If you live in an area that sees bad storms during certain seasons or throughout the year, then you know which storms can cause damage to your home’s roof and exterior.
You may have been lucky so far, but it’s only a matter of time before your roof is hit the wrong way by hail stones, high winds, and other debris that get caught up in the mix. When your roof does sustain damage, there are a number of things you’ll need to do between taking photos, calling a roofing contractor, and contacting your homeowners insurance company.
Arguably the most important element of taking care of roof damage is the inspection process. Below, we’ll cover everything you can expect from a storm damage roof inspection as well as post-storm roof inspection tips that all homeowners should know.
What Exactly Is a Storm Damage Roof Inspection?
When you call a roofing contractor to come for a storm damage roof inspection, you can expect them to assess the potential damage to your roof and come up with the best possible solution for its repairs. It’s a very involved process, as the roofing contractor will want to expect the exterior and interior parts of your roofing system closely — especially if there’s a leak.
Here’s what you can expect from a storm damage inspection:
- The pre-inspection call. The first thing that will happen is the call you’ll put through to your roofing contractor. This is essentially when you would describe the damages you’ve seen with your own eyes or suspect, and the roofing contractor will schedule an appointment (usually within 24-48 hours). They’ll also take the time to explain their typical storm damage inspection process so you know what to expect once they arrive.
- The perimeter check. Upon arrival, the first thing your roofing contractor will do is an exterior perimeter inspection of your property. The goal is to find any obvious signs of damage from the ground up, which include cracked windows, missing or broken siding, damage to downspouts and gutters, missing shingles, etc.
- The roof inspection. Next, the roofing contractor will want to climb up to your roof and take a closer look. They’ll inspect each roofing component and assess the overall structural integrity as they search for things like damaged roof flashing, cracked shingles, granule loss, and other damages.
- The attic inspection. Now the roofer will want to take a look at your attic to further evaluate the structure of your roofing system from below. They’ll check for any leaks, water damage, rotting wood, etc. They’ll also check your top-floor walls and ceilings for signs of water damage, including leaks and stains.
As your roofing contractor carries out their storm damage inspection, they’ll be taking extensive notes and documenting the damage with photos. They’ll use all of this to write up a report and give you a copy that you can use when you file a homeowners insurance claim.
They’ll also provide you with an estimate of how much the roof repair (or replacement) will cost. You can expect the estimate to factor in the materials and labor required, permits needed, and any other considerations.
Storm Damage Roof Inspection Tips Every Homeowner Should Know
While there’s not much a homeowner can do regarding the actual evaluation of the damage to their roof or home, there are a few ways to prepare for the storm damage inspection. These things will make it easier for the roofing contractor to do their job and for you to move forward with the next steps.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind:
- Know the signs of damage to your roof. The first thing you’ll want to do after a severe weather event is do your own perimeter check and roof inspection. This essentially involves walking around and looking for damages from the ground up, checking for obvious visual signs of damage such as broken or missing shingles, bald spots from granule loss, damaged gutters, impact marks, and leaks from the inside.
- Always take your own photos. While your roofer will document the storm damage, it’s still a good idea to take your own photos while doing your homeowner’s inspection. That way, if another storm rolls through or the damage worsens by the time your roofer arrives, you have proof of the initial damage.
- Do not climb up on your roof! It is never recommended for inexperienced homeowners without the proper safety equipment to climb up on their rooftops, especially when there’s damage. The foot traffic alone can cause unnecessary damage and you can end up becoming injured if you slip and fall. Always leave this part up to the professionals.
- Make sure there’s a clear path to your attic. Your attic (or access space) will be a primary area of focus during a storm damage inspection. Therefore, you’ll want to clear out your attic as much as you can if you use it for storage or for other things so the roofer can easily walk around to inspect what he or she needs to inspect. Just be sure not to touch anything that shows visual signs of damage.
- Know your roof’s current age and condition. It’s important to have an idea of the age of your roof and whether or not it’s been having issues prior to the storm. This is something that can make or break your homeowners insurance claim, and you’ll want to discuss it with your roofing contractor to ensure the damages were actually caused by the weather event and not simply wear and tear.
When you’re dealing with storm damage to your roof, whether it’s hail damage, missing shingles, or mangled roof flashing, the most important thing is to be armed with the right information and a roofer you can depend on. These two things are your best offense and defense when it comes time to filing a claim with your insurance company.
The expert roofers at Roof Troopers can help you with your next storm damage inspection. Get in touch with us right away, and we’ll help you get the ball rolling — and support you through the insurance claims process.