Storms can be unpredictable, and so can storm damage to your roof. As a homeowner, it’s hard to determine what kind of damage you might have on your hands following a severe storm. It doesn’t matter the type of storm—rainstorms, hailstorms, electrical storms, windstorms, and winter storms can all lead to unfortunate roof damage.
The best thing you can do is understand the correct steps to take following a storm in order to expedite insurance claims and repairs. Taking the right steps at the right times can mean you get your house back to a safe and secure condition as soon as possible.
Remember Steps A-B-C When It Comes to Storm Damage to Your Roof
A. Assess the roof damage – but only when the coast is clear.
Resist the urge to look at your roof until after the storm has completely passed and the sky is clear. Keep in mind wet or icy spots or debris on the roof can cause you to trip, slip and fall. Of course, even more dangerous issues such as downed power lines and unstable roof surfaces are important to consider before you climb up on the roof.
Once you are sure the area is safe, go ahead and assess the storm damage to your roof as best as you can. This will help you to communicate your needs with your roofing company and insurance agent right away. Of course, wait until daylight, because it’s impossible to really assess what’s going on without proper lighting. Then:
● Use binoculars to get a closer look without having to climb all the way on top of the roof.
● Estimate the size of the area and collect specific details about the damage you can share with your insurance and roofing companies.
● Make note of any exposed sections of the roof, specifically looking for plywood, ends of missing shingles or tarpaper.
● Identify any missing shingles and the severity of the damaged areas to give them a clear picture of what they are likely to find during their professional assessments.
B. Begin temporary fixes to minimize the damage to your property.
If during your assessment, you find the roof has suffered extensive damage directly above your living space, you will need to begin taking immediate measures to prevent property damage from leaking water and/or falling debris:
● Place buckets or garbage cans under leaks.
● Remove any treasured items or valuables away from the leaks.
● Place plastic or trash bags over furniture, rugs and other items that may be in line of the leak.
C. Contact your insurance company and/or roofing company.
You may be able to determine for yourself if the storm damage to your roof is severe enough to require a call to your insurance company, or whether it makes more sense just to contact your roofing company directly for repair. If the storm damage was widespread throughout your area, it is a good idea to contact your insurance agent first because you may find that the roofing professionals are tied up handling emergencies.
However, if you reach out to a roofing company, keep in mind that there may be traveling roofing teams that come around storm-damaged areas to pick up clients. The problem is that in a desperate situation, they can take advantage of panicked homeowners who need help right away.
A better plan is to choose a local, certified roofing company that has proven experience repairing roofs in your area. While they may be swamped with repairs in the face of widespread storm damage, a reputable roofing company will get in touch with you as soon as possible to let you know what they can do to help, or will at least refer you to another reliable company.
Pro Tip: Never Neglect or Put-Off Roof Damage
Even if you find you are able to patch up the storm damage to your roof and find a temporary fix, it is important to go ahead and get a professional roofing assessment and repair as soon as possible. While you may be able to stop a visible leak, there’s no telling what kind of damage could be happening behind the scenes. The last thing you want is for a hidden leak to cause problems like structural damage or mold in your home. It happens all the time following storm damage to a roof that doesn’t receive the proper professional repair.
Ensure your roof and home are as safe and secure as possible by following through with professional roof inspections from a roofing team you can trust. At Hopewell Roofing and Restoration, we are proud to be a GAF Master Elite Roofing Contractor team. You can count on us for the highest quality workmanship and a commitment to your satisfaction with each and every roofing repair.
Call us at (678) 771-5372 to get help following storm damage to your roof.