What Should You Do After A Storm? (The Ultimate Guide)
july 10TH, 2020 UPDATED 1:00PM CT
San Antonio isn’t without it’s fair share of storms. And when a storm hits, your roof is at risk. While most of today’s roofing systems are strong and durable, heavy storms can wreak havoc on them. Heavy rains, large hailstones, high winds – these are all things that can damage your roofing. For this reason, it’s always important to have your roof inspected before a storm to make sure there is no existing damage that could worsen. But what do you do after a storm? Here’s a guide with everything you need to know on how to deal with your roofing after a storm:
How Can Different Storms Affect Your Roofing?
Different types of weather can affect your roofing in different ways. Here’s what to watch for:
Hurricane force winds are classified as anything 74 mph or higher. But winds don’t have to be hurricane speed to cause damage. Even gale force winds (39-54 mph) can damage your roofing. Heavy winds can cause your shingles to curl or buckle, or in extreme situations they can rip them right off. When your shingles tear or come off, your underlayment, roof deck, and other waterproofing materials become exposed to the elements and your home becomes at risk of water damage.
Hail storms generally last longer than 15 minutes and tend to be relatively short. But in a short time period, hail storms can do a lot of damage to your roof system. Whether hail stones be as small as a pin prick or as large as a golf ball, they can be problematic. Not only can hailstones leave dents in your metal roofing or roof shingles, but they can also cause granule loss. When granules are lost, you lose protection against rain and sun damage.
If you already have damage on your roof, you can be very susceptible to rain damage. Any small holes or leaks in your roof can quickly become a larger problem during and after a rainstorm. Furthermore, if your gutters are clogged before the rainstorm hits, they can cause rainwater to back up into and under your shingles. This can lead to moisture buildup which can penetrate into your roof deck and then into your home. And as we all know, moisture buildup will eventually lead to the growth of mold and mildew.
If you live in Texas, you probably aren’t too worried about roof damage from snow storms. But in other parts of the world, large snow storms can be very problematic. The main problem with snow is that it can be very heavy. If it doesn’t successfully flow off of your roof, it can place a lot of pressure on your roof and the structure below. If your base isn’t strong, this can lead to collapse. This is especially problematic for flat roofing systems.
Snow storms can also lead to the buildup of ice which can cause problematic ice dams for your roof.
Storm Damage Checklist:
If you have recently been hit with a large storm, you’ll want to check for roof storm damage. Here’s a checklist to help you with what to look for:
On your roof:
• Dented roofing
• Missing shingles
• Buckled or cracked shingles
• Granule buildup
• Missing flashing (check roof edges, as well as around skylights, chimneys, and vents)
• Sealant that is loose or peeling
• Around your home:
• Check your gutters for dents or debris buildup and water backup
• Check windows for cracks, broken glass, or torn screens
• Look around for broken or fallen tree branches
• Check for damage to lawn ornaments, furniture, etc.
In your attic:
• Watch for leaks
• Look for water marks or water spots
• Check for peeling paint
• Check for any areas of your roof that are sagging
These are some things that you can check for yourself after a storm. With that being said, safety should always be your number one priority. Unless you are an experienced roofer and have the safety tools to climb on your roof, all inspections should be done from the ground. You might be able to get a good view from some of your windows as well but you should never climb on your roof if you have not been trained to do so. Instead, call a local roofing company to come and do an inspection for you.
Why is it important to hire a professional if you inspect storm damage?
Your safety is priority. There is nothing safe about climbing on a roof. Climbing ladders and walking on steeply sloped roofs is an extreme fall hazard and unless you are experienced, the risk is high. Furthermore, roofs can have soft spots that you can fall through if you aren’t careful. Professional roofing contractors have the tools and the experience to check for damage safely.
They have a trained eye. Sometimes storm damage isn’t always visible to the untrained eye. Professional roofers know exactly what to look for so you can rest assured that you didn’t accidentally miss any potential damages during your check.
They can help you with insurance. If your roof damage is large enough to qualify for an insurance claim, it’s nice to have a roofing contractor on your side. Your roofing contractor can act as the messenger to your insurance party, communicating the damages clearly so that you can get the compensation you are entitled to.
What should I look for in a roofing contractor?
If you suspect damage to your roofing San Antonio, you’ll want to start looking for a roofing contractor to come and do an inspection. But in the case that there are damages that need to be repaired, you’ll want to make sure you don’t hire “just any” contractor. Your contractor should:
• Be both licenced and insured
• Be able to provide you with a list of references that you can call
• Offer and explain any warranty options
• Be factory certified to meet manufacturer standards
• Have a good rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
• Be aware of any local codes
How do Insurance Claims Work?
If you have significant damage to your roof after a storm, you might want to consider filing for an insurance claim. Here’s the steps you will need to take to do that:
Step 1: Document the damage.
Take as many photos immediately after the storm as possible. Take photos of any visible damage, as well as the area surrounding your house. If you are having a roofing contractor inspect, ask them to take photographs of your roof.
Step 2: Document the storm.
Keep track of any pertinent information about the storm. What date did it happen? How long did it last? Did it rain? Hail? How large were the hailstones? Was there a hurricane? Watch the news to determine how strong the winds were. The more information you can document about the storm, the more evidence you will have to support your claim.
Step 3: Have a professional come and inspect.
It’s okay to do your own visual inspection but your insurance company will want a professional opinion. Not only that, but a professional can help you to deal with the insurance company if they have any questions regarding the damage.
Step 4: Call your insurance company.
As soon as you notice any damage, you should alert your insurance company right away. The longer you wait, the less chance you will have of being able to make a claim.
Step 5: The decision.
Once you have reported your San Antonio roofing damage to your insurance company they will send an adjuster to your site to make a decision regarding your claim. They will assess the extent of the damage done and determine a proper payment amount for repairs.
Step 6: Payment.
Once your claim has been accepted, you will receive payment in two parts. The first will be an “actual cash value” payment that you will receive immediately, and the second will be a “replacement” amount that will be issued once the repairs have taken place. This money will be issued directly to you and it will be your responsibility to pay the contractor.
Step 7: Premium discounts.
Once all of the roofing work is completed, you’ll want to be sure to check back with your insurance company to see if you qualify for any additional discounts. Depending on your insurance premiums, you may be able to save some money this way.
If you feel that your roofing has recently sustained damages due to a storm, contact a contractor today to have an assessment done so that you can put in a claim with your insurance company immediately.