We provide custom inspection agreement for your liability protection. Do not allow a roofer on your roof with out something like this so you can be protected if there was to be an accident during the inspection.
Hail Damage: What should I Do?
Hailstorms are just another part of life in Texas. They happen frequently, but their duration, intensity and hailstone size can vary a great deal. Sometimes, a storm may bring two minutes of dime-sized hail, one minute of softball-sized hail or 10 minutes of pea-sized hail. When the hailstones are extremely large, the storm normally receives media attention — and while baseball- or softball-sized hail can do a lot of damage to roofs, skylights and vent covers, even smaller hailstones have the potential to cause damage.
Hailstones cause most of their damage to asphalt shingles by knocking off the granules that coat the top layer of the shingles. Without the protection of the granules, water can seep beneath the shingles to underlying layers and the black matting becomes exposed to the sunlight and heat. This causes the spots to heat up during the day and cool at night. This constant expansion and contraction due to heating and cooling eventually caused the matting crack and to spider web out allowing water to seep through. Sooner or later, leaks will appear.Therefore, it is important for hail damage to be repaired — but it is critical that it be done correctly. The following tips will help you deal with the situation should your roof suffer hail damage.
Document the Damage
Your homeowner’s insurance will probably cover most of the cost of replacing a roof that has suffered hail damage. How much your insurance company will pay depends on your policy. You can help strengthen your claim by documenting the hail damage. You might not need to provide the information to your insurance company, but it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
At a minimum, make note of the date and time of the storm that caused the damage. If it is possible to do so safely, while the storm is raging, take pictures through a window or patio door showing the size of the hailstones. If the wind speeds are high (as they often are during a hail storm), try to snap a picture or two that demonstrate this, such as debris blowing through the air or tree limbs moving.
Once the storm has subsided enough for you to step outdoors, take pictures of the hail damage in your yard or on your sidewalk. This will give adjusters an idea of how much hail fell on your property. Lay a ruler beside some of the stones or hold them in your hand for some of the pictures to prove their size.
Hurry up and Wait
There are two contradictory principles to keep in mind when your roof is damaged by hail but is not leaking:
1. You need to know how much hail damage has been done as soon as possible.
2. You probably do not need to have your roof replaced tomorrow, next week or even next month.
The first thing you should do is call a reputable, experienced roofing contractor to perform a roof inspection and provide an estimate. Make sure that the contractor understands that you want an inspection and estimate only and that no repairs are to be made at this time. Do not sign any contracts at this time. All you want to know is whether your roof suffered sufficient damage to justify an insurance claim.
Keep in mind that if a number of homes suffered hail damage in your area, roofing contractors are going to be very busy. A major storm can also bring in “gypsy” roofers — typically out-of-state, fly-by-night companies who chase storms. Although there are exceptions, the quality of the work performed by these companies or individuals is poor. Furthermore, when they are finished in your town, they move on to the next storm-ravaged area, so if their work is unsatisfactory, you probably will have no recourse.
Obtain additional quotes from at least two other reputable roofing contractors. You can ask friends or neighbors for recommendations, or check with local building supply wholesalers. When obtaining quotes, ask each contractor for a list of customers you can contact as references. Before you sign a contract, call these people and ask about the quality of the contractor’s work, the respect the crew showed for you and your property, whether the job was completed on time and whether the site was left clean. Also, call your local BBB and check the contractor’s rating.
File a Claim and Hire a Contractor
Many roofing contractors will help you file an insurance claim for a damaged roof once you commit to hiring them. If the contractor you have chosen offers this service, it is typically a good idea to let them do so. However, never ask a contractor to falsify a claim, submit a bogus invoice or give you a “kickback.” A reputable contractor will not be a party to such tactics — they could land him in trouble, but they could also put you in legal jeopardy.
Review all contracts carefully. Make sure that there are no blanks. Compare the details in the contract to the quote. Make sure that all pertinent points are addressed. For example, who is responsible for disposing of the old shingles? Was replacement of the duct covers supposed to be included? Once you are comfortable with the contract, sign it and keep a copy.
Enjoy Your New Roof
Hailstorms have a tendency to cause homeowners to shudder. Although it is true that hail damage can wreak havoc on your roof, you will almost always have time to react in a logical, practical manner. Do not let anyone pressure you into signing a contract immediately. Take the time to find a reputable contractor and obtain more than one quote. If you approach a hail-damaged roof as you would a typical home repair, you should have no problems — now or in the future.
Alpha Roofing Industries is a roofing contractor in the Austin area and would be happy to conduct an inspection for hail damage. We have more than 30 years of industry experience and have earned a reputation for providing quality work to customers throughout Central Texas. You can use our online form to request a free quote, or you can call us at 512-777-1086.