FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Does My Roof Have Storm Damage, I don’t See Any Damage From The Ground?
A: Unfortunately in many cases you won’t see hail impact marks on a roof or gutters from the ground, you must be on the roof to see the hail marks on the shingles and in the bottom of the gutters. Even if you don’t see the damage– doesn’t mean it’s not there. It might take a couple of months and a few of hard driving rains for the damage to manifest itself. It is best if you can catch the damage in the early stages before the problem gets out of control. At the very least we recommend ordering an emergency tarp service.
A: – As mentioned above, the damage from a hail storm might not be apparent right after the storm. It might take a couple of heavy rains for the roof to start leaking or it may take up to a few years for the damage to manifest itself. The reason for this is when large hail hits the roof it loosens the granules in a nickel to quarter size area. How quickly that damage appears and potential leaks occur, really depends on how long it takes for those loosened granules to wash off during heavy rains and expose the asphalt underneath the granules. When asphalt is exposed to the sun it cracks and lets water in thus causing leaks.
– If the damage is not addressed in a timely manner, 3 things could happen: 1) the lifespan of your roof is dramatically reduced thus making you prematurely replace the roof. 2) Potential leaks in your roof not only cause headaches but also cause wood damage and other costly repairs. 3) If you are going to sell your home and you didn’t repair or replace the damaged roof, siding or gutters– the home inspector will point out the damage and you will have to pay for it yourself (because the insurance company will only pay a claim up to 2 years from the date of the damage) before the sale goes through. Make sure to get your roof inspected by a Qualified Local Contractor to verify whether there was substantial granule loss or not.
Q: Should I file a claim? Will my insurance premiums go up? Will they drop me?
A: There are many people that don’t file a claim because they are concerned that their insurance premiums will go up or that they will be dropped by their insurance company if they file a claim. This is actually a mistake because, by law, hail storms are considered to be the Act of God, therefore insurance companies are not allowed to raise your rates or cancel your insurance. So there is no reason not to investigate whether you have a hail damage or not and if you do have damage there is no reason not to file a claim because eventually, you will have to pay for the storm restoration yourself instead of the insurance company paying for it.
Q: How Much Will The Storm Restoration Cost Me?
A: If your home has experienced a legitimate damage from the storm– all you have to do is pay your deductible– the rest is going to be covered by your insurance company.
Q: Who Should I call First? Insurance Company or a Contractor?
A: The first thing you should do is to find out if you have damage to your roof, siding or gutters. If you call the insurance company first they will open up a claim and send an insurance adjuster to inspect your property. The
adjuster works on behalf of the insurance company and they tend to look out for the insurance’s company best interest– not yours. You should call a Qualified Local Contractor first to get your home inspected (usually at no charge) to see if there is any legitimate damage done.
If there is no damage- then you don’t need to call your insurance company and you won’t have an unnecessary claim filed on your record. If there is damage– now you have somebody to look out for your best interest when you file a claim.
Make sure your Qualified Local Contractor is present when the adjuster inspects your roof so he can make sure the adjuster sees all the damage.
Q: What Should I Do If Somebody Knocks On My Door and Offers To Replace My Roof, Siding Or Gutters For FREE; Offers To Cover My Deductible, Vacation Trips, Golf Clubs etc?
A: 1. In many states and municipalities, it is illegal for a contractor to cover homeowner’s insurance deductible. This type of insurance fraud is a misdemeanor for a contractor but a felony for the homeowner. Stay away from people/companies that offer to “eat your deductible”.
2. Never sign a contract that you didn’t read or don’t understand. Start and end dates, total amount, lien releases must be in the contract– never sign an open contract! A pushy representative is a red flag and should be avoided.
3. Never let a fast talking salesman on your roof the first time you meet them! Here are some best practices:
– Take picture of the salesperson and his/her license plate.
– Ask to see a driver’s license and take a picture of it. (To check if the person is local or from out of town)
In case you do have any problems, you’ll have photos of the person, license plate, driver’s license to give to the police.
4. Do your due diligence first: check the BBB, Yelp Reviews, check their references, verify that their insurance is valid, verify their name if they have, if their license is valid and if there are any complaints filed against them with the state.
5. When a hail storm hits even a handyman and a gutter guy will call themselves a Storm Restoration expert. The truth is– the insurance claim process is complex and it’s not unusual for a homeowner to receive much less than they are entitled to from their insurance company (or even get their claim denied) because a contractor does not have enough experience to work with the insurance company on the homeowner’s behalf to make sure that the homeowner gets everything they are entitled to.
6. Storm Chasers are contractors who travel around the country in search of areas damaged by wind and/or hail storms. They are known for high-pressure sales techniques, vague and self-serving contract agreements, shoddy workmanship, lack of knowledge of local laws, local licenses, little or no insurance, haphazard training and high turnover of crews etc. If there are any problems with the roof, siding or gutters down the road– Storm Chasing company will thousands of miles away “working” another storm.
If you get anything out of this blog post it would be this– avoid Storm Chasers at all costs. Take your time to do the due diligence. Hire only Qualified Local Contractors with at least 200 insurance claims under their belt.