Most residential roofs in the Mid-Atlantic are designed and installed so they’ll withstand the weather extremes common to the area, roof damage can still occur. Hurricane-force winds, falling branches, large hail and heavy snow accumulations all threaten the integrity of residential roof systems in this part of the country.
Homeowner’s policies typically provide some level of coverage when these and other natural disasters occur. Some of these policies provide full coverage, while other feature prorated coverage based upon the age of the roof.
When you suspect roof damage following a storm or other natural disaster, review your homeowner’s policy. Ask your agent any questions that arise when you are working to understand all the fine print.
Promptly Contact a Reputable Roofer
Whether you know there is roof damage or you merely suspect it, contact a reputable local roofer without delay. There are a number reasons why it is wise to reach out to a contractor with a certified roof inspector right away:
- A certified roof inspector has the knowledge and expertise to note the full extent of the damage. The adjuster the insurer sends out may or may not be well-versed in roof damage.
- Typically, insurance claims need to be filed promptly.
- There may be damage to the sub-roofing, threatening water damage to the framing and living spaces. When damage extends to unseen areas, it is vital that a roofing contractor make the insurance company aware of the full extent of the damage.
- Some insurance coverage is prorated according to the age of the roof. When this is the case, it is important to have a roofing contractor ready to advocate for you so that the insurance adjuster’s depreciation calculations are accurate.
Finally, it is important to work with a roofer that knows how to format a claim in a way that the insurance adjuster is familiar with. This can speed up claims processing, and it lets your insurer know you have access to a knowledgeable roofing expert.
When Damage is Severe
When your roof suffers more severe damage, emergency repairs may be needed before a final repair or roof replacement is possible. A roofing contractor may spread tarps across damaged areas to keep water out. Sometimes, it may even be necessary to stabilize the structure to prevent a collapse.
Most of the time these emergency tarps and services are covered under your home owners policy.
You may need to seek alternate lodging until repairs are made. Keep all receipts pertaining to your lodging, restaurant meals and other special expenses.
If furniture or other personal possessions are damaged when water enters through a damaged roof, it is important to document this. Photographs of possessions before and after they were damaged are ideal, although any interior photos that show the damage can be helpful in documenting the extent of the damage.
Even when insurance agents, adjusters and other officials seek to do the right thing, inexperience with residential roofing systems may lead to them to underestimate the extent of the damage. In a worst-case scenario, superficial repairs that fail to address damage to the substructure may lead to more roofing problems later on.
For a number of reasons, taking notes is always a plus. Throughout the process, note names, phone numbers, times and the subject matter of any contacts with the insurance company and your agent.
Contact Us for Assistance
Look to BRAX Roofing when you need a knowledgeable advocate to work on your behalf so you get the most from your insurance coverage. Don’t settle for less than your claim is worth. You’ve paid your premiums in good faith, perhaps for many years. Now, it is important that you receive the full benefits of your coverage.
Call on us when high winds, hail or other natural disasters cause roof damage in Maryland, northern VA and Washington D.C. For prompt, professional and friendly assistance, please contact us today!