4 Easy Steps To Do If You Have Roof Damage
Your home is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. When dealing with an expense like that, it’s important to protect it. Believe it or not, the main source of protection for your home is the roof. It shields you and your belongings from the elements and this is particularly useful during Florida storm season. Part of the responsibility in maintaining your roof is regularly checking roof health. When you discover damage, act fast and diligently. If you don’t know what to do if you have roof damage, this article is for you. These are your next steps to prevent leaks, mold, and structural damage to your home. If you have any issues with your insurer denying your claim, be sure to contact an experienced attorney!
1. Evaluate the Extent of the Damage
The important first step after a storm or wind is to check for any damage. After all, you don’t know what you don’t know! A pro tip is to inspect yourself as closely as possible to your roof and other areas. If possible and with safety measures, you can use a ladder to get on your roof for the best view. If that isn’t possible, look using a pair of binoculars to better evaluate damages. Take note of the general area and any specific details that have been affected including the severity of the damage. In some cases, only a few random shingles will be missing. Professional estimates of the roof can be set up later (step #4!) but doing your due diligence is essential. Keep in mind that this step is usually only possible during the day. Because of this fact, don’t hesitate to act if you believe damage or already be present. It’s sometimes necessary to go straight to step #2.
Here is a checklist of things you need to remember:
- Document the materials that are visible or exposed.
- Check for signs of exposed plywood, tarpaper, or the ends of missing shingles.
- Look in gutters or on the ground around the house for the crystals from shingles. Collect them in a plastic bag if you do discover them to show shingle deterioration.
- Snap photos of any of the above or water stains on the ceiling.
- Take note of the color of the material and the approximate shade. (Additional shingles from a roof replacement project in the past will have the shingle color stamped on the end of the package.)
2. Make Short-Term Fixes to Reduce Damages
Often times you can lessen the progression of damages with fast action. For instance, if the roof is severely damaged in one area, water can leak into interior spaces. If you have one available, a waterproof tarp is also an amazing temporary solution in this instance. In this case, it is also best to place a bucket or garbage can under leaking areas. Controlling the incoming water prevents flooring or carpeting issues from arising. It is also advised that you take any furniture or decorative items out of these rooms to prevent damage to your belongings. Preventing further leaks and containing previous ones allows the area to dry out completely over time. Once everything fully dries out, the roof is eligible for re-shingling by a contractor.
3. Consider Talking to an Attorney Before Contacting Your Insurance Company
The next step we advise is to get in touch with your attorney to go over the claims process and to help you avoid pitfalls with your insurer. Your insurance attorney will explain the claims process to you. From there, you and your attorney file a claim for the damages, and an adjuster is assigned to your case. Finding out what your insurer’s procedures are for roof repairs and replacements is important before you take any sort of action. This ensures that you do things correctly and prevent unnecessary out-of-pocket expenses. Hiring a contractor directly for the needed repairs is not always covered except for the cases of emergency.
Note: We do not recommend hiring a Public Adjuster. They will charge a percentage of your claim, typically 10-20%, whereas a reputable insurance attorney will not charge you as the client anything. Our attorneys get their fees from insurance companies if they are successful with your case. They do not ask for money from you or your claim.
4. Hire a Reliable Contractor to Repair the Roof
When your insurer agrees to hire a contractor, be sure you hire a locally based professional certified roofing contractor. Be sure to request a written estimate of the cost of replacing your roof. Should it be necessary that your roof needs replaced, make sure your contractor indicates it as such in their report. This supports the fact that it is a true requirement, and that simple repairs aren’t a solution. Another reason to look local, some contractors are just in the area because of a natural disaster and essentially chase storms. Traveling contractors who do this type of work have no name or reputation to uphold and can often rush through jobs at your expense.
Should you be Denied by Your Insurance, Contact an Attorney
It can be stressful to be denied by your insurance company. However, experienced first-party insurance attorneys know how to ease that stress and put the power back in your hands! Look for representation in a law firm that is established and experienced. They take their time with your case. Our knowledgeable attorneys know exactly how to make a successful roof claim in Florida. With a collective 30 years of homeowner insurance claims, we always get the best results for our clients.
Our personal injury and first-party insurance attorneys help file claims to recover damages for many types of clients. Some types that we specialize in are auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, insurance claims, wrongful death, boating accidents, sexual abuse, and brain and spinal cord injuries. We are proud to provide legal services to the residents of Florida who receive unfair treatment by their insurers. It does not matter whether an insurance claim has been denied, delayed, or mishandled. We help our clients obtain the financial coverage they need to repair their property from fire, water, or storm damage. Commercial litigation services to plaintiffs and defendants are also available for those involved in business and commercial transactions or disputes.