Your roof plays a vital role in shielding you and your family from the elements and protecting your home from structural damage. As a new homeowner, you may have been told that having a storm damage inspection is essential to maintaining your roof — and this is true.
There are a number of storm-related things that can wreak havoc on a roofing system, such as:
- High winds that lift and blow away shingles
- Hail damage, including punctures, cracks, and holes
- Heavy downpours, which can contribute to excess moisture seepage and leaks
- Clogged gutters due to granule loss and falling debris, causing gutters to break off and water to pool on top of the roof
The list can go on, but this should give you an understanding of why a storm damage inspection is important and when it’s necessary. Of course, we’ll go into more detail below.
When a Storm Damage Inspection Is Necessary
You won’t need to schedule a storm damage inspection every time the wind blows a little harder than usual. However, after a strong storm has passed, be it hail, thunder and lightning, a blizzard, or a hurricane, you’ll need to assess the state of your home and decide from there.
As you take a look at your home from the outside in, you’ll want to look for the signs of storm damage before calling a professional roofer for an inspection. The rule of thumb here is that where there’s visible roof damage, you can expect there to be “invisible” roof damage to some degree.
Roof damage can look like the following:
- Cracked, fractured, curled, or missing shingles
- Shingle granule loss, which is also referred to as “balding”
- Crack or clogged gutters
- A sagging roofline
- Pooling water
- Damaged flashing
- Piles of debris on top of the roof
- Dents and holes on shingles, roofing components, and siding
- Broken or damaged roof components
- Water stains, leaks, and drippage
- Light coming through attic rafters
- Damaged underlayment or roof decking (this would be a sign of invisible damage as you cannot see it simply by looking up at your roof)
- Mold or mildew growth
In many instances, if you notice that there’s significant damage to your home’s sidings, you’ll want to have your roof inspected as well. If there are no obvious signs, but you suspect roof damage, it’s a good idea to contact a professional roofing company anyway, just to be sure.
What Is a Storm Damage Inspection?
What exactly does a storm damage inspection entail? For starters, it involves a reputable roofer coming to your home to assess the potential damage.
Here’s what you can expect:
- The roofer will do both an exterior and interior inspection, checking closely for all signs of storm damage. This includes climbing on top of your roof to get a closer look and inspecting your attic or access space in great detail.
- During the storm damage roof inspection, the roofer will document everything they find by taking photos and extensive notes. They will use this to write up a detailed report for you, which you’ll need to present to your homeowners insurance company upon filing a claim.
- They’ll also provide you with a no-obligation estimate for the work that needs to be done, as well as provide you with a time frame for the job.
Your storm damage inspection shouldn’t take more than an hour or two, depending on the size of your roof and the extent of the damage.
The Importance of Scheduling a Storm Damage Inspection
Scheduling a storm damage inspection serves more than just the purpose of evaluating the damage done to your roof. Of course, the damage is the greatest factor, as it’ll require repairs. However, there are several other benefits to having your roof inspected post-storm, including:
- Preventing further damage. Once you have storm damage, your roof will be at risk for even worse damage the next time it storms. Even a moderate rainstorm can cause problems, including leaks, and the sun’s harsh UV rays can accelerate the damage in lieu of a storm.
- Protecting your family’s safety. One of the many dangers of storm damage is that it can create a path for moisture to creep in and trigger mold growth. It can also allow rainwater into the house, and in excessive amounts, this can end up causing electrical damage. What’s worse, it can lead to a collapse the next time a bad storm hits. Most roofers will provide the option for a temporary patch or tarp to protect your roof and everything under it until they can come back for an official repair.
- Insurance claim assistance. While you want to call your insurance company at the first sign of storm damage, it can take a while for the insurance adjuster to come out and assess the damages in the claim. Keep in mind that adjusters make mistakes, as they are not professional roofing contractors. Therefore, you’ll want a trusted roofer to perform the initial inspection and meet with the adjuster when the time comes to ensure the entire process runs smoothly. You’ll also need the inspection report provided by your roofer to fill out your insurance claim in full detail.
- A written estimate. As mentioned earlier, at the end of a storm damage inspection, your roofer will provide you with an accurate and no-obligation estimate for the work that needs to be done. This is also something you can present to your insurance company to bolster your claim — although it does not guarantee claim approval or a high payout. More importantly, you can confidently take this estimate back to the roofer once it’s time to hire them and get the work started without having to worry about cost fluctuations.
Don’t Hesitate to Schedule Your Next Roof Inspection
Storm damage is not something you want to neglect, as it can cause so many different and costly problems. It’s also essential to ensure your roof and home are in good shape and ready to take on the next big storm.
When you suspect storm damage, the experienced professionals at First American Roofing & Siding offer storm damage roof services, free inspections, and no-obligation estimates. Give us a call today to learn more about our roofing services, how we provide insurance claims assistance, and more!