Most homeowners assume that their insurance will cover their roof in the event of storm damage. However, every policy has exclusions so it is a good idea to review your policy to make sure you are adequately covered in the event of damage to your roof from a weather-related event.
Damage to your roof can be caused by hail, sleet, ice dams in the winter, heavy snow, high winds, thunderstorms, hurricanes, lightning, smoke, and fire. Most major insurers provide replacement or repair coverage in the event of these destructive forces.
However, losing a few shingles after a storm may be considered cosmetic, or minimal damage by your adjustor as compared to having a section of the roof blown off, or gutter, drip edge, facia, and other wood damage. The insurance company may provide for a total roof replacement for covered hazards, but sometimes the damage may only warrant repairs. This is why you want a professional and reputable roofing contractor (not a storm chaser contractor) to inspect your roof after a weather event if you suspect damage. They can find things that a layperson may not be aware of following a storm or wind event. After the storm clears contact your insurance carrier to begin filing a claim. You will have to pay your deductible.
Regular roof inspections and maintenance once documented can also save you trouble down the road in the event of future damage. If the insurance company sees that your roof is old and has been in disrepair prior to a storm or weather event it could jeopardize your coverage. Things like loose shingles, torn drip edged, rotted facia and any leaks prior to a storm can be penalizing. There is an expectation by most insurance carriers that the homeowner is going to maintain the home within reason. You don’t want to get penalized for maintenance failure on a big claim.
Some insurance carriers might try and steer you in the direction of their list of contractors, but you have the right to consult the roofing contractor of your choice. Reputable contractors are usually accepted by most national insurance companies and have built up a life time of credibility because of their estimates and the quality of their repairs. It never hurts to get multiple quotes but just make sure they are quoting for the same scope of work, supplies and materials. For example one quote may be much lower because the contractor is using cheaper shingles. Ask about warranties on shingles and labor. If two contractors are in dispute get a third quote.
When seeking a roofing contractor you should check out several things. Read Google reviews and consult the Better Business Bureau listings to see if they have any red flags from previous jobs. Don’t gamble with a lower rated contractor. Ask to see their liability coverages, workman’s compensation and any other insurance they carry. Professional roofing companies are used to this and will make them readily available to you so as to alleviate any concerns about protection coverages while the work is being done to your home. Ask how long they have been in business. Many local and family-owned contractors have spent years providing quality roofing in materials and service. They value their reputation for quality workmanship and don’t want to jeopardize it.
Be leery of storm chaser contractors that blow into a community after a storm from out of town or out of state and try do a sweep of the entire damaged area. Some of these companies ask for money up front. Reputable companies will not do this and will work with your insurance company. Unfortunately, many homeowners have had bad experiences with these companies that here today and gone tomorrow. One advantage of a local roofing contractor is accessibility after the job is completed. They live, work, worship, breathe and play where you do! They have a vested interest in the local community too.
Do an annual review of your coverage with your insurance agent. Ask about coverage exclusions and have them advise you of the best level of protection coverages they can offer. Don’t be afraid to shop around and get other quotes on coverage, but use due diligence in your research of prospective companies and agents just like you would for a roofing contractor.
Gilstrap Roofing has been a family-owned and operated business serving the Upstate and the Midlands of South Carolina since 1935. We welcome your questions, and scrutiny in searching for a roofing contractor. We are a full-service roofing contractor with an A+ BBB rating.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611
Even minor roof repair can be dangerous for homeowners, or laypersons. There is always the risk of a fall when you climb onto a roof and that is one of the most important reasons to call a professional. If you fall off your roof and injure yourself it could put your family, financial and physical health in serious jeopardy. While homeowners can make minor roof repairs it’s risky. When should you contact a professional roofer?
Obstruction From Objects
If a big tree limb, satellite dish, or some other type of heavy obstruction from a neighbor, etc, has fallen on your roof there is the possibility that you have roof damage beyond what you can see from the roof. Damage could be present in the attic and underneath the shingles. A professional roofer can inspect the roof exterior and underneath to see if there is any hidden damage. And never touch, or get near a downed power line on your roof. Contact your utility company if there are downed power lines.
If you spot multiple missing, or loose shingles it could be the sign of something more serious. If you’ve had your roof replaced in the last couple of years and are experiencing loose and missing shingles with no memory of bad storms, or weather, it could be that you had a poor roof installation and it’s just now showing up. Typically, torn, loose and missing shingles are the result of storm damage which could be recent, or longer and they finally worked loose. If excess water worked its way underneath some shingles and remained it could loosen the nails as well. A professional will walk the roofline and inspect your shingles for proper installation, possible water breach, and repair any loose, or missing shingles.
Most roofs in newer construction are properly ventilated through the ridge, or other eternal vents that allow air to flow properly through the attic. Roof ventilation is vital to prevent moisture and humidity from damaging the roof deck and rafters from mold, mildew and even wood rot. The ventilation also helps your house avoid trapping fungi and mold that can pose serious respiratory problems, and aggravate allergies, asthma, etc. Ventilation also keeps rodents, squirrels, and birds from entering your attic and setting up shop. Faulty ventilation can allow these pests into your attic, or damaging moisture to be trapped inside. A professional roofer will inspect any and all ridge, gable and even soffit venting and make repairs as necessary.
The metal and rubberized material around roof vents, chimneys, roof valleys and other sections where the surface comes together is called flashing and it is used to prevent leaks. If you have leaks near these areas it could be an indication of old or damaged flashing. A professional roofer can repair the leaks and if necessary replace the flashing before coating it and sealing out any water.
