A big storm just moved through your neighborhood, and unfortunately, it appears your roof took a beating. But, how do you know if the storm was the cause of your roof’s damage?
The truth is, it can be difficult to find out. If your homeowner’s insurance covers storm damage on your property, you should get a new roof after a major storm that causes damage to your home and roof. We’re here to help! While we might not be able to give you a free estimate or inspect your roof if you’re located in an area we don’t serve, we can still share our knowledge of how we get insurance to pay for new roofs.
Check Your Policy
Before there’s been any storm damage in your area, be sure to check your policy so that you know what you’re covered for. Some policies might only cover certain types of storms or damage. It’s also going to be important that you ensure you’re fully covered for any damage. Even if your policy doesn’t explicitly cover all storm damage, you should still be able to get help paying for and repairing the damage on your roof.
How to Find Storm Damage
The first thing you’ll need to do to ensure your insurance company pays for a storm-damaged roof is to actually find the damage. While even the untrained eye can find some damage, it’s safer for you to contact a local roofing company like WISA that offers a free inspection of the property. Here are some of the things to look for if you suspect a storm has damaged your roof.
Missing shingles are an obvious problem and will most often occur during high winds. Shingles can also be knocked loose and pulled from roofs by tree branches. If you notice any debris on your roof, it’s important to take a look at it and ensure that there aren’t any missing shingles or sheets of shingles. Be aware that ice dams can also take a heavy toll on your shingles and cause lasting damage if they aren’t taken care of properly during the winters.
Visible Granule Loss
Granules are the small, sandpaper-like substance that covers the tops of the shingles to protect them from sunlight, hail, trees, and other forces. There may be some granule loss throughout your roof’s life, but a severe storm with high winds and hail can cause a significantly higher loss of granules. Check your gutters’ downspouts for missing granules. If the downspouts have a significant amount of granules in them or around them, then your roof has likely incurred damage of some sort.
Hail Damage: Dented or Shattered Shingles
Hail is the leading cause of storm damage to roofs. Hail can cause some significant damage and even shatter your shingles without you knowing. Spotting hail damage is extremely difficult for anyone that doesn’t know what they’re looking for. If you suspect hail damage to your roof, homeowner’s insurance will often cover the roof’s repair or replacement. Contact a professional roofing team to get a free inspection to use for your insurance claim.
Clogged or Broken Gutters and Downspouts
Gutters are a part of your roof that many homeowners don’t think about. But, unlike many of the other parts of your roof, gutters aren’t commonly covered under homeowner’s insurance policies. It might be a good idea to look at your homeowner’s insurance policy and see if you can get your gutters covered because bad gutters can lead to many problems with your home.
You’ll easily be able to tell if there’s something wrong with your gutters or if they are clogged. Be sure to get them fixed right away because clogged gutter can lead to leaks and water damage within your home.
Document the Storm Damage
After you’ve given your roof a good lookover, you’ll need to document any storm damage that might be on your roof. A proper inspection should document all the damage with both pictures and written proposals of the damage and what it might cost to fix the roof or replace it. It’s also good practice to take pictures of your roof once or twice a year. Insurance companies will do whatever they can to not pay for your new roof. Showing them pictures of before and after the damage can help to speed up an insurance claim.
Determine the Age of Your Roof
Your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover a roof replacement upon storm damage, but it probably won’t cover your entire roof if it’s already coming close to the end of its life. Most insurance companies will cover a full roof replacement cost up to ten years after the roof was installed. If the roof is more than ten years old, they’ll often pay for a percentage based on the life that would have been left in your roof. Most asphalt shingle roofs will last between twenty and thirty years. If you were due for a roof replacement before the storm came through and damaged your roof more fully, you likely would have to pay for some replacement costs.
File a Claim
The last thing left to do now is file a claim for the damages that your roof has. You can choose to file the claim on your own, or you can ask your local roofing company to help you with the process. At WISA roofing, we’re willing to work with the insurance company for you. This allows you to continue with your day to day routine and get a new roof put on your house in the shortest time possible.
If you’re in northern Virginia or the Washington DC area, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out to us today to learn more about our work and how we can help you get a new roof put on your home.