Dealing with the aftermath of a serious storm can be a stressful time in any homeowners life — especially when it involves your roof. Most roofing systems can last for decades, but one severe storm can easily change that. It’s extremely important to address any issues with your roof right away, as they can quickly and easily get much worse. You should be filing an insurance claim to repair or replace your roof as quickly as possible, as sometimes filing a claim can have complications or take awhile.
Assess & Document the Damage
One of the very first things you should do when filing a claim is start by assessing the damage done to your roof. You should also be documenting it early and often. This means (safely) getting onto your roof and taking tons of photos, writing down detailed descriptions, and keeping track of any bills, estimates, or invoices you receive that are relevant to the claim.
If you’re unable to physically get on your roof, you can hire a contractor to inspect your roof for you. Some contractors may even provide you with a certified adjuster — someone who can actually call your insurance provider and discuss the damage and claim for you. The best way to find out if a contactor has this service is to contact them and ask!
When you’re assessing the damage on your roof, there are a few key types of damages to look for:
- Wind damage, which can result in shingles and other coverings blowing off your roof.
- Hail damage, which can look like a small imperfection at first, but actually lead to bigger problems over time.
- Water damage, which can be caused by severe rain and thunderstorms, resulting in major leaks.
Some damages can result in your entire roof needing to be replaced, while some may result in just a few repairs. It’s important to be as detailed as possible and document as much as possible so you can be sure you’re fully reimbursed, regardless of the severity of the damage.
Find Out What Is and Isn’t Covered
At this point, you should have all the information you need to start the claim process. The next thing you need to do is call your insurance provider and talk to an agent about what is and is not covered. You should read up on your current policy beforehand. It’s important to do this so you are able to talk about any questions or concerns you have about what’s covered with the insurer. You should get in touch with your policy holder as soon as possible, as some policies have deadlines that must be followed in order to file a claim.
This is also the time you can ask them any questions about how to specifically file a claim with their company. You should ask about any processes and procedures in regards to roofing repairs and replacements, and find out what your next steps will be.
Typically, after getting the claim process started, an agent will be making a visit to your home in order to inspect the damage themselves. After they’ve inspected, you’ll need to wait until your claim is either approved or denied before moving forward with any repairs or replacements.
Choose a Roofing Contractor
Once your claim is approved, you are able to take the next step of this process: hiring a contractor to fix the damage. Before hiring someone, you should do your research. Read reviews, get quotes, and talk to different contracting companies about the damage you have and their solutions for repair. Don’t be afraid to ask for references and examples of their previous work.
It’s especially important to make sure the company you go with has worked with metal roofing systems before if that is what is being repaired or replaced. Sometimes, metal roofs can be tricky to install if a contractor hasn’t done it before. Add it to your list of questions to ask them about what materials they’ve worked with!
It’s also important to ensure you only choose to hire insured and licensed contractors. Especially after severe storms, there are companies that come around and pitch amazing offers to homeowners who’ve experienced damages. Try to avoid them.
You can also choose to work with a company that has insurance expertise. As previously mentioned, sometimes these companies will have their own in-house adjusters to come out and inspect the roofing damage too.
Remember: This Can Be a Long Process
Replacing or repairing your roof after it's damaged can be a daunting process. You should get the process started as soon as possible. This is especially important if the damages are severe and causing you to be displaced from your home.
If you’re looking to repair your metal roof or replace an old roof with a new metal one, get in touch with one of Bridger Steel’s Product Specialists today. Our team of experts can recommend panel profiles, gauges, and colors/finishes specific to your home and environment. If we have ever worked with a contractor in your area before, we can make recommendations about them, too. Contact our team today with any questions or concerns about metal roofing.