Multi-layered roofing occurs when a roofer installs new roofing over your old roof to save costs. This practice is not that uncommon but multiple roofs can be a problem over time. Most local/state building codes will allow two layers but anything over is not allowed or advisable. If you have purchased a house and the inspector missed a multi-layered roof it could be the source of problems. Professional roofing companies typically like a single layer roof because they know what is under it and how it was laid by their team. A roofing pro can tell you whether or not you have a single, or multi-layer roof.
Ceiling or leaks in your attic are like a warning light on a car dashboard. It is a big indicator that water is intruding into your home and it has to be addressed before it causes further damage to materials, roofing and your family’s health. Leaks can come from multiple sources, but a professional can usually pinpoint the source of entry in a very short time. Do not let water leaks of any kind fester over time. Procrastination in calling for help will only make matters worse and cause more damage. Your roofer can determine if it’s a roofing or plumbing issue.
Water pooling or standing in your roof valley, or other areas is usually an indication of a clogged gutter, or french drain from the downspout that is clogged and backing water up to the roof. A roof professional can determine the root cause but you don’t want standing water on your roof.
High winds, excessive rain, and heat can cause your fascia wood/material to shrink and expand pulling away from nails just below the shingle line of your roof. Gaps can allow water to penetrate onto the roof deck and into the attic causing dry rot, mold, mildew and other damaging problems.
Make sure you contact a licensed, insured/bonded and reputable professional roofer. Ask for references and check online reviews as well as the BBB.
At Gilstrap Roofing we have been serving the Upstate longer than any other roofing contractor accredited by the Better Business Bureau, spanning four generations. We live, work and play here so we have a lot at stake when it comes to providing quality roofing with certified crews. We regularly perform roof inspections for these and other kinds of issues. Contact us today.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611
Roof damage following heavy thunderstorms, tornadoes or high winds can be extensive and expensive. Wanting to get everything “back to normal” as soon as possible is understandable. However, you need to be careful about letting your emotions get ahead of you and just grabbing the first company that lands your doorstep following a storm. Beware of storm chasing roofers and contractors showing up on your door unsolicited following a storm.
Storm-chasers are contractors who travel from town to town, storm to storm trying to get as many jobs in one localized area as possible at the lowest cost before moving on to the next storm-damaged town, or community. Many of them are not professional roofers and ask for payment before the work is performed. They typically show up in a neighborhood that’s been hit hard by a storm in vehicles with out of state tags. Many of these companies solicit work with high-pressure sales pitches and often promise things that are just too good to be true. One of their biggest tactics is to be the first company on your roof to provide temporary tarps or cover forcing you to prematurely commit to their company for the larger body of work out of a sense of obligation because they were there when you needed them right after the storm. These contractors prey on the emotions of people who are in a vulnerable state following damage to their home and want it fixed now!
Many storm-chasers are not licensed to do the work in your state, or city. Others don’t carry insurance or only the bare minimum which could put you in a risky liability situation. They work by getting as many jobs under contract in a localized area often employing inexperienced and cheap labor. Working in a concentrated area saves them time by having materials, trucks, and supplies in one location since their offices are not local. The more jobs they get together, the more money they can save while making revenue off multiple homes. The most important thing to remember is that you should never make a commitment verbal, or in writing with a contractor until you have vetted several companies, received multiple quotes and talked with your insurance agent.
The storm chasing roofing epidemic has become so prevalent that the Better Business Bureau has posted guidelines for consumers regarding storm-chasers.
A reputable, licensed, local roofing company will not come to your home unsolicited following a storm. They don’t “get out of town” when the job is done, they stay because like you, they live and work in the same community. This is one of the biggest reasons to contract a local roofing company. They will be accessible for questions and warranty work after the job is completed. Reputable roofing companies can provide multiple local referrals, proof of their license both state and local, workman’s comp, liability insurance coverage, and total accountability in proof of their training and work history that qualifies them to be legitimate roofing contractors. Storm-chasers like to avoid these accountability markers.
In 2016 an 18-mile tornado touched down through Simpsonville, SC per the National Weather Service. Within three hours of the storm, damaged neighborhoods were plagued with out of state “roofing” companies going door to door soliciting work. Many promised potential customers that their neighbors had decided to go with them when they hadn’t committed to any company.
Others fearing more water damage contracted the companies to cover their roofs in tarps only to discover they were in for a major battle on the damage repair and reconstruction they hadn’t agreed to because they were still waiting on insurance adjusters and had simply gotten approval to tarp their roofs.
In one specific community neighbors got together following the storm and as they started picking up and surveyed the damage they began to share their notes about the “on the spot” contractors all sharing similar high-pressure techniques and sketchy business practices.
At Gilstrap Roofing we have been serving the Upstate longer than any other roofing contractor accredited by the Better Business Bureau, spanning four generations. We live, work and play here so we have a lot at stake when it comes to providing quality roofing with certified crews.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611
One of the most disregarded home maintenance issues is your roof. There are a wide variety of issues that affect your roof. Think of your roof as the blanket on your bed. It protects you from the elements, keeps you dry and warm as you sleep. When it performs like it’s supposed to no one thinks about it. However, when it fails, or doesn’t deliver as expected, it can be frustrating and costly.
There are several things that can lead to roof maintenance issues. Among them:
Gilstrap Roofing has been a family owned and operated business serving the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina since 1935. We welcome your questions, and scrutiny in searching for a roofing contractor. We are a full service roofing contractor with an A+ BBB rating.
Brian Gilstrap, President
Greenville, SC 29611