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What To Do When Your Home's Roof Is Leaking or Damaged

Dealing With Unexpected Roof Damage

As a homeowner you rarely can predict when your home will be hit by damaging weather. It is important to have a clear understanding of the proper steps that should be taken when you experience shingle roof damage on your home. Windstorms, severe rainstorms, and snow and ice storms can all cause damage to your shingle roof.

Step 1: Evaluate the Extent of the Problem

The first step after you experience severe weather is to assess the damage. Approximate damage assessments can help you discuss your needs with your insurance company or contractor and avoid unforeseen costs or weaknesses.

Use a pair of binoculars to estimate the general square foot area and specific details of the area that has been damaged. Note the severity of the damage and if you are missing small areas of shingle or random shingle tabs. Document the materials that are visible or exposed, note if you can see plywood, tarpaper, or only the ends of shingles missing. Take note of the color of the material and the approximate shade. Additional shingles from a roof replacement project in the past will have the shingle color stamped on the end of the package.

Note the area of ​​the roof that has been affected and if it is an important area such as a living space that could result in serious interior damage should a leak occur. Be sure to place a bucket or garbage can under a leak and remove any valuables in the area in order to prevent further interior damage. Serious damage may need to be waterproofed quickly using a strapped tarping method or ice and water membrane, while smaller repairs can be shingled immediately.

Step 2: Contact Your Insurance Company

Contact your insurance company. Evaluate if the damage is large enough to be covered through home insurance. In times of natural disaster when large residential areas are affected, it can be beneficial to use your homeowner's insurance, as local contractors can become busy.

Step 3: Hire A Roofing Contractor

If you decide to hire a private contractor, always hire a professional, certified roofing company. Avoid contractors who are in the area because of a natural disaster. Traveling contractors who follow storms have no reputation to uphold and may provide sub standard workmanship.

Additionally, it is advisable to investigate any potential roofing contractor in the local Better Business Bureau or other similar certification / verification services. If possible, get recommendations from friends and family in the area who may have used a particular contractor in the past.

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