What to Do After Storm Damage: A Step-by-Step Guide
When an intense storm strikes, the aftermath can be devastating, leaving your property vulnerable. Knowing the right steps to take can significantly impact your ability to restore safety and integrity. In this guide, we will navigate you through essential post-storm actions and insights into recognizing hail damage on your roof.
Related Article: Hail Damage to Roofs: When do you need repairs?
What To Do After a Storm
Step 1: Prioritize Safety
Begin by ensuring your safety and that of your family. Check for hazards like downed power lines, unstable structures, or shattered glass. Only proceed when you’re certain the environment is safe.
Step 2: Document the Damage
Thorough documentation is crucial. Capture clear photos and videos of affected areas inside and outside. This visual record is invaluable for insurance claims and contractor coordination.
Step 3: Contact Your Insurance Company
Inform your insurance company about the damage to initiate claims. Share the documentation you’ve gathered and retain records of all communications.
Step 4: Schedule a Professional Inspection
A professional inspection is vital to uncover hidden issues. Engage a licensed roofing contractor experienced in storm damage. They’ll assess thoroughly and recommend necessary fixes.
Step 5: Address Immediate Repairs
Prioritize urgent fixes to prevent further damage. Consult your contractor for tasks like leak repairs, securing broken windows, and stabilizing structures.
Step 6: Understand Hail Damage
Recognizing hail damage is vital, as it can hide unseen issues. Look for dents, cracks, or punctures on roofing, gutters, and vents. Missing granules on shingles or dents on metal roofs are common signs.
Step 7: Schedule Roof Repairs
Based on the inspection, collaborate with your contractor for a detailed repair plan. Address visible damage and potential long-term risks to your roof’s integrity.
Step 8: Obtain Multiple Quotes
Collect quotes from reputable contractors for repair proposals. Compare costs, timelines, and project scope for an informed decision.
Step 9: Document All Transactions
Maintain meticulous records of all interactions, including communication with contractors and insurance representatives, as well as incurred expenses.
Step 10: Ensure Quality Workmanship
Choose a skilled contractor specializing in storm damage. Verify credentials, licenses, and insurance coverage to ensure quality workmanship reinstating your property’s safety.
Five things to know about the insurance claim process for storm damage to your roof
Dealing with storm damage to your roof can be challenging, but understanding the insurance claim procedure can make the journey smoother. Here are five essential things to know about the insurance claim process for storm-damaged roofs:
1. Prompt Reporting Is Crucial
After a storm, it’s crucial to report the damage to your insurance company as soon as possible. Prompt reporting demonstrates your commitment to mitigating further damage and helps expedite the claims process. Waiting too long might result in complications or delays, potentially affecting the outcome of your claim.
2. Document the Damage
Before making any repairs, document the damage extensively. Take clear photographs and videos of all affected areas, both inside and outside. These visual records will serve as vital evidence when filing your claim. Be thorough and capture various angles to provide a comprehensive view of the damage.
3. Consult with Professionals
Engaging a professional roofing contractor is essential for an accurate assessment of the damage. Their expertise can uncover both visible and hidden issues, ensuring your claim covers all necessary repairs. Insurance adjusters often rely on contractor evaluations to determine the scope and cost of repairs.
4. Understand Your Policy
Familiarize yourself with your insurance policy’s coverage for storm damage. Different policies might include specific clauses or limitations related to weather-related incidents. Understanding what is covered and any deductible amounts can help you manage your expectations throughout the claims process.
5. File a Comprehensive Claim
When filing your claim, provide a detailed account of the damage supported by your documentation and the roofing contractor’s assessment. Include a clear description of the incident, the extent of damage, and the repairs required. The more comprehensive your claim, the better chance you have of receiving a fair settlement.
Bonus Tip: Be Prepared for the Adjuster
Once you’ve filed your claim, an insurance adjuster will likely visit your property to assess the damage. Accompany the adjuster during the inspection and share the documentation and assessment provided by your roofing contractor. Ask questions and ensure that the adjuster fully understands the extent of the damage.
How do I Know if My Roof Has Storm Damage?
After a severe storm, your roof might have undergone significant stress and potential damage. Detecting storm damage early is essential to prevent further deterioration and to initiate timely repairs. Here are the key signs to look for when determining if your roof has suffered storm damage:
1. Missing or Damaged Shingles: Check for shingles that are entirely missing, torn, or visibly damaged. Shingles might be displaced due to strong winds or impact from debris during the storm. If you notice patches of your roof with exposed underlayment or substrate, it’s a clear sign of potential storm damage.
2. Granule Loss: Inspect your gutters and downspouts for a buildup of granules, which appear as coarse black sand. Granules protect shingles from UV rays and impacts. A significant loss of granules can indicate hail damage or weather-related wear and tear.
3. Dents and Bruising: If your roof is asphalt, wood, or metal, look for dents, bruises, or indentations caused by hail. Hail damage might not always be evident from the ground, so a closer inspection is essential. Metal roofs might also show circular marks from hail impact.
4. Cracks or Splitting: Check for cracks, splits, or fractures on your roofing materials, especially if you have wood shingles or tiles. These can occur due to the force of the storm or heavy debris impact.
5. Leaks or Water Stains: Inspect your attic for signs of leaks or water stains on the ceiling and walls. Even small leaks can lead to extensive damage over time if not addressed promptly.
6. Debris Accumulation: Look for debris like branches, leaves, or other materials that might have accumulated on your roof during the storm. These can create areas of pooled water and increase the risk of water damage.
7. Damaged Flashing: Examine the flashing around chimneys, vents, and skylights. If you notice any bent, cracked, or missing flashing, it can lead to water infiltration and further damage.
8. Sagging or Uneven Areas: Inspect your roofline for any visible sagging or uneven sections. These could indicate structural damage caused by the storm’s impact.
9. Exterior Damage: Check your home’s exterior for signs of damage that could indirectly affect your roof, such as cracked windows, damaged siding, or broken gutters.
10. Professional Inspection: When in doubt, seek a professional inspection from a licensed roofing contractor. They can provide a comprehensive assessment, identifying both visible and hidden damage.
In the wake of a storm, your proactive approach to recognizing and addressing potential roof damage can safeguard the long-term integrity of your home. Early detection and timely repairs are key to preventing further deterioration and ensuring your family’s safety. If you suspect storm damage, don’t hesitate to consult a trusted roofing professional for a thorough inspection and expert guidance.
Hire a Dependable, Trusted Roofing Contractor
Schedule and Conduct a Roof Inspection
To ensure the longevity and safety of your roof, it’s essential to schedule a comprehensive inspection, and Robbins Roofing is here to assist you every step of the way. Our experienced team will meticulously assess your roof for any signs of damage, including missing shingles, leaks, or structural issues. By promptly addressing potential problems, you can avoid more extensive and costly repairs down the line. With Robbins Roofing’s expertise, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your roof is in capable hands.