Whether you’ve dealt with roof issues in the past or this is your first experience with it, storm damage can throw you for a loop. If you’re simply curious if you sustained roof damage after a storm or if you know you have a full-on roof leak, you’re in the right place.
We’ve put together a knowledge-share of all the best steps to take after a storm. To restore your roof quickly for the least amount of money possible, follow these 7 storm damage roof repair tips.
7 Storm Damage Repair Tips
These expert tips will ensure your home stays protected. Plus, you’ll learn how to file for insurance coverage if desired.
1) Schedule a Roof Inspection ASAP
The most important thing you can do after a major storm is to call a local roofing contractor and schedule a professional roof inspection. A professional roofer will perform a detailed inspection on your roof and in your attic. They will look for signs of damage like:
- Blown-off shingles
- Cracked or damaged shingles
- Cracked or damaged flashing
- Broken gutters
- Hail dents
- Shingle granule loss
- Attic leaks
If your contractor notices damage, they will write up a detailed report of your roofing issues, their severity, and what to do to fix them.
Pro Tip: It’s important to note that severe storms can frequently attract “storm chasers.” Storm chasers are people who follow big storms and often come from out of state to try and scam vulnerable homeowners.
You can spot a storm chaser with these signs:
- They show up on your doorstep and can’t show proof of a website or online reviews.
- They make lofty, “too good to be true” claims about their pricing. Alternatively, they may inflate the urgency of your damage and charge an exorbitant amount.
- They claim that they’ll cover your insurance deductible. (Which is illegal!)
- They can’t prove that they have local licensure and insurance.
- They perform an “inspection” that is less than 15 minutes.
You don’t need to be scared of every roofing contractor who knocks on your door. Plenty of reputable roofing companies leave their business materials on people’s doors to help get the word out about their services. Just make sure to vet roofing companies before deciding to work with them.
2) Schedule Emergency Tarping if Needed
If you have an old roof or experienced a particularly strong storm, you may have ended up with roof damage that caused a leak. Water damage is no joke— it can be a very expensive issue to fix, so you should definitely take measures to stop a roof leak ASAP.
You may notice the roof leak on the weekend or late at night when most roofing companies are no longer providing service. Thankfully, some roofing companies offer 24/7 emergency service, and others will provide emergency service within their normal business hours.
If your roof is leaking, look for roofing companies that provide emergency tarping services. A contractor will come to your property as soon as possible and secure a tarp over your roof to prevent more water from leaking through.
3) Review Your Insurance Policy
If a storm damages your roof, you may be eligible for insurance coverage for the repairs. However, it’s worthwhile to review your insurance policy to ensure your type of damage is covered.
Typically, homeowners insurance policies cover roof damage from:
However, most general homeowners insurance policies will NOT cover damage in the following scenarios:
- Earthquakes or flooding (these require separate policies)
- If your roof is more than 12-15 years old
- If the damage can be traced to homeowner neglect
- Faulty DIY installation techniques
Take a look at your policy to ensure that your roof damage is covered in the first place.
4) Take Plenty of Photo Documentation
If you want to proceed with filing an insurance claim, photo documentation is one of your best friends. You can take as many photos from the ground as you feel comfortable with, but the best way to get comprehensive documentation is to lean on your roofing contractor.
In tip #1, we recommended getting a professional roofing inspection. If you hire a highly-rated, experienced contractor, they will take plenty of photos of your damage along with writing up a detailed inspection report. You can use both the photos and the report to help you with filing a claim.
It can be worth it to mention this to your contractor beforehand to ensure they take photos for your while on your roof.
5) Contact Your Insurance Company to File a Claim
Don’t wait too long to contact your insurer to file a roof claim. Typically, you have about a year after the damage occurred to file a claim, but it’s always best to do it right away. If you wait too long, other factors may muddy the storm damage, and your situation may no longer be straightforward.
The only way to file an insurance claim is directly through your insurance agent. You may be able to file a claim through an online portal. But when in doubt, call your agent to ask. You may have to send in paperwork.
When your insurer receives your claim, they will send an insurance adjuster from their company out to your property. If the adjuster confirms the presence of damage, they will approve your claim. It can be helpful to have your roofing contractor present during this assessment, if possible.
6) Always Work With Your Preferred Roofing Company
You may read things that say your insurance company may force you to work with the cheapest possible roofing company. While they may connect you with a contractor if you don’t already have someone in mind, you are always allowed to work with the roofing company you prefer.
Ideally, if you had a good experience with a certain company in the inspection stage, you can ultimately hire them to perform the storm damage repairs. An experienced roofing company will know how to navigate the ins and outs of insurance claims and the payment process that goes with it.
7) Take Measures to Minimize Future Damage
Our final storm damage tip is actually multiple tips wrapped up in one! As you’re dealing with storm damage, we already know that you never want to deal with it again. While it’s impossible to guarantee that you’ll never deal with roof storm damage again, you can take steps to protect against it.
- Trim any tree branches that extend over your roof. Large branches that fall down during a storm can quickly puncture your roof.
- Install gutter guards to help prevent your gutters from clogging up.
- When it’s time for a total roof replacement, consider a more durable material like metal roofing or architectural shingles.
- Have minor roof issues repaired right away so that your roof isn’t as vulnerable during storms.
Trust Our Expert Storm Damage Restoration Team
We’re sorry that you’re experiencing roof storm damage! It’s certainly not a position anyone wants to be in. We hope that these tips help you navigate the process and get set up with reliable repairs— whether or not you file an insurance claim.
If you live in Northern Virginia, Roof Troopers is the most trusted roofing company in the area. We know storm damage restoration like the back of our hands because we’ve helped countless homeowners just like you through the process. We’ll provide detailed documentation and ultimately restore your roof up to your standards.
Give Roof Troopers a call today to schedule your free inspection!