Storm damage in the Midwest can occur at any time and can cause an immense amount of damage to your home or business. Post-storm damage not only creates safety hazards but can create health hazards as well. That is why it’s extremely important to act fast! Having a strategy to deal with damage will help you to be ready to take steps immediately after the storm.
1. STAY SAFE — Please avoid climbing on your roof to check for damage yourself! Instead, contact a professional roofing contractor, to inspect your property.
2. LOOK UP — Check the attic for leaks or signs of water damage. Also, if stains or discolorations start to appear on your ceiling or walls, you likely need repairs or possibly a roof replacement.
3. DOCUMENT DAMAGES — When it is safe to move around your property, use your cellphone or a camera to photograph any damages so that you will have a record for your insurance company. Check the exterior of your property for signs of storm damage from the ground. Look for missing shingles or missing pieces of fascia. Look for dents and dings in your roof eaves, gutters, siding, vents, windowsills & window casings. In addition to dents and dings, other signs of impact from hail include, bruising, exposed surfaces and/or chipped paint.
Note: Storm damage varies depending on the type of material. Hail damage to asphalt shingles is not always apparent and can be hard to identify. For example, on a roof with asphalt composition shingles, the areas of impact will be darker in color and soft to the touch. If you have black or dark colored shingles, it can be very hard to spot. These slight bruises may not seem significant, but they weaken the shingles and over time water will be able to leak in. Damaged clay roofs can have visible cracks, while damaged metal roofs are more likely to sustain dents. This is why it is very important to have your roof inspected by a trained professional. If you notice minor damage and aren’t sure if it would merit an insurance claim, just give us a call and we’ll come check it out for you.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Q: WE HAD SEVERE WEATHER & HAIL IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD BUT I DON’T SEE ANY DAMAGE?
A: It’s better to be safe, than sorry! Storm damage can be very difficult to detect by an untrained eye. After a severe storm event, we highly recommend that homeowners request a storm damage inspection from a HAAG CERTIFIED Inspector to check for signs of damage. Doing this, will not only identify potential costly issues, but it will also give you peace of mind that your home is safe. Unfortunately, many homeowners wait or ignore hail damage, which can end up costing them a lot more in the long run.
Q: I HAVE OBVIOUS STORM DAMAGE TO MY HOME, WHAT NOW?
A: Act fast! Contact Stonebrook Exterior as soon as possible to set up your free inspection. Then, contact your insurance company to have an adjuster come and appraise the damage. We can meet with your insurance adjuster to help get the ball rolling and ensure your insurance company treats you fairly.
Q: HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM?
A: In most cases, you have one year from the date of the storm to file a claim, however all policies are different and in rare instances, you may have as little as six months. The best thing to do is call your insurance agent and an experienced roofing contractor right after the storm to schedule your inspection. This can help prevent any delays in getting your claim handled.
Q: WILL MY RATES GO UP IF I FILE A CLAIM?
A: Filing a single claim should not raise your premiums especially from an “act of God.” However, after a disaster, insurance companies may raise everyone’s rates. If you are the only one who doesn’t file a claim, your personal rate increase is paying for everyone else’s damage except yours.
Q: MY INSURANCE COMPANY STATED I NEEDED 3 ESTIMATES. IS THIS TRUE?
A: FALSE! You as the homeowner, can choose ANY contractor you want to do the repairs or renovation.
Q: THE INSURANCE COMPANY WITHHELD DEPRECIATION; WILL I GET THAT MONEY?
A: That depends. Usually, the money that was withheld will be paid to you when the work is completed, however, every insurance policy is different. If you’re curious about what kind of policy you have, you will need to contact your insurance agent.
Q: DO I NEED A ROOFING CONTRACTOR INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?
A: You do not have to have a roofing contractor to file a claim. However, it is always beneficial to have a HAAG CERTIFIED contractor on-site to meet with you & your adjuster, so nothing is overlooked, and you get a fair assessment of the damages.
Q: HOW DO I CHOOSE A CONTRACTOR?
A: This is a VERY important question and decision.
Do your research! Check out the company website and most importantly, check out their Better Business Bureau Profile. Make sure they are LOCAL and experienced. You should look for a contractor who is accredited with the BBB and will readily supply you with proper insurance and local references upon your request.
Q: WHAT IS A “STORM CHASER?”
A: Simply put, storm chasers are regional or national companies, which give our industry a bad name. They are watching for storms throughout the country and dispatching sales teams to areas recently hit by large storms. Their main goal is to get as many homes under contract as possible, then immediately move out to the next storm area. They have ZERO interest in their local reputation, quality of installation/materials, and warranties. This results in very poor installations and, in some cases, NO installation at all! Homeowners are then left with roof problems, installed by a contractor that is no longer in the area to service their needs.
Q: HOW DO I SPOT A “STORM CHASER”?
A: This is where doing your research is invaluable. Storm Chasers will position themselves to appear as a local company by acquiring a (temporary) local address and phone number. Use the following tips to help identify & avoid storm chasers:
- Visit their website and look for local phone numbers, office locations and the year their business was established. (No website? Then you can find all of that information on the Better Business Bureau of Nebraska’s website)
- Ask to see a copy of their General Liability Insurance and look for addresses of where the policy was written.
- Ask for local references of completed work… (specifically projects NOT recently completed)
- Lookout for 1-800 numbers and flyers or business cards without a local phone number.
Dealing with the aftermath of a severe storm event can be overwhelming for property owners. Stonebrook Exterior is here to help. We will guide you through the entire process and be there to answer your questions and offer our expert advice to give you peace of mind.
For more information regarding our services or if you would like a free inspection and/or estimate, please give us a call at (402) 438-5559, or you may fill out our online request form by clicking “Start here for a free quote” at the top of the screen.