How do I know my roof needs replacing?
Louisiana is prone to high winds from hurricanes, and it is part of Tornado Alley, where homes can be plummeted by hailstorms. All of this leaves many homes destroyed and many homes with roof storm damage.
Because of the climate in this state, many homeowners find themselves battling whether their roof storm damage is covered by insurance or not, leaving those homeowners to prove “I have storm damage to my roof”. Or they simply have to repair the roof out of pocket. Today, we’ll answer some basic questions that will hopefully help those that may be left with roof storm damage and if that storm damage to roof covered by insurance or not.
It is always a good idea as a homeowner to do a visual inspection for roof damage after storm, yourself or have a professional roofing contractor do an inspection. What are you looking for during this inspection? Any of the following:
- Noticeable Sagging: A sagging roof is a clear indication you should have your roof inspected by a professional contractor whether it is roof storm damage, or the roof is old. This could be more a problem with the roof. It could be an indication of structural issues for the entire house. It doesn’t necessarily mean your family is in sign that you should get your roof inspected, even if it is not yet leaking. Century imminent danger, but it isn’t something to ignore.
- Missing Shingles: After high winds, it isn’t unusual for shingles to come off, especially if they were already loose. A roofing contractor can inspect the entire roof and advise if you the roof storm damage is severe enough for replacement or if replacing the missing shingles will be sufficient.
- The Roof Age: The average lifespan of a roof is around 20 years, some roofing materials will give you 30 years. At the 25 year mark, it is time for a professional roof inspection to determine if your roof has any more life left. There is possible roof storm damage over the years and in addition to the age of the roof, it has likely lost some of its integrity. Better to replace it now than wait for a major leak.
- Broken or Cracked Shingles: Broken or cracked shingles are an indication that your roof has reached its end of life. With possible roof storm damage to those broken or cracked shingles, your roof is vulnerable to water getting between and under the shingles, reaching the decking, and creating a leak.
- Algae, Lichens, and Moss: The older a roof gets and collect debris like leaves, it becomes a breeding ground for algae, lichens, mold, and moss. While this a natural occurrence, and prevalent on shaded areas of a roof, if left there, it will damage the roof, especially an asphalt shingled roof. Algae, mold, and moss fee off the materials that are used to make asphalt shingles, so they grow and spread, taking over the entire roof if not cleaned. Any roof storm damage from high winds will rip those shingles off because they are weak, and hail will puncture right through them.
- Granules in the Gutters: Asphalt granules what protect the asphalt core from the UV rays of the sun. After significant storm event, if you see a large number of granules in your gutters and downspouts, and your roof is 10 years old or older, a roof replacement is needed.
- Curling Shingles: The weather plays havoc on a roof, and the UV rays and roof storm damage combined will eventually make the shingles crack and curl. Cracked and curled shingles are an indication that your roof could start leaking at any time. A roof replacement now before it reaches that point is recommended.
Does insurance cover storm damage to roof?
There are so many factors that are considered for this question, starting with reiterating that no two homeowner insurance policies are the same. However, when it comes to roof storm damage, your homeowner’s insurance may cover roof leaks when it caused by a covered peril. A covered peril is fire, hailstorm, winds, or heavy weight of ice and snow.
When homeowner’s insurance for any home doesn’t pay for roof storm damage is when the insurance adjuster determines that there is a homeowner neglect of maintenance, or if the roof has reached it age and had normal wear and tear that couldn’t withstand any roof storm damage happening.
Should I file a claim for roof damage?
How do I get insurance to replace my roof?
Can you call your homeowner’s insurance company and tell them “There is storm damage to my roof.”, and expect them to pay for repairs or replacement? Absolutely not! There is a process and there are procedures and finding out if your homeowner’s insurance is as valuable as you think can be daunting and troubling.
Dealing with the insurance claim process, talking to the insurance adjusters, and roofing contractors will almost make you wonder if it is worth filing a claim you’re your roof storm damage. We may all be surprised to find out just how many people don’t even bother while others file for anything every time, almost abusing the system.
So, should you file for your roof storm damage? First thing you should do, before anything happens is best, is to review your policy and know what is covered and what isn’t. Then keep these points in before you do file a claim:
- The roof age – if your roof is over 10 year old, the insurance company is going to prorate what they’ll pay. A $10,000 roof replacement many only pay out $300, but that is $300 of your premiums you’d get back.
- Documentation and pictures – it is important to do a visual inspection of any roof storm damage yourself, make documentation of damage and issues, and take pictures, a lot of pictures, both inside and outside your home. Insurance companies are all about documentation.
- Professional inspection and estimate – once you have done your own inspection, made documentation, and took pictures, have 2 or 3 professional roofing contractors inspect your roof and provide you written estimates. Remember, insurance companies love documentation!
Okay, your insurance company decided that your roof storm damage was only worth $300, and you don’t have the $9,700 to pay for a new roof. So you use that $300 to pay off some bills or put it in savings. What happens if you don’t replace your roof? Well, a lot of stuff can happen.
A roof that is old and starts leaking will start mildewing and growing mold. That works its way into your attic and ventilation system, then your family is breathing this nastiness, making them sick. Prolonged exposure to breathing in these dangerous spores will lead headaches and possibly develop breathing problems.
A damaged roof is also a set up for unwanted critters, insects, and pests of all sorts to enter your attic and into your home. The damage they can do like chewing wires and spreading disease and germs are not something your insurance company is going to cover.
Additionally, you need to consider your mortgage company. If they’re on the check the insurance company issues, they have to sign it over to you. Even if they’re not, the insurance company is responsible for letting them know about the damage, the claim, and the payout. Within your mortgage agreement, there is probably a clause stating these things have to be taken care of as intended by the insurance company or you’re in default of your mortgage.
At the end of the day, any significant roof storm damage should be reported to your insurance company, even if immediate repair isn’t needed. When your insurance company does pay off a claim, follow through with the repair or replacement. Call (318) 300-3660 today for roof damage repair in Shreveport, LA.