As a homeowner, you rarely can predict when your home will be hit by damaging weather. It is important to have a clear understanding of the proper steps that should be taken when the roof of your home has been damaged. Windstorms, severe rainstorms, and snow/ice storms can all cause damage to a shingle roof.
1. Assess the damage to your roof.
The first step after you experience severe weather is to assess the damage. Approximate damage assessments can help you discuss your needs with your insurance company or contractor and avoid unforeseen costs or discrepancies. (This is usually only possible in daylight, so in some cases you may want to skip to step #2 listed below before assessing the damage.)
When looking at your roof to identify damaged areas, use a pair of binoculars. Estimate the general square foot area and specific details of the area that has been damaged. Note the severity of the damage, and look carefully to see if there are areas of missing shingles. In some cases, only a few random shingles will be missing.
Document the materials that are visible or exposed. Check for signs of exposed plywood, tarpaper, or the ends of missing shingles. Take note of the colour of the material and the approximate shade. (Additional shingles from a roof replacement project in the past will have the shingle colour stamped on the end of the package.)
2. Make temporary fixes to minimize property damage.
If the roof is severely damaged in an area directly above a living space, interior property can be damaged by leaking water. Be sure to place a bucket or garbage can under leaks and remove any valuables in the area in order to prevent further interior damage. Serious damage may need to be waterproofed quickly using a strapped tarping method or ice and water membrane, while smaller repairs can be shingled immediately.
3. Contact your insurance company.
Contact your insurance company. Evaluate if the damage is large enough to be covered through home insurance, or whether it would be more economical to hire a contractor directly for any necessary repairs. In times of natural disaster, when large residential areas are hit by a storm or other severe weather, it can be beneficial to use your homeowner’s insurance as contractors can become busy.
4. If necessary, contact a reliable contractor to repair the roof.
If you decide to hire a private contractor, always hire a professional certified roofing contractor. Avoid contractors who are in the area because of a natural disaster. Traveling contractors who follow storms have no reputation to uphold and may provide sub standard workmanship.