take. Keeping your roof well-maintained will provide you with the best possible protection. While it’s not common to have scheduled roof inspections, it’s important to get them done when necessary. If you suspect any issues with your roof, it’s a good idea to schedule an inspection.

It’s also beneficial to have an inspection towards the end of your roofing material’s lifespan, such as shingles, shakes, or tile. A professional can give you their expert opinion on how much longer your roof will last and when you should consider getting a new one. They can also check the condition of your roof’s underlying structure.

Trim Trees near Your Home

Trees provide beneficial shade and can enhance the environment with moss and lichen. However, it is important to recognize that trees also have the potential to pose a threat. While it is not necessary to remove all trees, homeowners must carefully consider the risk-reward aspect. It is advisable to regularly maintain trees near a house by seeking professional assistance. While even well-maintained trees still carry some risk, they are less hazardous compared to unhealthy, deceased, or overgrown trees.

Monitor Weather Reports

Stay informed about upcoming weather events in your area. Regularly monitor weather reports and take necessary precautions when severe storms are forecasted. Be proactive in protecting your roof by securing loose items around your property and reinforcing vulnerable areas.

Install Storm-Resistant Materials

Consider installing storm-resistant materials when it’s time for a roof replacement or repair. Storm-resistant shingles are specially designed to withstand high winds, heavy rain, and hail. These durable materials can significantly reduce the risk of damage during storms and provide you with long-lasting protection for your home.

How to Choose a Reliable Roofing Contractor

The Internet provides valuable information when searching for a reliable roofing company. Websites such as Yelp, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Google Reviews offer customer testimonials that can guide you in the right direction.

It’s crucial to check if the company is insured and licensed according to your state’s laws and regulations. Additionally, reputable companies always offer a warranty on their work. It’s advisable to steer clear of any company that doesn’t provide this.

In my professional opinion, there are two key indicators of a reputable company: a portfolio and a warranty on their work. It is important to be cautious when dealing with professionals who are unwilling to provide evidence of their work or assurances on the quality of their work.

It is also worth noting that in areas affected by severe storms, it is common for companies to send sales associates to approach homeowners door-to-door. While this practice is not as common anymore and is often associated with unscrupulous sellers, it would be premature to dismiss companies solely based on this approach.

I have had the opportunity to work with several professional and reputable companies that operate in storm-affected areas. In the best scenarios, this practice facilitates a faster and smoother repair process for homeowners.

However, it is crucial to exercise caution and thoroughly evaluate such companies as there is a mix of honest and dishonest individuals who are attracted to these opportunities.

Here Is the Best Way to Repair Your Roof

Make sure to thoroughly inspect both the inside and outside of your house. Keep an eye out for any signs of water leakage, fallen tree branches, missing shingles or roofing material, damaged roof materials, or anything that looks unusual, out of place, or different from what you remember. Additionally, pay attention to any indications of wear and tear on the roof.

Make sure to document any damages you find, preferably with pictures, and start the process of filing an insurance claim. Your insurer will send an adjuster to evaluate the damage and determine your reimbursement. Once that’s done, reach out to roofing professional to get a repair quote.

Once your insurance verifies your claim, your roof will be repaired, and you can trust in its durability once more.

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