Storms seem to be hitting many parts of the country more often and with more ferocity these days. Besides the terrible toll they can take when it comes to lives and injuries, thunderstorms, hailstorms and other kinds of horrific weather can often cause severe damage to homes. Because a house is often the most valuable financial asset for many Americans, damage from a storm can be financially devastating even if you and your loved ones have come through physically unscathed.
Although many parts of a building can incur damage from a storm, the roof typically suffers the brunt of the destruction. This is particularly true of hailstorms. But damage can also occur because of lighting, wind and a host of other storm-related causes, including trees and branches falling on a roof.
Fortunately, most home insurance policies cover storm damage, including the roof. If your roof has been damaged, it’s important to act quickly to repair or replace it. Like most problems, a damaged roof won’t get better on its own. Ignoring the damage will only lead to greater problems with your home in the future, such as dry rot and other serious issues. As the problems get worse, they will become more expensive to repair.
Because most home insurance policies will cover all your roofing costs except for your deductible, it makes sense to act promptly after a serious storm. If your roof has been damaged by a storm, read on to learn what to do to get your house back in shape as quickly and economically as possible.
Types of Roof Damage
First of all, you should understand the various causes and types of damage that can occur. Wind, hail, lightning and falling trees and branches are just a few potential causes.
Is roof wind damage covered by insurance as well as other causes? You will be happy to know that most home insurance policies cover all these types of roof damage.
The amount of money your insurer reimburses you may depend not only on the extent of the damage but also on the age of your roof. For instance, an insurer might pay more to repair or replace a three-year-old roof than a 20-year-old roof.
What to Do After the Storm
You may be wondering, “How do I claim storm damage to my roof?” Claiming storm damage for roof repairs or replacements isn’t difficult. But it can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially after you have come through a violent storm and a stressful situation. Some insurers may overwhelm you with an army of adjusters and paperwork.
To ensure maximum success, follow a few simple steps. Once you and your family have weathered the storm safely, the first thing you should do is contact your home insurer if you suspect roof damage.
In some cases, this is painfully obvious just by looking at your roof from the ground or watching rain pour in through your ceiling. At other times, damage is less readily apparent. But unseen damage can work like a silent killer on your home.
By nature, because it is mostly out of sight, roof damage isn’t always easy to spot. If you suspect damage but aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to contact your insurance company as well as one or more professional estimators from trusted roofing companies.
This will get the ball rolling. At some point, the insurance company will send out one or more adjusters. They should get up on your roof and assess the damage.
You should also get in touch with reputable roofing contractors in your area. Many offer free, no-obligation estimates.
Don’t settle for a roof survey by drone or other solely technological means. These can miss roof problems that aren’t obvious. Find folks who will go up on your roof, inspect it thoroughly and provide a written estimate for repairs or replacement. A good estimate will include all the projected costs of materials and labor. Watch out for shady operators who might be here today but gone tomorrow, taking your money but leaving you without a reliable roof.
The estimates you receive from contractors may not always be in the same ballpark as what you get from your insurance adjuster. Don’t be shy about pressing your roofing insurance claims for storm damage.
After all, you pay a substantial annual sum for your insurance. Many people have faithfully paid their insurance bills for decades without ever filing a claim. That can add up to tens of thousands of dollars over time. You are entitled to receive the coverage you paid for and to be made whole after a devastating disaster.
Some roofing companies offer comprehensive roofing claims processing service. This can help you get the coverage you have paid for and expedite payment from an insurer who may be moving slowly. It can also save you time and hassles in what will be a stressful time.
Costs and Estimates
The average cost to replace a roof will vary by region. Labor costs can differ markedly. The cost of materials will also play a big part in the final price tag. As in many things, when it comes to roof repairs and replacement, you generally get what you pay for.
The cost of a replacement roof may seem high. But a roof made of high-quality materials installed by expert roofers can last for decades, protecting your family as well as your home investment. As a wise man once said, “A cheap roof may be the most expensive thing you ever buy.”