How Much Does It Cost to Insulate Your Attic and Roof? (2023)
By Alora Rands /
Severe weather can be your roof’s worst enemy and cause thousands of dollars in roof damage. So what do you do after a big storm comes through and wreaks havoc on your home?
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Few things are as devastating – or as stressful – as dealing with the process to repair storm damage to your home. Significant damage could mean you need emergency roof repair to completely reconstruct your roof, but even minor roof repairs often require an insurance claim.
When your home is hit with a severe storm, you might not always know what to do first. Do you call your insurance company? Contact your local roofing company? Or maybe do nothing and wait until a better time of year to repair your roof?
If you’re in this situation and your head is brimming with questions, you aren’t alone. Many homeowners struggle with next steps when their home is damaged after a storm. But if you read this guide, you’ll know exactly how to handle any damage after a natural disaster.
When it comes to new roof installation, roof replacement or storm damage repairs, the quality of installation matters. If you need a reputable roof contactor, check out our recommended providers by clicking the links below.
Storms can cause all types of roof damage, and while sometimes it can be easily spotted from the ground, not all damage is noticeable until you’re actually on your roof. The most common types of damage storms cause are hail damage, high wind damage and water or rain damage.
Hailstorms pose a major threat to your roof. Some roofs, such as metal ones, can hold strong against hail, but asphalt shingles can experience severe damage from even small pieces of hail. If the hail is large enough, it may even damage your roof flashing and vent covers.
After a hailstorm, the most common signs of storm damage are bare spots on your roof where your roof shingles have been destroyed or knocked off, which leaves your roof vulnerable to UV damage and other problems.
If left untreated, your roof shingles will begin to break down more quickly, which means you’ll need to replace your roof system much sooner than expected.
Wind damage is one of the more common types of roof damage and can come from tornadoes, hurricanes or even thunderstorms. When subjected to high winds, the shingles on your roof may lift, curl or blow off your roof completely.
Missing shingles are a hazard because each shingle helps create a watertight seal for your roof. If even one shingle is missing, moisture can sneak its way into your home and lead to significant water damage.
If multiple shingles are missing due to strong winds, then you may be able to see the damage from the ground. But if a windstorm caused just a few shingles to go missing, you may need a full roof inspection to find the damage on your home’s roof.
Rain damage can lead to a buildup of standing water that can cause some of the most detrimental damage to your home. Especially if you have a flat roof with little or no slope to let water drain, you are susceptible to water damage. However, note that all homes are susceptible to pooling water under certain conditions.
Water can damage your roof if you don’t clean your gutters, maintain your roof or fail to repair cracked seams or missing shingles. If your home is damaged during a hailstorm, the divots made from the hail can let water in, which can lead to pooling.
During a thunderstorm, tree branches, flying debris or even entire trees can fall on your roof and cause significant damage. Larger branches can dent your roof, and even smaller branches or flying objects can create holes in your shingles that can let water in.
You don’t have to be an experienced roof inspector to get a general idea of the damage to your home after a storm. If you take a few minutes to look for the common types of damage outlined below, you can better report the damage potential to your homeowners insurance provider.
If the damage is severe enough, you will be able to see it from the ground. After a storm, take some time to walk around your home and inspect your roof and gutter systems for signs of storm damage such as:
If you suspect roof damage, you should check your gutters and surroundings for pieces of shingle or flashing. When shingles break off, pieces may end up in your gutters or on your lawn.
Water spots and stains indicate a major problem with your roof. Your roof may have a leak even if you don’t see water dropping or pooling anywhere. If you notice any of the following, you are likely dealing with water where it shouldn’t be:
After a storm, you may not notice water damage immediately, but over time, small cracks can lead to major problems. As a homeowner, you should always look for these common signs of water damage:
Another critical area to check after a severe storm is your gutters. Gutters are necessary to the health of your roof, so if you notice any dents, cracks or pieces of shingle in your gutters or missing downspouts, you should look further into potential home damage.
If you don’t regularly clean and maintain your gutters, you’re more likely to experience water damage to your roof. This is because your gutters can’t work properly when they are full of dead leaves or other debris.
If you go through our tips above and find potential roof damage, act on it immediately. Even minor damage can quickly lead to more severe problems, so it’s important to contact your insurance company and local roofing contractor as soon as you notice any issues.
After a storm has blown through, the first step is to walk around your home to assess the damage. If you notice anything amiss – even only one missing shingle – take a picture to document it. You should always take a picture to get digital proof of a problem.
Your insurance company will often ask for pictures or a written statement that describes the damage to begin the insurance claim process. In addition, keep all the estimates, quotes and bills from the roofing companies you contact. Your insurance company may need these to process your claim, and you may need them to negotiate more substantial insurance payouts.
Once you’ve identified roof damage, it’s time to call your insurance company. Your insurance provider will make the claims process as smooth as possible, but you can expect some paperwork upfront.
After you file the claim, your insurance provider will send out an insurance adjuster to assess the damage. This individual will inspect your home and submit a report that helps the insurance company determine how much your damage should cost to repair. Finally, you’ll receive a settlement to help cover the cost of roof repairs.
A good roofer needs to not only be knowledgeable about roofing systems, but needs to have the experience to make sure your project is done right. As you search for companies to fix your roof, be on the lookout for these key features of a quality roofer:
Before you can get a quote for your roof repairs or new roof, you’ll need a roof inspection from a reputable roofing company. These companies should be licensed and insured and have contractors that are knowledgeable about the roofing industry.
It can also be helpful to peruse customer reviews to see what homeowners have to say about a roof inspector. In any case, our reputable roofing contractors are a great place to start if you need recommendations.
Every homeowner wants to get repairs done quickly, but you should always wait until you get the final settlement from your insurance provider. Sometimes, the final payout you receive from your insurance company is not enough to cover all projects, so you don’t want to sign on to a project that you can’t afford.
You can negotiate the final settlement amount with your insurance company by presenting quotes and your own research, but that doesn’t always mean you’ll get the full amount needed to complete a roofing replacement project.
If you’ve identified storm damage, you should contact your insurance provider to make a claim because your home insurance should cover at least some of the financial burden. Some insurance companies are picky about home service providers, so your insurance agent may have roof repair company recommendations.
A home warranty typically only covers roof leaks or damage if you included that coverage as an add-on, but it still may be worth it to contact your warranty company. If other home systems were damaged, you may be able to get financial assistance.
Those that have gotten roof damage due to a storm will be happy to hear that storm damage is covered by insurance. Whether you see visible hail damage to your shingles or a tree fell on your roof due to a storm, most insurance providers will cover the cost of repairs or a new roof. Refer to your policy for a full list of coverage.
Roof damage from a severe storm is a serious matter, and you should only trust the best contractors in the industry to fix your roof. After you’ve contacted your home insurance company and are ready to fix or replace your roof, contact one of our recommended roofing companies.