Roof damage caused by adverse weather is a common occurrence in homes and businesses and results in millions of dollars in damages each year. Although we cannot control the weather, taking simple steps to protect your property beforehand can make a difference when facing this misfortune. For victims, knowing what to do in the aftermath of roof damage is essential to mitigating adverse effects and quickly repairing the destruction.
Inspect the Damage
The property insurance company requires substantial documentation of the loss before paying out a claim, and the sooner they receive this vital information, the sooner the repairs can be completed. Please take pictures of all roof damage as soon as it’s safe to do so, and make sure the photographs illustrate the destruction from differing angles and reference points. The goal is to give the insurance carrier a clear depiction of the property damaged in a storm to quickly and fairly settle the claim.
Perform Temporary Repairs
Leaking water on a home’s interior is destructive to paint, drywall, and exposed wood beams holding the dwelling together. Severe roof damage can quickly lead to further water damage inside the house. Stormwater also ruins insulation and sets up an ideal environment for mold formation, which can threaten human health. These circumstances underscore the importance of using tarps or other barriers on the roof to reduce the amount of moisture entering the attic and living space. Buckets or empty trash cans minimize water leak damage to carpet or wood floors.
Know Your Insurance Company’s Contact Information
Chances are, if you’ve just suffered through a significant weather event, the contact information for your property insurance company will not be the first thing on your mind. Hurricanes and tropical storms provide warnings days ahead for those living in coastal areas, giving those affected time to prepare. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. After inspecting and thoroughly documenting the roof damage and completing temporary fixes, contacting the insurance company is the next step, and for many, locating this vital information can be challenging.
Storing contact information in a secure virtual cloud accessible anywhere will give you peace of mind. Once the immediate danger has passed, and things calm down, you have all the needed information at your fingertips.
Review Your Policy Provisions
Most property insurance policies renew annually, making it an excellent time to review your coverages, deductibles, and other limitations. Though specifics can vary from state to state, most carriers cover roof damage for reasons outside the property owner’s control. This coverage usually extends to extreme weather events making complete and accurate documentation a critical part of the claims process.
While reviewing the policy, there may be terms or conditions that you don’t fully understand. If this is the case, don’t hesitate to contact the agent directly, so you know where you stand and can make necessary adjustments to protect yourself and your family in the event of a loss. The recovery amount offered by the insurance company will depend on many factors, including the roof age and the damage type. Understanding your expected financial obligations beforehand can simplify things when a storm strikes.
There is never a “good” time to experience roof damage, but preparation is key to successfully weathering the process.