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After the Storm: Assessing Damage and Hiring a Roofing Contractor

When disaster strikes, homeowners must carefully inspect and document damage before hiring a roofing contractor. It's difficult to tell somebody what work they need to do without first knowing for yourself.

There's nothing quite like roughing it out through a storm, hurricane, or tornado. Once the danger has passed, and your household's safety has been confirmed, it is time to assess the damage. The most important shield you have against the elements, your roof, should be the first area checked for damage once it is safe to venture outside.

Look around your neighborhood for signs of the storm. Broken shingles, bricks, or other building materials on the lawn are obvious signs that your roof might be damaged. Check your car. If it sustained hail damage, then your home probably took a hit as well. If you have any trees growing close to your house, check to make sure if any downed branches broke through or punctured the structure. Also, look out for leaves blocking the gutters. If water collects, this will cause leaks in the attic. If you've kept surrounding trees well trimmed then these problems should not be an issue. If there are tiny indentations and granules on the sidewalk, that is also a clear indicator of hail damage.

When inspecting the roof, first check the inside of the house by carefully entering your attic. Look for patches of sunlight entering through holes and feel around for any drafts. Next, carefully inspect the external shell via a ladder. Look around for missing shingles or holes. If the roof seems structurally unsound, get off the ladder and await professional help such as a roofing contractor or a general contractor. Once you've pinpointed the damage, be sure to take quite a few pictures of it for insurance purposes. If necessary, put together a makeshift solution using boards or plastic tarps to keep the elements out while awaiting repairs.

Now that you understand the extent of your problems, it's time to get on the phone with your insurance agent to get a claim filed. The sooner your claim is filed, the sooner an adjustor can assess the damage done. Also, call up your best local roofing contractor as soon as possible. If the storm was very bad and affected your whole neighborhood, you should expect to be put on a waiting list. Be wary of a contractor who is not booked up directly following a major storm! If your ceiling is leaking, let the roofing contractor know that you need emergency repairs. Water damage can have lasting and devastating effects on the foundation of your household.

Before the roofing contractor begins to work on your repairs, be sure to ascertain a ballpark cost for the job, an established time frame for completion of the job, and how any waste incurred from the repairs will be removed from site. Also be sure that both the roofer's company and workers are insured in case of incidents, and obtain a written statement outlining the job, the price, and any other stipulations concerning the repairs. Compare this written statement to your insurance adjuster's quote once you receive bothFeature Articles, but do so privately.

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