It happens when you’re least expecting it. The sky suddenly goes dark, the wind begins to howl, and hail starts crashing against the roof: a storm has arrived. And with it comes storm damage. If your roof has been damaged after a storm, take a deep breath, and read on to learn about your next steps.
Most storm damage, unless incredibly severe, isn’t immediately visible to the naked eye. Still, it’s essential to stay safe as you assess the possible damages. Wait until the weather clears and remain vigilant: debris, such as loose shingles or tree limbs, may be out of sight but still have the potential to cause injury to an unsuspecting person.
Hail, Wind, or Ice Dam damage (during the winter months) could create weak spots in your roof that the human eye can’t detect from the ground, posing the risk of possible roof issues. In such circumstances, it’s always best to go slow and be careful. Otherwise, you may be putting yourself or others in danger.
How to Assess Your Home for Different Types of Storm Damage
Checking for Hail Damage
When checking for hail damage, the signs are usually clear and may include any or all of the following:
- You’ll hear hail hitting the exterior of your home
- There are damaged or missing shingles/exposed parts of your roof
- The siding, gutters and downspouts are dented or broken
- Shingles have fallen from the roof onto the ground
- Shingles are visibly ripped off or curling
- Neighbors are having repairs done to their roof, which is a good indication you should have your roof professionally assessed
Hail damage is dangerous because it instantly voids the manufacturer’s shingle warranty and can lead to possible leaking into your attic which can also go through to the interior of the home ceilings that could be possibly preventable. For example, you may glance at your roof and see no shingles are missing, but that doesn’t mean they’re not otherwise fractured or damaged. The next time it rains, you could have visible water damage inside your home due to these unseen and unresolved roofing issues.
Neglecting to address such concerns, however insignificant they might seem at the time, is never a good idea. Suddenly, what was once a minor roof repair has, by now, spread inside the home and exacerbated the original damages considerably. This increases not only the cost of repair but also the timeframe and scale of the project.
Spotting Signs of Water Damage
To detect water damage, the first thing you should do is inspect your gutters. If the runoff isn’t being deposited a safe distance from your home, the water could quickly lead to interior damage. Your windows may also show signs of condensation, which will appear as fog trapped between the window panes due to the seal being broken by the Hailstones.
While inside your home, you may notice cracking paint or peeling wallpaper. The ceiling might show signs of water spots, which are rings of brown or yellow discoloration. Your flooring may begin to either expand or show visible gaps, start sagging, or feel soft to the touch. The attic and basement of your home can also quickly reveal the extent of damages by giving off a musty odor shortly after a storm, which indicates water damage.
How to Determine the Results of Wind Damage
Though it may sound the least harmful on paper, Minnesota residents know that wind damage can often be the most destructive. High-speed winds can damage windows, blow over trees, throw debris against your home, tarnish the integrity of your roofing and siding, and cause massive amounts of general destruction.
You’ll have to assess your roof thoroughly for possible wind damage. For example, damage might be visible to the shingles, in the form of missing, or blown-up shingles. Sometimes even big chunks of missing shingles are blown off depending on how high the wind was.
The Midwest is known for all types of weather, including tornadoes, which can create this level of wind damage, so it’s always important to keep a careful eye on your roof.
The Importance of a Licensed Contractor in Filing an Accurate Claim
Homeowners insurance usually covers all costs of roofing repairs and restoration caused by any of the types of storm damage mentioned above. However, depending on the age and condition of your roof, your insurance company may have coverage stipulations. In most cases, roofing that’s more than 10 years old has different criteria for coverage.
Due to these complications, it’s imperative that you schedule an accurate, extensive roof inspection from a licensed contractor for the following reasons:
- To help ensure all costs related to your repairs are covered by insurance
- To prevent a denied claim down the road
- To avoid the unnecessary stress, time, and cost of repairs
- Because a proper inspection by a trained restoration contractor generally results in a properly covered insurance claim
- Often, the most insidious damage goes unnoticed by the untrained eye
By scheduling an inspection as soon as you suspect there’s been damage to your roof, you put yourself in the best position to fix your home without any unnecessary hassle.
Your insurance will also be sending an adjuster out to assess and verify your claim and to determine the full extent of your coverage. Adjustments will be made depending on your insurance policy. A licensed contractor can often resolve the issue quickly to prevent further costs, avoid repair delays, and use the proper materials to help decrease the risk of future storm damage.
With over 30 years of experience, Johnson Exteriors proudly serves the Twin Cities Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. We offer our assistance with filing insurance claims because we want our clients to pay as little money out of pocket as possible and to see quality results as soon as possible. We’re happy to assist with any storm damage insurance claims, questions, or concerns you may have.