This summer, the sound of hail pelting on roofs, siding, and gutters has been all too familiar to homeowners living in the Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin. Though the damage takes only a few minutes to take place, the aftermath is long-lasting and oftentimes stressful. Understanding the proper steps once damage occurs is the first step towards storm damage restoration. Here are the first four steps you should take.
Start a Storm Damage File: Record when the storm damage occurred and list all the areas that you are noticing damage. Don’t overlook elements such as air conditioners, fences, and sheds. It’s helpful to record the size of hail and photograph it next to an object that shows scale, such as a quarter. Using a binoculars while standing on the ground can allow you to verify the extent of damage on your roof. An abundance of shingle granules in your gutters or absent shingles are strong indicators that hail damage has occurred.
Triage Severely Damaged Areas: Leaking roofs should have a tarp installed over the problem areas as quickly as possible. If hail shattered window glass, board up the damaged area until window replacement can take place. The goal should be to prevent any further damage to your home until a reputable contractor can assist you with restoration.
Have Your Property Inspected by a Trustworthy, Local Contractor: Local, highly rated contractors readily provide free storm damage inspections. They are experienced and understand the signs of hail damage that an amateur may miss. If an insurance claim is needed, they can supply you with documentation and even work to meet with you and your insurance adjuster to finalize your claim. Exercise extreme caution when interacting with storm chasing contractors that show up at your door uninvited. Oftentimes, they are not insured or licensed. In many instances, work is completed incorrectly, or not at all. Refrain from signing their vague contracts and do not allow them to get on your roof, as you may be liable for their injuries in the event of an accident, especially if they lack insurance.
Here’s How a Reputable Contractor Can Help You After a Storm:
File a Home Insurance Claim: Prior to having work completed by the storm restoration companies you have interviewed, an insurance claim must be filed. Having a reputable contractor support you during this process is particularly beneficial if the adjuster’s initial offer is not a reflection of all areas of your home that need restoration or fails to recognize premium improvements you have made to your home. A homeowner has the right to retain the services of an independent adjuster that can submit their analysis to your insurance company with the amount you deserve compensation for. As a last resort, a homeowner may hire an attorney or file a dispute with the state insurance commissioner’s office.