Hurricane season in the United States occurs from June 1st to November 30th of every year. Even though a hurricane can strike Texas at any time during this period, they're most likely to strike in August or September. Hurricanes can cause significant damage to your home and property. The roof is one of the most affected by severe weather.
How do hurricanes affect your roof? What can be done to reduce roof storm damage? Keep reading to learn more.
Known for its extreme weather events, 2017 has been a difficult year for homeowners, particularly in Texas, where three major hurricanes left extensive damage to homes and properties. Floodwaters did a lot of the damage, but many homeowners have to make roof repairs as well. Severe hurricanes, tornadoes, rain, and hail storms, such as those we've seen in recent years, can cause roof damage, causing stress for homeowners and service providers, such as insurance carriers and roofing contractors, and leaving panicked homeowners with no idea what to do.
It can be comforting for homeowners facing roof repairs to know that things could have been worse. During the storms, many people lost their entire homes due to severe flooding. Moderate to severe roof damage, on the other hand, can prevent you from living in your home and be very expensive, especially if handled incorrectly. Whether your property suffered damage due to a hurricane, a major tropical storm, or another event, knowing what to do and what to prioritize is important to protect your property.
Handle Immediate Roof Concerns
Getting back into your home after a hurricane can be stressful until you get a good look at the damage. If you can get close to your house, take a full walk around it even if it looks fine from a distance. The real damage will be evident on the roof, but if there is even debris present, you should have a roofer do a full inspection just in case there is hidden damage that should be repaired as soon as possible. No matter what the damage is, you should be ready to take control of the situation quickly in order to begin the process of recovery and repair. In cases where the roof of your home has been severely damaged but the house itself is relatively intact, you will want to contact a professional roofer who can stabilize the situation and schedule repairs.
Ask your regular roofer first if they can handle your roofing repairs. You can have them do a quick inspection and develop a plan. If you can't get a roofer out right away, hire a tree service, handyman service, or construction company to handle the most urgent issues, like tree removal or tarping. Always make sure the company is trustworthy before hiring them. As a temporary measure, you could remove these biggest hazards while you wait for a roof repair appointment.
While you wait for repairs to begin, take pictures of your roof for insurance purposes. Secure tarps up and over the ridges of your roof to prevent water from entering. The cost of tarping your house can usually be recouped through your insurance company.
If you move quickly after a storm, you may be able to book a local roofer. If, however, there is a long waiting list with local roofing contractors after a storm, do not hire out-of-town contractors who might perform shoddy work or take your money but never complete repairs. It is better to schedule a roofer farther out or wait a few weeks if you don't have a leak or only minor damage to your roof. This decreases demand, lowers prices, and drives scammers away.
Tips for filing insurance claims after a hurricane
For roof damage, you must file an insurance claim as soon as possible. Dealing with your insurance company can be a challenge. Besides being overwhelmed with work, insurance companies are already taking huge losses following a hurricane and probably attempting to pay out as little as possible on claims. It may be difficult to get the attention you need to get the solution you need if recovery from the storm will be a big project. If this is the case, you can hire a public insurance adjuster to help you negotiate your claim. A claim adjuster from your insurance company represents the company's interests, not yours. Public adjusters represent you and help level the playing field. It is important to provide accurate documentation, understand your insurance policy, and assert yourself for a fair settlement that's typically higher than what you would obtain on your own.
When you don't have enough insurance, the right kind of insurance, or no insurance at all on your property, FEMA may be the best place to turn.
Picking the Right Hurricane Repair Roofer
As you prepare to start repairs, make sure you will have a sound roof that has been properly installed by a trained and experienced professional. This is especially important if you live in a storm-prone area, as a poorly installed roof is more easily damaged by high winds that sweep under incorrectly installed or loose tiles, or by leaks that form in improperly sloped or poorly drained areas where the water then pools and damages the roof, sometimes through many layers, resulting in water stains, mold, termites and other problems.
Choosing a professional roofer from within your area is critical, especially at the time of post-storm recovery when many out-of-state roofers arrive. The best place to begin is with a roofer you know and trust, or ask friends, neighbors, or local businesses you know. Look at their website as you begin your search. Make sure to research the company's history, licensing information, and things like their work gallery, testimonials, online reviews, and news articles. Even if you're in a hurry, get a written estimate and have the roofer explain the work to you in detail.
Make sure you read any contract carefully and ask important questions such as: Are you licensed, bonded, and insured? Can you provide references? For how long have you been in business? Where is your business located?
Never hire someone who comes to your door offering to fix your roof. It is likely that this is a scam artist or inexperienced roofer because legitimate roofing contractors are much too busy to solicit new business this way.
Avoiding Scam Artists after the Storm
Unfortunately, major disasters bring out con artists who prey on vulnerable people. Hurricanes are no exception. Scammers flood areas with widespread damage to peddle construction and insurance scams. Scammers may pose as construction contractors, public insurance adjusters, insurance agents, emergency management, or disaster relief personnel, among others.
Roofing contractors and public insurance adjusters should be able to provide their license numbers, which can be verified with state offices. Never pay upfront for construction or insurance services or buy insurance after a disaster from someone claiming it covers preexisting damages. If you suspect fraudulent activity report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721.
About APD Roofing in Texas
APD Roofing can help keep your roof in good shape to better handle bad weather, and we can repair your roof in case of damage from wind and storms. We also build quality new roofs for your roof replacement or new roof project. Contact us for a free in-home or office estimate for any of your home or business roofing needs.
We are Certified, Licensed, and Insured!
MELVYN HUCKABY II
Lead Claims Consultant, IICRC Certified