By design, roofing systems are meant to be long-lasting and incredibly strong in order to protect your home — inside and out. However, there are certain situations that can occur causing sudden roof damage, such as a severe storm. When sudden damage occurs, it’s critical that homeowners act quickly to remedy the situation to prevent further damage.
Therefore, it’s essential that all homeowners know what to do in the event of an emergency roof leak or other situation. You can consider this a beginner’s guide to emergency roof repair in which we’ll explain everything you need to know and everything you need to do below.
Identifying Roof Damage
Roof damage can take on several different forms. As a homeowner, you’ll likely encounter some sort of roof damage in time, but it’s important to understand what calls for emergency repairs and what doesn’t.
The following events are what you could consider an emergency roof repair situation:
- Significant storm damage: When we say “significant” we mean high winds, lightning strikes, ongoing downpours, hail storms, and other types of inclement weather that can harm your roof in various ways. So, if you see that you have missing or damaged shingles or dented or punctured roofing components, you can consider it an emergency roof repair scenario — especially since exposed roofing can compromise your roof’s structural integrity.
- Fire, smoke, and extreme heat: Most roofing materials today are designed to keep fire hazards at bay, but that doesn’t mean flames, smoke, or extreme heat won’t do some very real damage. This is especially true for the roof’s underlayment, sheathing, roof trusses, and other structural components within the attic or access space.
- Fallen trees or other large debris: Heavy objects that get swept up in high winds and smashed into or dropped on top of your roof can and will leave a mark. Both large and small tree branches can hit at an odd angle and get dragged across the roof’s surface, breaking shingles, damaging roof flashing, and puncturing integral components. When neglected, piles of debris also add unnecessary weight to your roof, which can cause further damage.
- Water leaks: Every roof leak is an emergency roof leak. Water is arguably the worst thing that can happen to your roofing system and home as the source of the leak can not only be difficult to locate but it can end up in dangerous locations — such as near your fuse box or circuit breaker. They can also allow high volumes of water into the home, causing damage to your walls and foundation.
- Mold and mildew growth: Where there’s water damage you can almost always guarantee there will be mold or mildew growth (or both!). If you notice mold or mildew, it could mean that some of your roofing material has begun to rot. On top of rotting wood, mold and mildew can pose a lot of health risks for you and your family.
How to Handle An Emergency Roof Repair Event: 3 Key Steps
Now that you know how to identify what an emergency roof repair event looks like, you’ll need to understand what steps to take to handle it. The first step is to stay calm and prioritize protecting your home and your family by doing the following:
1) Assess the Damages
After a big storm or a random event occurs, you need to take a look at what’s going on. So, the first thing you’ll want to do is assess and evaluate the damages on your own.
- Start by walking around your home’s exterior perimeter, taking note of any damages you see from the ground up.
- Next, you’ll want to inspect your home’s interior. Check out your attic for any leaks or areas showing signs of excess moisture as well as a noticeable draft. You’ll also want to check out your top floor ceiling and walls for any water stains and active leaks.
- Be sure to document everything you see by taking clear photos and notes to accompany them. This information will be vital to the insurance claim you’ll be filing and it’ll allow you to determine whether or not it’s safe to remain in your home for the time being.
It’s also important to mention that you should never climb up onto your roof and walk around, especially if there’s damage!
2) Contact a Reliable Roofing Company
Once you’ve determined what kind of damage you’re dealing with, you’ll need to get in touch with the professionals — specifically professionals that provide emergency roof repair services.
You’ll need to have your roofing contractor come over as soon as possible to:
- Conduct a more thorough inspection of your roof
- Write up an official detailed report that you can use for your insurance claim
- Provide an accurate estimate for the emergency repairs needed
- Provide insurance claims assistance if needed
- Discuss your financing options as a backup plan
When searching for a reliable roofing contractor, it’s important to do your due diligence to ensure they have an excellent reputation and are willing to handle your emergency situation immediately. It’s also important to be wary of storm chasers, which are scam artists that will knock on your front door claiming that there are damages but then take your money as soon as you sign a contract with them.
3) Speak With Your Homeowners Insurance Company
You’ll also need to contact your homeowners insurance company as soon as possible and get the following squared away:
- How much and what your policy covers
- The type of claim you’ll need to fill out and when to submit it
- When you can expect the insurance adjuster to come to your home
- When and how the company will pay for the repairs once the claim is approved
Another very important tip is to make sure that your roofing contractor can come out and meet with the insurance claims adjuster once they’ve scheduled an appointment. Insurance adjusters always work in the company’s best interest — not the homeowner’s. Therefore, you’ll need a roofing professional there to ensure they don’t “miss” anything.
Leave Your Emergency Roof Repair to the Experts
The average homeowner isn’t experienced or equipped to handle an emergency roof repair on their own. Fortunately, Allphase Restoration is here and ready to help you with your emergency roof repair or replacement.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can make your roofing emergency less stressful — and to schedule your free roofing inspection!