STORM DAMAGE – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT THAT YOU MAY HAVE ROOF DAMAGE?
A: If you suspect you have roof damage, you need to do the following:

1. Stay safe — avoid going on the roof to check for damage yourself and instead contact a professional roofer.
2. Inspect your attic for leaks or water damage. Also, if any water stains appear on your ceiling or walls, you likely need repairs or a roof replacement.
3. Look for signs of storm damage from the ground. Check for missing shingles or missing pieces of metal fascia, including any metal pieces displaced from around your chimney. Also, assess the condition of exhaust pipes, valleys, outer edges or angles where the roof meets the walls.
4. Obviously, you’ll notice if a tree fell on your roof. If so, stay out of your home until a professional can determine whether any structural damage occurred. Consider hiring a general contractor or roofer with a general contractor’s license if your home suffered structural damage, as you’ll need more than roof repairs.

Q: I HAVE LOOKED AT MY ROOF AND DO NOT SEE ANYTHING WRONG?
A: Often time damage from a storm is not visible to the untrained eye. That’s why it is very important that after a storm you have a qualified roofing contractor to come and inspect your home.

Q: WHAT IF I MUST FILE AN INSURANCE CLAIM?
A: If there is damage to your home, contact your insurance company as soon as possible for an adjuster to come to your home and appraise the damage. Remember, in a disaster situation, someone may not come immediately. Try to be patient.

Q: HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO FILE A CLAIM?
A: In most cases, you have one year from the date of the storm to file a claim, however all policies are different and some state you have as little as six months. The best thing to do is call a roofing contractor soon after the storm to do an inspection.

Q: WILL MY PREMIUMS GO UP IF I FILE A CLAIM?
A: Filing a single claim should not raise your premiums especially from an “act of God” However if a region is hit by a major storm the whole regions premiums could go up.

Q: DO I NEED A ROOFING CONTRACTOR INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS?
A: You do not have to have a roofing contractor to file a claim, however it is beneficial to have a trained contractor on site to meet with you adjuster so nothing is overlooked and you get a fair assessment of the damages.

Q: HOW DO I CHOOSE A CONTRACTOR?
A: This is a very important question and decision.
Research the company. Check out the company website to make sure they have a location within 50 miles or so of your property, and local landline phone numbers. Check out their reviews on site’s like Angie’s List or Home Advisor. You should find a contractor who is in accredited with the BBB and will readily supply you with insurance, workers compensation and references upon your request.

Q: WHAT IS A “STORM CHASER?”
A: “Storm Chasers” are disreputable regional or national companies, which give the roofing industry a bad name. They are evaluating storms throughout the country and dispatching sales teams to areas recently hit by large storms. They work on getting as many houses under contract as possible and then immediately move to the next storm area. They do not have any interest in their local reputation, quality of installation, or selection of good quality materials. These actions result in poor installations and homeowners with roof problems installed by a contractor that is no longer in the area to address.

Q: HOW TO SPOT A “STORM CHASER”?
A: “Storm Chasers” will position themselves to appear as a local company. Use some of the following items to help you easily spot a “Storm Chaser”

• Visit their website and look for local phone numbers and office locations
• Ask to see a copy of their General Liability Insurance and look for addresses of where the policy was written
• Ask for local references of completed work (specifically projects not recently completed)
• Lookout for 1-800 numbers and marketing information without a local phone number

Q: MY INSURANCE COMPANY STATED I NEEDED 3 ESTIMATES IS THIS TRUE?
A: No this is false you as the homeowner can choose any contractor you want to do the repairs.

Q: THE INSURANCE COMPANY WITHHELD DEPRECIATION, WILL I GET THAT MONEY?
A: Yes. The money that was withheld will be paid to you when the work is completed.

Q: WHY DID THE INSURANCE COMPANY WITHHOLD DEPRECIATION?

A: There are two reasons that the insurance companies hold some money back. The first reason is to make sure that you get the work done. Experience has shown them that, if they give the customer all the money up front, many people end up spending it on something else. The second reason is that they wish to make sure that you pay your full deductible. The insurance company’s reason that, if you are given all the money to being with, many people would naturally try to find a contractor who would perform the job for the dollar amount in hand. By holding a retainage amount, they can adjust the amount of the final payout based on the roofing contractor’s invoice, thus assuring that their customer does pay the deductible.

Q: WILL MY ROOF WARRANTY COVER HURRICANE DAMAGE?
A: When you buy a new roof, you are given 2 separate warranties. You receive a Manufacturer’s warranty from the company that made your shingles and you receive a workmanship/labor warranty from the contractor who installed the shingles on your roof.

1. Manufacturer Warranty – The company that made your shingles offer’s specific wind and life expectancy guarantees when you buy their product. Terms like Lifetime and wind ratings like 110 mph and 130 mph are guarantees that they offer to the consumer. They are the ones responsible for how long your shingles last and how high of wind speeds they will sustain.
2. Workmanship/Labor Warranty – The contractor who installs your roof offers these warranties which cover against leaks usually for a specified period. Standard lengths for these warranties run anywhere from 2-15 years. This warranty protects you after installation of your roof should you encounter a leak when it rains.
Unfortunately, your workmanship/labor warranty from your roofing contractor does not cover any Acts of God such as wars, civil disturbances, fires and Hurricanes.

Q: ANY ADDITIONAL THINGS I SHOULD REMEMBER AFTER THE STORM?
A: A few other things to remember following a big storm like Irma:

• Before beginning any cleanup, take photos and keep notes. It is important to document everything that is damaged before starting to replace or to restore.
• Notify your insurance agent as soon as possible. If you have vacated the premises, make sure your representative knows where to contact you. If you’re at home, but your phone isn’t working, leave a number where you can be reached.
• Make any temporary repairs.
• Get a tarp if you have a leak.
• Do not allow any contractor to nail a tarp to your roof. This will cause additional water damage and leaks into your home by allowing water to go through where the nail penetrations are.
• Make sure your adjuster provides you with a proof of loss statement. Report any additional damage found as soon as possible so that damage may be added to your claim.
• If your home is uninhabitable and you must live in temporary housing, save all receipts.
• Don’t be rushed into signing repair contracts. Deal with reputable contractors. If you are unsure about a contractor’s credentials, contact the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce for referrals. Make sure the contractor you hire is experienced in repair work.
• Make copies of all correspondence and information sent to you by your insurance company.

About Total Home Roofing:  Total Home Roofing is a Residential and Commercial roofing company based in Rockledge, FL, founded in 2006, Total Home roofing has over 150 employees and 3 Central Florida offices in Winter Park, Rockledge and Daytona.  Serving all od Central Florida; Brevard County FL, Orange and Seminole Counties FL, Volusia County FL. Orlando, Daytona & Coco Beach Roofing Company.