Roof hail damage is no joke – and it’s not always clear whether you have it, whether your insurance will cover it, or what the best next steps are. Your insurance company may make all kinds of claims – are they right, and do they have your best interests in mind as someone who’s paid your insurance premiums dutifully for the past 10 years?
As a homeowner, what do you do when your house gets hit with hail or you think you might have storm damage? We asked 7 roofing and exterior experts and here’s what they had to say:
“Don’t fall into the trap of ‘Get three quotes.’ It’s extremely difficult to know whether you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to contractor quotes. Instead, hire a contractor that is qualified to audit your insurance adjuster’s estimate and work with you to make sure your restoration is thorough and complete with warranties backed by the product manufacturers.”
Jon Roise, Owner
Capital Exteriors Inc. in Bismarck, ND
“The first thing for homeowners to do that I recommend is to call a local roofing company well known in their area to come look for damage. Have them take pictures if any damage is found. Temporarily seal any place that could leak and take photos. Tarp the roof. The contrator should show owner and have them call in a claim – Give agent [the roofer’s] contact information for the adjuster. Then we all meet there. The contractor shows their picture and looks at the rest of the house including the siding, window, and roof.”
Mike Hansen, Owner
Mike Hansen Roofing in North Mankato, MN
“When a homeowner thinks that their home may have storm damage, they should call a licensed, professional roofing contractor with a proven track record with hail damage. Most roofing companies provide free inspections, and if damage is found, your specialist will furnish a detailed estimate and work very closely with your insurance provider to make your home’s roof as good as new.”
Robert Maddox, Owner
Hahn Roofing in Spencer, IA
“Most people do not want to get up on their roof so I always tell people to walk around and look at the metal on their house, like gutters/downspouts, window wraps, and siding corners. These items are pretty soft metal and will give you a sense of the size and velocity of the hail. The roofing will hold up a lot better than these metals so if they’re not that bad then your roof is probably ok and likewise if those items are totally hammered then the roof is likely gone too. It’s always best to call a contractor first because of how insurance companies look at and rate you as a customer. Opening claims is like getting speeding tickets – you don’t want them if you can help it because they will affect your rates. If they come out and deny your claim, the fact that you opened one is still like a big red mark on your history. Many people have an attitude that ‘I pay for it and darn it I’m going to it…’ That’s true but walk around your house first and see what you can see, then call a contractor. There are always a lot around after hail. After that, call your insurance when you’ve gotten a strong sense of your situation and confirmation you’ve got some significant damage.
Christian Dietz, Owner
Raintite Roofing LLC in Rapid City, SD
“1. First and foremost if a storm breaks windows or skylight you should always board them up to prevent any further damage. If you can’t do this yourself call family, friends, neighbors, or a contractor for help.
2. If the storm was very severe you can go ahead and contact your insurance company right away. You will need the date of the storm handy as your insurance company will ask for this. I would also contact your contractor and have them meet with the adjustor that way any discrepancies in damaged items can be talked through onsite right away.
3. If the storm seemed less severe I would still have your property inspected but this time by a ‘trusted’ contractor. The best contractors for these inspections are the ones who advertise that they specialize in hail damage repair. Most of these contractors use the same standards in looking for hail damage that the insurance adjusters use. They should tell you if your roof, siding, gutters, and more look damaged to the point of needing to be replaced. They will also walk you through what to expect next and give you direction on how to proceed further.”
Chad Enger, Owner
Black Hills Exteriors in Rapid City, SD
“If you think you could possibly have wind or hail damage to your roof after a storm you should contact a local roofing company that is accredited by the BBB. You need to schedule an appointment with that company for someone to come out and do an inspection/evaluation of your roof. You want a roofer that will help you file an insurance claim if you have damage and that person should help you along the process from beginning (making claim) to end (putting your new roof on and requesting final payment from insurance).”
Josh Henry, Roofing Sales and Insurance Specialist
Abrams Roofing & Sheet Metal, Inc. in Louisville, KY
“Homeowners should contact an experienced licensed and insured reputable roofing contractor with a good past history of working with insurance companies. Ask family and friends for recommendations or Google ‘insurance repair contractors’.”
Robert Ford, Owner
Ford Roofing Service in Baldwin, LA
There you go – thank you for checking out “7 Experts on What to Do Right Away When You Have Hail Damage.” We hope these tips have been helpful, and always choose a trusted, local contractor to ensure the best possible quality service on your home, your biggest investment!