Storms can wreak havoc on your roof. High winds, hail, and torrential rain can rip off shingles, send trees crashing onto homes, or cause leaks. The following are five things to do if your roof is damaged in a storm.
1. Evaluate Your Safety
Safety should always be your first concern. If a large section of the roof has caved in or if a tree has fallen on the roof, evacuate the house until you can have a roofer out to inspect the damage. Other safety concerns that indicate that you need to carefully evacuate are downed power lines on the roof, obviously broken ridgelines and trusses, or groaning and creaking noises.
2. Contact Your Insurance Company
Make a quick call to your home insurance company next. This way the storm damage has been reported and you can begin the mitigation step. Depending on your insurance company and the amount of storm damage in your area, it may be several days before they can send out an adjuster. It is acceptable to begin damage mitigation steps before the adjuster arrives, but you will need to photo document the initial damage and keep any receipts for work completed so you can provide copies to your insurance company.
3. Apply a Temporary Patch
You don't want to rush a repair if you can avoid it. It makes sense to first allow the adjuster to determine the extent of the damage and whether your insurance will cover a repair or a full replacement. Fortunately, a roofer can help. You can call in a roofing contractor to apply a sturdy but temporary patch to the damaged areas so that water damage doesn't occur to your home. Typically, a tarp is used for the patch. It is sealed to the roof with strips of wood that prevent the tarp from coming loose or lifting up and allow water beneath. A tarp patch can last several weeks.
4. Schedule Repair Quotes
Start scheduling repair quotes as soon as possible. Bring out at least three roofing companies to survey the damage and provide a quote on repairs or the roof replacement. Having this information already on hand when your insurance company offers a settlement will be useful. If the majority of the quotes, minus your deductible, are for much more than your insurance companies offer, then you need to negotiate with your insurance company for an adequate payout.
5. Repair the Roof
Once the insurance is squared away, you can choose a quote and schedule the repair. As a general rule, you want to choose the roofer that provides a competitive quote and has good reviews and references from prior clients. If the storm damage occurred late in the season and winter is approaching, it is also important to choose a roofer that can make the repair before cold weather arrives.
Contact a roof repair service in your area for more assistance if your roof has suffered storm damage.