Did you know that hail can rain down at speeds up to 40 miles per hour? Plus, some hail can be larger than golf balls.
Clearly, hail can cause serious damage to your roof. If you are a victim of hail damage on your roof, do you know what to do?
Read on to learn all you need to know about what steps to take for a successful roof insurance claim.
What Does Hail Damage Do to a Roof?
The amount of damage that hail can do to a roof depends on the type of roofing material, the hail size, density, and velocity.
It’s important to note that hail damage is classified as either cosmetic or functional. If the cosmetic, then there may be dings and dents, but it won’t impact your roof’s ability. If the damage is functional, it affects the integrity and longevity of the structure.
As you can guess, insurance companies will not cover cosmetic hail damage. Unfortunately, sometimes roofs with functional damage are labeled as only cosmetically damaged by the insurance company.
That is why it is vital to get an inspection from a qualified, trained roof inspector. They will know the difference between functional and cosmetic damage and can ensure that the insurance designation is correct.
Look for Signs of Hail Damage to Roof
After a big storm, take a look to see if you suspect that you have a hail-damaged roof.
First, look at any metal, such as metal caps and wind turbines to check for dents. If they have noticeable dings, the shingles likely do as well.
Next, look in your gutters. See if you can spot any grittiness. This is a sign that the face of the shingles have been knocked off and have collected in your gutter.
Damage to tree branches is also a sign that your roof could be damaged. If you find any of these signs, it’s time to move to the next step.
Should I Call My Insurance or Hail Damage Roofers?
The answer to this question is both. You will need to contact your insurance company as well as a reputable roofing company.
The roofing company will perform a thorough assessment of your roof and categorize damage as either functional or cosmetic. Often, this assessment is a free service.
Make sure to ask for a copy of the roofing report. You will need to get a copy of that to your insurance company.
Keep in mind that insurance companies look for reasons not to replace your roof. That’s why it’s important to make sure you get a qualified professional to conduct an independent evaluation.
One of the main benefits of a good contractor is that they have experience dealing with insurance claims. They will walk you through documenting the damage so that you can have the best outcome from your insurance adjuster.
Sometimes your insurance company will want to have their adjuster come to your home to inspect the damage. Even if this is the case, it is still wise to have an independent roofing expert assess your roof first.
For one thing, insurance companies aren’t always speedy when it comes to sending adjusters. You could be waiting days before your appointment. However, your local roofing experts know that timely inspections are vital and generally respond much faster.
What Roofers Look For After a Storm
Every roof company is a bit different so it’s a good idea to ask lots of questions before you get a roofer to come inspect your home.
You also want to know what they will do during their roof evaluation. A reputable company will look for the following:
- Bent gutters
- Black, damaged spots on shingles
- Dents in metal roofing or flashing
- Splitting or peeling shingles
- Weakened seams and seals
- Lost shingle granules
At the end of the assessment, the roofing expert will give you a complete, itemized list of all the damaged items and materials. They may also take photos. Together, these form part of the documentation that you will share with your insurance company.
How to Choose the Right Repair Company
Unfortunately, there are some storm chasers that want to profit off your misfortune. These out-of-town scammers tend to go door to door after storms using scare tactics to get homeowners to pay for roof repairs.
Sadly, they often take the deposit they are given and leave town without completing any work. That’s why it’s crucial that you ask questions before you hire a roofing company.
Most importantly you want to make sure that the roofing company is licensed, bonded, and insured in your state. Here’s why these matter.
In order to get a license, a contractor needs to register with the state board of licensing contractors. The price of the job will determine what license they’ll need.
Roofing contractors should have a general contractor’s license. The requirements for this license can vary from state to state. Generally, to be licensed, a contractor must pass one or more exams and must show proof of several years of experience.
You definitely want a roofer that is licensed to prove that they are qualified to do the work.
A second requirement is for your roofing company to be bonded. This means that there is a bonding company that guarantees that the roofing contractor does their job correctly and ethically. They put up a bond so that if the contractor disappears or does the job wrong, you are covered.
This is important with such an expensive and important piece of your home.
All contractors should be fully insured with general liability, workman’s compensation, and a company vehicle insurance policy.
This insurance protects you (and the contractor) from any risks of doing work on your home. The limits of their insurance will depend on the size (and cost) of the jobs the contractor does.
If a roofing contractor isn’t licensed, bonded, and insured in your state, do not trust them with your roof. You might think it will save you some money, but the risk is too great for it to be worth it.
Peace of Mind During Your Hail Damage Roof Insurance Claim
Thanks for reading. We hope that this guide will give you the peace of mind you need if you have to deal with a hail-damaged roof.
With the right experts on your side, you can navigate both the insurance company and the repairs as efficiently and comfortably as possible.
At Landmark Roofing, we pride ourselves on being award-winning leaders in our field. Get a free estimate today.