Living in Georgia comes with the threat of tropical storms and hurricanes. Even if these storms aren’t intense enough to warrant evacuation, they can still cause damage to your home— particularly your roof.
If your roof sustained hurricane roof damage, it’s possible that homeowners insurance may help cover the cost of repairs or a replacement. But, you’ll need to follow these 5 steps to ensure the best outcome for your roof.
Step 1: Assess the Damage
First and foremost, ensure you and your family are safe in your home or move to a different area for your safety.
The first step to complete after a hurricane passes through is assessing any damage yourself. Storm damage can be tricky because sometimes only a professionally-trained eye can spot areas of damage if they’re small and concealed.
However, there may be larger, more obvious signs of storm damage that you can spot, such as:
- Missing shingles (scattered in your yard)
- Cracked shingles on your roof
- Damaged gutters
- Substantial shingle granule loss
- Leaks inside your home
If you notice any of these signs of storm damage, be sure to take photos to show your insurance company later on. If you’re dealing with active leaks and more rain is in the forecast, you can add a tarp to your roof or contact a professional roofer for emergency services.
Step 2: Review Your Insurance Policy
The next step is to take a closer look at your insurance policy. You don’t want to go through the hassle of filing an insurance claim only to discover that your policy never covered your issue in the first place.
Most standard homeowners insurance policies cover roof damage caused by wind and hail. Hurricane-force winds are classified as 74 miles per hour (mph) or greater, and gale-force winds are between 39-54 mph. Both of these types of high winds can cause damage to your roof by tearing off shingles and exposing the roof underlayment to the elements. Keep in mind that you’ll need separate flood insurance for any flooding damage caused by hurricanes.
Even if your policy covers the correct type of storm damage, it may have stipulations about how much monetary coverage you can receive.
Step 3: Schedule a Roof Inspection
One of the most important steps after sustaining hurricane roof damage is to call a professional roofing contractor. Most reputable contractors will perform a free roof inspection, and they can clearly point out areas of storm damage and write a cost estimate.
Keep in mind that it’s vital to work with a trusted local roofer for this process. Oftentimes, out-of-state “storm chasers” will show up and try to make a quick buck by offering fantastic deals, demanding payment upfront, and then either make shoddy repairs or bolt before ever even touching your roof.
Use these tips to find a reputable roofing contractor:
- Ask to see licenses and certifications
- Read online reviews
- Ask them what their service area is
- Ask if they provide free inspections and estimates
- See what roofing materials they use
- Ask if they’ve ever helped with homeowners insurance claims
A reliable, professional roofer will have no issue answering your questions in detail and proving their legitimacy.
Step 4: File a Claim
If your professional roof inspection confirms that you’ve sustained hurricane storm damage on your roof, the next step is to file an insurance claim. When you file a claim, your insurance company will likely send out an insurance adjuster to also inspect your roof.
If you run into any issues with the adjuster claiming that you don’t have any damage, or that it was caused by a lack of maintenance instead of the hurricane, then that’s when it’s extra helpful to have an excellent roofing contractor on your side to advocate for you.
If your claim is approved, insurance will delineate how much coverage you are granted. They will send you a payment to use for roof repairs or a replacement, and you can hire the roofing company of your choice.
Step 5: Schedule Roofing Service
Lastly, reach out to your preferred local roofing company to schedule service. If the hurricane caused enough damage, you might be approved for a total replacement. But, you may only need repairs if you had smaller issues.
Either way, your preferred roofer will be able to fix your roof problems shortly after you reach out. Keep in mind that if a major storm affected numerous homes, you may have to wait a few weeks for your repairs or replacement.
Don’t Navigate Hurricane Roof Damage Alone
Roof storm damage is stressful, no matter how big or small the issue is. Working with a trustworthy, friendly, and supportive roofing company makes all the difference.
If your home was affected by a hurricane in Georgia, be sure to reach out to DeLaurier Roofing. Our 5-star rated team will help you navigate the insurance process and get you the top-quality roof you need to feel safe and protected once again.