Your roof was designed to weather the elements and protect your home from strong winds, heavy rainfall, rough hail, and airborne debris. However, your roof may take a beating when severe storms sweep into town – and unfortunately, significant storm damage is not always easy to see. Even a tiny, inconspicuous leak can cause severe damage to your home. So after a serious weather event hits your area, assess your roof’s condition and consider calling Taylor-Made Roofing to schedule a professional roof inspection. Our experts can provide a complimentary quote, repair or replace your roof, and restore your home’s safety and comfort.
Assessing Storm Damage
Did a strong storm pass through town last night? When it’s safe to go outside, inspect your roof (from the safety of the ground) to assess the damage. You might find binoculars handy, depending on the size of your roof and the state of your eyesight. In addition, evaluate the condition of your home’s interior, including the attic, ceiling, and walls. If you notice any potential hazards – structural issues, downed power lines, other electrical hazards, etc. – do not investigate them. Keep away and call 911.
Signs of Storm Damage
If a storm compromises your roof’s integrity, it may cause a leak. By letting moisture penetrate your home’s interior, leaks can cause water damage, including mold, rot, stains, odors, warping materials, and even severe structural damage. So before a tiny leak can escalate into major problem, examine your home’s exterior and interior for signs of storm damage. Keep an eye out for the following issues:
- Missing or curled shingles
- Dinged or dented shingles
- Granule buildup from shingles at the end of your downspout
- Broken, damaged, or missing roof flashing (along edges, vents, chimneys)
- Loose or pealing sealant
- Water spots on the ceiling or walls
- Peeling or bubbling paint or wallpaper
- Wet or soft walls
- Water damage in the attic (water stains, mold growth, musty smell)
- Exposed nails
- Interior mold or wood rot
- Musty smell in your home or attic
- Curling floorboards
- Soft, sagging floors
When examining your roof after a severe weather event, keep in mind that many signs of storm damage are not obvious. So if the storm was severe and you suspect your roof suffered a blow, call Taylor-Made Roofing to schedule an inspection with one of our professional roofing experts. With our experience and expertise, we can identify hidden damage caused by harsh weather.
Typically measuring between 5 millimeters and 15 centimeters in diameter, hailstones can cause extreme destruction to homes, buildings, vehicles, and crops. The degree of damage inflicted on roofs by hailstones varies with the size and density of the hailstones, the shape of the hailstones (most are not smooth), the durability of the roofing materials, and the age and condition of the roof. Softball-sized hailstones may be dense enough to puncture a roof, but even relatively small hailstones can inflict a lot of damage, especially if they have jagged edges.
After a hail storm, assess your roof to see if the hailstones created any dings or holes in the shingles. Even if you don’t notice any issues right away, keep an eye on your roof and check for water damage inside your home. Sometimes small issues go undetected until they worsen and threaten the integrity of your roof, so it’s important to stay vigilant.
Don’t underestimate wind. Even if a storm doesn’t produce a torrent of rain or a barrage of hail, wind alone can cause enough roof damage to warrant a repair or replacement. High-speed wind has been known to knock over trees, shatter windows, blow off shingles, and toss debris on to roofs. When gusts of wind rip off shingles, they may expose the roof deck or underlayment, leaving them exposed to the elements and vulnerable to water damage.
Again, it’s important to remember that damage caused by high-speed winds is not always obvious. After strong winds rattle your home, examine your roof thoroughly from the ground. If you suspect something is wrong, contact a roofer for a professional evaluation.
Insurance Claims and Storm Damage
Homeowners insurance covers your roof when it is damaged for reasons beyond your control. In some cases that means that it will cover damage caused by extreme weather events, like hurricanes and tornadoes, as well as moderate incidents like rainstorms, heavy winds, and hail. However, some homeowners insurance policies have windstorm and hail exclusions. Your coverage may depend on the age of your roof, where you live, and other factors as well.
To learn what’s covered and what’s not covered when it comes to storm damage, contact your insurance provider and review the specifics of your policy. Keep in mind that you will likely need to pay a deductible before your insurance kicks in to cover the remaining cost.
When you file a claim, you’ll typically follow these steps:
Thoroughly document the damage
Before you touch anything or make changes, take detailed notes of the damage that occurred. Take multiple pictures of the damage, including both interior and exterior shots if applicable.
Address potential hazards
If debris shattered your window, cover and board up the window and remove any broken glass. If a tree bashed into your porch, cordon off the area. Remove all imminent hazards, and call 911 if necessary.
Arrange for a few local roofers (including Taylor-Made Roofing) to visit your home, assess the damage, and give you estimates for the project cost. Depending on the severity of the damage, the contractor may recommend a repair or total roof replacement.
Submit your claim ASAP
Insurance companies enforce time limits regarding when you can file your claim, typically giving you between a few months and a year after the incident. To be on the safe side, submit your claim promptly.
Meet with the insurance adjuster
Your insurance company will arrange an appointment for you with an insurance adjuster. The adjuster will come to your home and assess the damage for the insurance company. Then, if your claim is approved, the insurance company will provide paperwork detailing the specific damage covered by your policy.
Schedule the repair
Contact Taylor-Made Roofing to schedule the repair or replacement. We will send documentation and certification of the project’s completion to the insurance company. Be sure to keep all of the receipts involved.
Beware of Storm Chasers
Unfortunately, natural disasters seem to exert a magnetic pull on dishonest contractors. Unscrupulous roofers may sweep into town after a big storm, attempting to scam homeowners who need to repair or replace their storm-ravaged roofs. These fraudsters may make false promises, insist on full payment before the work is complete, exaggerate the scope of the damage, or even perform shoddy work and then disappear from town.
Beware of these scammers when you’re selecting a roofer following a storm. Do your due diligence, and stick with respected local roofers who have been working in your community for years.