Insurance companies recommend you have your Roof inspected at least once a year, however it is highly recommended to have your roof inspected after every major storm as well!
It goes with the old saying, you don’t know what you don’t know. If you haven’t had your Roof looked at for sometime, chances are really high that your Roof has taken a beating over the years from one storm to another. We have been on Roofs that have been through multiple storms in which case the shingles held up really well and did no damage.
The same is true on the flipside, we have also been on Roofs where the shingles were completely beaten up and at the end of it’s useful life, nearly hanging on a thread of fiberglass.
Living here locally in the Dallas Fort-Worth area, we are all very familiar with the storms we get, the change in weather, which happens really quickly. It can be Hot one hour and freezing cold the next, snow in the evening followed by heavy winds, the following day raining and then for it be sunny all with no notice. Imagine how we take these changes? Sometimes these changes affect us to the point we get a small cold, fever or worse have to see a doctor, the list goes on and on! We take medicine to feel better, we go to the Dr’s office to get a prescription that will help us get better, sometimes we just stay home, hoping sleep and time away from work is all we need to actually be better.
It’s no different with Roofing, although shingles don’t have feelings and they are built to take abuse from the harsh environments the weather throws our way. Shingles are not indestructible! They don’t get better with time, as a matter of fact they get worse and age like the rest of us in the process.
When Hail comes down and impacts the shingles, what happens is it scars/bruises that area, it loosens the granules (Shingle protection) in the area, thus leaving a bruising dark impact like when we get hit really hard on our skin. This area is no longer the same after that, the protection is knocked, the granules then get loosened and the next wind and rain storm starts to flush these granules off the Roof and into your gutters or on the ground to collect with the rest of the dirt/ground. It’s something you never really pay much attention to until it affects the inside of your home (water leaks and spots on your ceiling).
When you have a professional come out to evaluate your Roofing system, this allows for the Roof to see it’s Doctor and that Doctor (Roofing Contractor) is able to let you know the condition your Roof is in, what the storm did to your family protection and he/she is able to let you know what would be best and suggest actions to take going forward. Usually it’s one of two obvious things.
One do nothing, the roof wasn’t impacted enough to cause an issue or any major concerns, like anything else, sometimes it’s good to get a second opinion and have another Dr take a look to see if both are on the same page or if they have conflicting stories of what’s actually going on up there. There area a few bad apples that just want you to call Insurance out to evaluate it and there are some that really don’t want to waste anyone’s time trying to shoot from the hip to see if Insurance will pay for something you probably don’t even need.
The other option two, is you really do have damage and it’s time to actually call for a specialists to come out and have a look (Insurance Company).
What will most likely happen is One of three things. One, they will come out and evaluate the the Roof, look at it thoroughly and think to themselves, yes this Roof is not in great shape from that storm that came, we will need to replace it in order to prevent future damages and bring it back to pre-storm conditions. In this process, they will evaluate everything else like the fencing, windows, window screens, garage doors, soft metal gutters and downspouts, personal property, pergolas, siding, paint, etc. for exterior damages, when water intrusion happens, they will also look inside the property to evaluate the ceiling, drywall, some cases insulation, flooring and any other areas of concern. When they are in agreement that everything needs to be repaired or replaced, they will write up an estimate, normally using software’s such as Xactimate, Symbility or other proprietary software that the specific Insurance company uses to get all these damages put together. They normally will let you know what it looks like before they leave the property and what they potenttially will do once they get back to the their vehicle or the office if they are from Insurance Company. Most times, they use a third party that goes out to the property to evaluate everything, they will report back the damages they found along with pictures. From there they will normally call and let you know what they are paying for as mentioned above. They’ll give you the total amount of damages and also based on your policy and coverages, what is covered and what isn’t. Like everything else, these specialists aren’t always the best, some have been told not get the issue taken care of, band aid the issue with a repair or worse yet saying there is nothing to worry about. Ever wonder why? Well the real reason is no shock to us all, these Insurance companies don’t want to pay out right because it does affect their bottom line (The premiums we pay to ensure our biggest investment is covered).