When a storm hits and causes damage to your home, you may be scrambling trying to pick up the pieces and figure out how you’re going to fix this. The first two questions you might ask are:
- Can I fix this myself?
- Will my homeowner’s insurance policy cover this?
The good news is that most policies do provide coverage for storm damage. However, the amount of coverage you have may vary depending on your policy. In this blog post, we will discuss what storm damage is covered by homeowners insurance, and how to file a claim if you experience damages. But first, how to tell if you have experienced storm damage.
Tell-Tale Signs of Roof Storm Damage
Not every storm causes damage to your roof, but the big ones definitely can. However, to the untrained eye it can be really hard to spot storm damage. So knowing some of the signs to look for can be vital to getting your roof repaired as quickly as possible. Some of the tell-tale signs you’ve sustained roof damage after a storm include:
Water Stains on the Ceiling
One of the most common and easily identifiable signs of a storm-damaged roof is water stains on your ceiling. If you notice water spots on the ceiling right after a storm, that could mean the leak is quite large and water is leaking in right away. A slowly growing water stain could mean you’ve had damage for a while.
Either way, it’s important to have a professional come out and take a look as soon as possible as this could be indicative of a more serious problem. And water damage can also cause mold and mildew growth on top of damaging your insulation and causing a much bigger mess than a damaged shingle.
Discoloration of Your Shingles
Hail and debris can knock off the protective granules that cover your asphalt shingles. And this can look like discoloration or even spots on your shingles due to the top layer being gone. This may require a closer look to know for sure, but for safety purposes, it’s a good idea to have a professional roofer do a thorough inspection up on the ladder.
Missing or Loose Shingles
Obviously, a missing shingle or group of shingles is a clear indicator that you’ve experienced storm damage. Shingles can also come loose or even curl at the edges if they are lifted up by the wind during an especially strong storm. From the ground, you should be able to see if any shingles look out of place or have gone missing from a row.
If possible, you can tarp over these areas to protect your home from any further water damage should it rain again before your roof is repaired. Many contractors will also supply emergency tarping services so you don’t have to risk injury doing it yourself.
Flashing is installed along your chimney, pipe boots, vents, dormers, etc. up on your roof to make sure water does not seep in at edges where the roof meets a wall or edge. This is one of the areas most susceptible to hail or wind damage as they are often exposed above the shingles.
Damaged flashing may look like this:
- Loosened shingles that sit on top of the flashing
- Cracks or missing sections of the flashing
- Loose pipe boots or vents
Again, a professional roofer can inspect more closely, but if you notice water leaks on the interior walls of your home that line the chimney or those areas of your home— that can be a good sign your flashing on that section of the roof has been damaged from the storm. Luckily, it’s a really easy fix.
Large Debris on the Roof
If you notice extra-large branches or other debris like your neighbor’s lawn chairs that might mean that the wind was so strong that the impact of such debris has damaged or at least scratched your shingles. When or if it is safe to do so, you can attempt to remove that debris and check the shingle underneath.
What Does a Standard Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover?
While you may assume homeowner’s insurance covers anything that happens to your home— this isn’t always the case. It’s vital for you to thoroughly read your insurance policy so you know what is or isn’t covered for your plan and you can add any additional coverages you may need. But for the most part, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers the following damages:
- Damage from vehicles or aircraft
- Damage due to an electrical surge
- Damage due to sudden water like a burst pipe
- Damage from riots or vandalism
- Falling debris
- Snow or ice
- Volcanic eruption
Wind damage is also covered in general, but that may be more related to wind warranties for your shingles and roof materials. So yes, the short answer is homeowner’s insurance should cover your storm damage. However, things that are not covered under standard insurance policies include damage from:
- Government action
- Insect or animal infestation
- Rust and Corrosion
People who live in areas prone to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, etc. would need to add that coverage as an addition to their plan.
Steps for Filing a Storm Damage Insurance Claim
If you believe your home has storm damage, one of the first steps to take is to contact your insurance agent or company to notify them of the incident and to begin the claims process.
You will likely need to provide the following information:
- Your policy number
- The date of loss
- A brief description of the damages
- Your contact information
Your insurance company will then send an adjuster to inspect the storm damage and determine if it is covered under your policy.
The adjuster will:
- Inspect the storm damage
- Take photos of the damage
- Ask you questions about the storm and damages
The insurance company may also ask for receipts, contractor bids, or other documentation related to the storm damage.
They will be able to help you understand your policy and coverage as a whole. And once the insurance company has all the information they need, they will determine if the storm damage is covered under your policy and issue a check for repairs.
You can also hire a professional roofer to inspect your property and they can then compare your insurance adjuster estimate with their own to ensure you’re getting the coverage you deserve to get your roof repaired.
Getting Your Storm Damaged Roof Repaired
Insurance claims aside, the other most important aspect of getting your roof storm damage repaired is hiring a reputable, trustworthy contractor to get the job done. Impact Roofing is a local roofer focused on providing unparalleled customer service.
We’re committed to providing exceptional, focused residential roofing services to our neighbors that ensure you have a sturdy, protective roof for decades to come. For fast, affordable roof repairs, get a FREE estimate here!