Roofing FAQs: Storm Damage and Insurance Claims
A big storm just barreled through your neighborhood and you suspect—or know—the roof is damaged. Now what? Here are answers to a few common questions about roofing storm damage and insurance claims:
How do I know my roof is damaged?
Sometimes damage is obvious to a homeowner on the ground; other times, it can only be identified by a professional who goes onto the roof for an inspection. Schedule an inspection by contacting an insured roofer with a good reputation and experience in storm damage repairs.
What happens during a storm damage inspection?
It’s impossible to conduct a full assessment from the ground. A qualified professional will always get on the roof to examine shingles, flashing, vent covers, and other roofing features for damage evidence.
In addition, the inspector should walk your home’s perimeter to evaluate the condition of gutters, downspouts, siding, and more. A good inspector will also look inside the attic to pinpoint potential damage or problems with ventilation.
After the storm inspection, the roofing contractor should walk you through his or her report. They will show you photos of any damage and, if necessary, explain how that damage impacts your property.
The hail damage doesn’t look bad—why is the inspector recommending roofing replacement?
Hail strikes leave “bruises” on the shingle’s surface. These bruises may appear relatively minor, as though a few granules have been scraped off the surface. However, the hail may have damaged the foundation of the shingle, causing it to crack or break underneath. This rarely causes an immediate roof leak, but, over time, moisture seeps into that crack, compromising the integrity of the shingle.
The result? Your roof might seem fine for a year (or two, or five), but eventually water will work its way through those cracks and trigger a leak. This is precisely the reason insurance companies are willing to pay hail storm claims even when the damage doesn’t appear that bad; it will cost the insurance company less to replace the roof now than it will to replace the roof and mitigate water damage later.
Learn more in Was Your Home Affected by a Recent Hail Storm?
What happens after the inspection?
Call the 1-800 claims number listed for your policy–not your agent. The insurance rep will ask you a few basic questions about your roof and the storm. Then, they’ll give you a claim number and have an adjuster contact you to set up an appointment.
Always coordinate the appointment so the adjuster can meet with the roofing contractor who did the damage evaluation. The inspector will do more than simply discuss damage and repair or replacement. He or she will also work directly with the insurance company to handle paperwork and act as your advocate, eliminating much of the stress that often comes with filing claims.
There’s another important reason to have the adjuster meet with the roofing inspector: when a storm causes widespread damage, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to send in out-of-state adjusters to help manage the volume of claims. A quality roofing contractor will work with the adjuster to make sure he or she understands state and local roofing codes, so your roof is repaired or replaced to required standards.
Work with Roofing Contractors Who Understand Storm Damage & Insurance Claims
Inspectors at Best Contracting are HAAG certified, which means they’ve completed assessment training and testing to properly and professionally evaluate storm damage. To schedule a free roofing storm damage inspection in PA, NJ, MD, or DE, contact our team.