What To Do When Your Roof Suffers Storm Damage
As a homeowner, it is rare that you can predict when your home will be hit by hazardous weather. Windstorms, severe rainstorms, and snow/ice storms can all cause damage to a shingle roof.
Having a clear understanding of the proper steps to take when your roof becomes damaged by inclement weather is incredibly important. In this article we will provide you with some advice on what to do when your roof suffers storm damage.
Before you do anything, you should carry out a quick assessment to find out if it’s safe or not for you or others to be in the building. If you’re dealing with something like a fallen tree, there is a risk that the roof could collapse further, causing damage and injury underneath it.
Assessing the damage done to your roof.
The first step after you experience severe weather is to assess the damage.
As a nonprofessional, there are limits to what you can do. However, you can still make a preliminary damage assessment so you can start making plans for repairs. This is also the best time to take photos, videos, and any other form of evidence as this could be important when you’re filing an insurance claim.
Assessing the estimated damage to your roof before contacting your insurance company or contractor helps you to discuss your needs and avoid any unforeseen costs or discrepancies. When looking at your roof to identify damaged areas, use a pair of binoculars, don’t try and assess the damage from on top of the roof. This could be very dangerous since the underlying structure could collapse.
Estimate the general square foot area and specific details of the area that has been damaged. Note the severity of the damage, and look carefully to see if there are areas of missing shingles. In some cases, only a few random shingles will be missing. You should also document any materials that are visible or exposed. You will want to check for signs of exposed plywood, tarpaper, or the ends of missing shingles. Take note of the color of the material and the approximate shade. It’s also beneficial to check for saggy areas, missing shingles, or loose granules in your roof to know the exact location of the damage. It will also save time and effort on behalf of your roofing contractor if you’re able to locate exactly where the damage occurred.
Making temporary fixes to minimize property damage.
Even if you reach out to a contractor immediately, it may take them some time to get to you. Sometimes, waiting is a luxury you can’t afford since other things could be getting damaged if, for example, you may have water dripping into a certain room.
If you find that directly above a living space the roof has been severely damaged, the interior property can be somewhat harmed by leaking water. To limit the damage to interior spaces, you may have to perform temporary repairs. You’ll want to remove any valuables in the surrounding area and place a bucket or garbage can beneath the leaks to prevent any further interior damage. If you find more serious interior damage it will quickly need to be waterproofed using a strapped tarping method or ice and water membrane. Whereas, smaller repairs can be shingled immediately.
Contact your insurance company.
If the damage is serious and likely to cost you a fortune, you should call your insurance company as soon as possible. Ideally, your insurance coverage will include damage from such events. Using your homeowner’s insurance may also be faster if it’s a particularly busy period for contractors. Contacting your insurance company is incredibly important if the damage to your roof is substantial and should not be left to the last minute. You should evaluate whether the damage is large enough to be covered through home insurance, or whether it would be more economical to hire a contractor directly for any necessary repairs. In times of natural disaster, when large residential areas are hit by a storm or other severe weather, it can be beneficial to use your homeowner’s insurance as contractors can become overly busy.
Contact a reliable contractor to repair the roof.
If you decide to hire a private contractor, always hire a professional certified roofing contractor. You should also avoid contractors who are in the area because of a natural disaster. Traveling contractors who follow storms have no reputation to uphold and may provide substandard workmanship.
Protecting and ensuring the health of your roof is an important part of homeownership. Roof damage can easily turn into property damage. In order to keep such incidents at bay, it is important to get your roof fixed as soon as possible.