That April 2009 hailstorm is still keeping Rome roofing contractors busy almost one year later. It is also helping the city bring in some major cash through roof permit fees. What’s good for the roofing professionals and the local government, however, isn’t so good for hailstorm-hit homeowners. After all, it’s their dollars that are lining roofers’ pockets.
Here are some tips on how you make hail damage less of an ordeal for both your home and your bank account.
- If the storm is already in progress, don’t risk life and limb to try to protect your roof. It is already too late. If your hometown is prone to hailstorms, take proactive, not in-progress, measures to mitigate the destruction.
- Make a visual inspection of the possible damage. The trees and shrubs around your home can provide clues. If they have been stripped of their leaves, there’s a good chance your roof may have sustained damage as well.
- If your metal patio furniture or exterior vents show dings, you might want to call in the roofing inspector. Ditto on car dents and/or cracked windshields.
- While you wait for the roofing contractor to repair your roof, take measures to prevent any further financial headaches. Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association recommends, “Cover any broken windows and holes in your roof so that no water can enter and damage your home’s interior.”
- File a claim with your homeowners insurance. Hail damage is usually covered by all such policies, so make sure you get a receipt from the roofing contractor and make copies of it.
- Do your due diligence in selecting a roofing repair company. The Rome New-Tribune reported a few complaints from “citizens who paid for roof work in advance and then had companies skip out.” The newspaper also related incidences “where contractors came in, low-balled estimates to get a contract signed, then charged considerably more after the roof was completed.” Heeding this advice is especially important if your entire region of the country has been hard hit by storm damage. Fly-by-night roofing companies tend to creep out of the woodwork in the face of disaster to prey on unsuspecting victims.
- Don’t turn your roof repair into a neighborhood circus. Rocky Mountain Insurance warns, “Allow only the insurance adjuster and roofer you have selected to get up on your roof. Each time someone walks on it, more damage can occur.”
- Ask your chosen roofer for proof of workers’ compensation and liability insurance. You don’t want to be left holding the liability bag if they get hurt or damage someone else’s property in the course of their work.
- If the possibility of future hail damage exists, ask your roofer to use hail resistive roofing materials when repairing or replacing your roof.
- Have your finished roof inspected and make sure you’re satisfied with the completed results before handing over final payment.