A storm has caused significant damage to your property. Now what?
- Should you file an insurance claim?
- Should you get a roof inspection?
- Should you repair the damage yourself?
These are valid questions that homeowners ask themselves after their roof experiences storm damage. And they’re vital questions to ask before considering filing a storm damage insurance claim. But we’re here to help.
This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of filing an insurance claim for storm damage. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible and that you receive the compensation you deserve.
9 Signs of Storm Damage ⛈
If a huge storm rolls through, the first thing you need to do is ensure everyone is safe and you don’t have any electrical issues or flooding. Once you can confirm that, and it is safe to do so, you can head outside to inspect your property for storm damage. Some things to look for include:
- Missing Shingles
High winds can be strong enough to blow off your shingles completely, leaving your roof decking completely exposed. Missing or loose shingles are probably one of the most obvious signs of storm damage, even to the untrained eye. If your roof is missing shingles, you could tarp the roof to prevent any further damage from water seeping through the open areas.
- Granule Loss
Asphalt shingles have a protective top layer of fine granules. These granules protect against UV rays and debris and help prolong the life of your roof. Once those come off, your roof becomes at risk for leaks. Granule loss can look like bald spots on the shingles or even show up in your gutters and downspouts.
- Large Debris
If you notice large debris like big branches fallen on your roof, it’s a good idea to get it checked out. While large debris doesn’t always damage your roof, it’s definitely likely to.
- Water Leaks
If you have water leaks in your home, it’s a pretty good indication that your roof has storm damage. Check your attic for any water stains or pooled water and be sure to take pictures of any damage you find. These will come in handy when filing your insurance claim.
- Clogged Gutters
Clogged gutters can cause all sorts of problems for your roof, and after a big storm, it’s common for your gutters to be filled with debris or those loose granules. An overly clogged gutter is a major culprit of roof leaks because if the water has nowhere to go— it’s going to back up into your roof.
- Cracked or Dented Shingles
You may not be able to see storm damage from the ground, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. Use binoculars or a ladder to get a better view of your roof and look for any cracked, dented, or otherwise damaged shingles. Cracked shingles might look a little off, or stick out of line. Dents might look like polka dots from hail damage.
- Shingle Discoloration
Storm damage can also cause your shingles to change color. Look for any areas of discoloration, which could indicate that the granules have come off or that the storm has damaged the asphalt. It can also be a symptom of trapped moisture or water damage.
- Loose or Lifted Shingles
Shingles that are no longer lying flat against the roof are also a sign of storm damage. If your shingles have lifted, it’s likely because of high winds or hail damage and can leave your roof susceptible to leaks.
- Nails in Your Lawn or Gutters
If you notice nails in your lawn or gutters after a storm, it’s a pretty good indication that your roof was damaged. These usually come from shingles that have been blown off or lifted up during the storm.
If you notice any of these signs of storm damage, it’s important to call your insurance company as soon as possible. The sooner you file a claim, the sooner you can get your roof repaired and avoid any further damage.
How to File a Storm Damage Insurance Claim: Step-by-Step
Storms can cause a lot of damage to your home, and filing an insurance claim can be a complicated process. But by following these steps, you can be sure that you’re taking the right steps to get your home repaired as quickly as possible.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to learn how to file a storm damage insurance claim. The process can seem daunting, but we’ve broken it down into a few easy steps:
Step One: Assess the Damage 🔎
The first step is to take a look at the damage and figure out what needs to be repaired. Take a walk around your property and document any damage you find, both inside and outside of your home. Be sure to include any damaged personal property in your inventory as well.
Step Two: Document Everything 📸
As you inspect any potential damage, take photos and note anything out of the ordinary. Notice a wet spot on your roof? Document it. Notice your siding has some dents you’ve never seen before? Document it. These can help ensure the adjusters or inspection team doesn’t miss anything and you can have a record of what you noticed as potential damage.
Step Three: Review Your Policy 📄
Now that you have an inventory of the damage, it’s time to review your insurance policy. This will help you determine what is and isn’t covered under your policy. It will also give you an idea of what kind of deductibles you’re looking at and how much money you can expect from your claim.
Step Four: Contact Your Insurance Company 📞
Once you’ve reviewed your policy, it’s time to contact your insurance company. They will likely assign an adjuster to your case who will help you through the next steps in the process.
Step Five: Find a Local Roofer 👷
If your storm damage is extensive, you’re going to need a local roofer to help with the repairs. Many insurance companies have preferred vendors they work with, but you’re not required to use them. If you have a roofer you trust, be sure to let your adjuster know so they can work with them on the estimate and repairs.
Step Six: File Your Insurance Claim 💻
After you’ve contacted your insurance company and found a roofer, it’s time to file your claim. Your insurance company will likely have an online portal where you can upload your documentation and start the claims process.
Step Seven: Schedule Your Inspection 🗓️
After you’ve filed your claim, an insurance adjuster will likely need to come out and inspect the damage. They will assess the damage and determine how much money you’ll receive from your claim. You will also want to schedule a professional roofer inspection where they can check your insurance estimate and compare it to theirs.
Step Eight: Schedule Repairs ⚒️
Once the insurance company has approved your claim, it’s time to schedule repairs. Your roofer will work with you to determine a repair schedule that works with your timeline and budget. It’s important to note that time is of the essence when your roof is damaged and you should act fast to get it repaired.
Who You Gonna Call? Tectum Roofing
For all your roofing needs, let Tectum take the stressful things off your plate. Tectum Roofing has a superb team of professional roofers that can handle anything thrown our way. When you’re wondering how to file an insurance claim— reach out to us for help.