Imagine this scenario. Terrible winds and hail hit your neighborhood in the middle of the night. Some of your roof tiles are gone and there's a hole the size of a basketball over your kitchen table providing an unwanted skylight.
Within hours of the storm, you get a knock on your door. It's a roofing contractor offering to get the hole repaired and your roof fixed immediately. Tempting, right? Not so fast. While it may seem appealing to get your roof fixed quickly, slow down. Take time to contact your insurance company first and then carefully select your roofing contractor.
"People sometimes panic after a storm and want to fix their roof immediately, but that can often be a mistake," says Tim Gentry with DaVinci Roofscapes. "Certainly you can take quick steps to get the hole plugged and the missing tiles covered, but research your options before committing to an 'ambulance chaser' type of roofing company."
Gentry offers these suggestions for post-storm roofing needs:
- Take pictures of the roof damage and immediately contact your insurance company. They will want to get involved to assess the damage and determine what type of benefits they can assist with for your roof repair.
- Try to interview at least two or three roofing contractors that are recommended to you by friends, neighbors or roofing material distributors in your area.
- When talking to contractors, ask about the type of roofing products they recommend and request information on impact-resistant composite roofing shingles. Remember, the bright side of the storm damage is that you may be getting a new roof --- so take time to determine exactly what you want on your home.
- Research the contractor. Look for someone with worker's compensation and liability insurance for every member of their crew, someone with at least three years experience and at least five references you can contact.
- Get a proposal in writing from each contractor. Look for warranty information on the roofer's services (not just the roofing product), a written price estimate, payment methods, building code and permit information. Then, share the proposal you feel works best for you with your insurance company to make sure they approve.
For more ways to "weather the storm" see Protect Your Property from Roof Hail Damage.