Hail Damage To Your Roof - What's A Homeowner To Do?

June 6, 2012

Oklahoma - where the wind (and hail) come sweeping down the plain, leaving an awful mess of roof damage in its path. The Sooner State has been hit with an extremely unfair share of hail and wind damage to roofs over the last few years, keeping contractors, roofers and insurance companies hopping. So if you're a homeowner located in the path of severe weather, how can you tell if your roof may be in need of repair or replacement due to damage? Mike Kahn of Lynnae Insurance Agency in Oklahoma City walks homeowners through the process. While standing on the ground looking up at a roof, a homeowner might not see obvious signs of roof damage, Mike said. But look closely at gutters and other metal elements around the roof. Do they show dents or dings? Do you notice shingle pieces, nails or shingle granules on the ground? Examine fencing for dings and check window screens, air conditioner vents and vent covers for damage. If you notice damage in any of those areas, Mike said most insurance policies require a homeowner to stop or limit any further destruction as soon as possible. This means applying a tarp over the damaged roof or boarding up holes. Then contact your homeowner's insurance agent, who will schedule a claims adjuster to visit your home and assess the damage. While you're waiting for the adjuster to come out (Mike stressed having lots of patience during this process since the insurance industry is extremely busy right after storms), compile a list noting all the damage around your home. This list includes any interior damage - water or paint damage, broken items, wet furniture - and exterior damage - paint, shingles, gutters, fencing, siding, windows, screens, swing sets, landscaping, sheds, pools, patio furniture, outdoor power equipment, driveways, etc. Once the adjuster's findings are turned into the insurance company, the homeowner starts gathering repair / replacement bids. If the damage is extensive enough, Mike said, the insurance company may authorize the work be done by one general contractor. A claims check is issued, which is endorsed by the mortgage company, and the homeowner uses those proceeds to pay for the renovations. Since out-of-town roofing companies seem to pop up overnight in communities hit with severe storms, Mike recommends using local roofers and contractors. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals and beware of workers going door-to-door to generate business. Mike recommends that homeowners put a sign in their yard once they've selected a roofing company or contractor. This should prevent numerous solicitations from other companies. Finally, before the company begins the work, make sure you take a look at your community HOA covenants to make sure you're getting an approved shingle color. For more information, contact Ideal Homes at (405) 267-0049 or visit www.ideal-homes.com.
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