Texas gets its fair share of wind, rain, and hail. If your roof endures any sort of damage from these storms, do not hire any old roofer to perform the repairs. These storms can cause missing, torn, unsealed, and curled roofing shingles which are warning signs that you should address immediately. Often, missing shingles may lead to significant damage hidden underneath, which not only compromises the roofing system but could cause moisture to get into the interior.
If water flows down a wall or pours from around a ceiling fixture, you can detect the infiltration right away. Unfortunately, leaks caused by missing shingles may not be obvious or go unnoticed in obscure locations such as the attic.
Any knowledgeable roofing contractor can determine the extent of damage from missing shingles, and make recommendations for roof repairs. If you ignore the warning signs for too long, it can result in significant and costly damage.
Below, we’ll talk about what to be wary of after a storm happens, filing insurance claims for hail damage, and the effects missing or damaged shingles could have on your home.
What to Watch Out for After Storms
Fraudsters abound, especially following nasty weather. Some even go door-to-door peddling their alleged services. If anyone shows up at your door following a storm and tries to sell roof repair services, tell them to go away and shut the door.
The Deductible Scam
Some shady roofers will tell a prospective customer he does not have to pay his insurance deductible. They will state there are ways around paying this portion of the claim. However, these means of bypassing the payment work for the scammer rather than the property owner. The fraudster proceeds to use low-quality or stolen materials for the job. He over-bills the insurance company or performs a fraction of the work described in the adjuster report. The property owner sends the fraudulent invoice to the insurance company and can be found guilty of fraud. This action is punishable by upwards of two years in jail plus fines.
This scam starts out with the fraudster using the deductible lie described above to persuade you to sign a contingent. Details are worked out with the insurance adjuster so the repair project can commence. The problem is the fraudster’s contingent contains “bird seed” that states you owe a certain amount of money for their representation or you agree to pay for your roof to be replaced for an unspecified amount of money.
Be Leery of Sales Calls Following Storms
There are plenty of lead generation groups that call homeowners in an area hit by harsh storms. They offer roof repair and replacement services over the phone. Yet they won’t state the name of the business they represent. This is due to the fact that they are not a part of a legitimate roofing company. They sucker highly vulnerable property owners into their scam, take their information and sell it to a Dallas roofing company. The roofer pursues these “leads” to push their repair/replacement services.
North Texas has fallen victim to an alarming number of these scam calls and contracts. This means legitimate Dallas roofing companies are having to manage a spike in roof repairs as well as repair damage caused by fraudulent roofers.
Paying Repair Costs Before the Work is Performed
A roofer who requests payment for the full cost of the repairs upfront might be a scam artist. Demanding the entire payment all at once before performing any work is one of the quickest ways to pilfer a homeowner’s hard-earned money. Senior citizens commonly fall prey to this scam. Many will take the money and never return to perform the repairs. A trustworthy and credible Dallas roofing company won’t request full payment before the work commences. In general, an initial payment of 50-75% is necessary to secure a roofer’s services.
How to Find a Legitimate Dallas Roofing Business
It takes a little bit of effort to ensure you are doing business with a credible roofing company. Check the prospect’s website before hiring any Dallas roofing company. Make sure there is a legitimate “About Us” section, address, and phone number. Take a look at the company’s online reviews. It also helps to check with the Better Business Bureau to find out if customers have logged complaints against the prospect.
The Effects of Missing or Damaged Shingles
So a storm came through and you’re not sure whether you need a professional roofing company to assess damage or not. To the naked eye, there may be no visible damage but experienced roofers know exactly what to look for. How will these damaged shingles actually affect your home?
Affect Your Home’s Insurability
Missing shingles can have a direct impact on the insurability of your home. Most homeowners’ insurance policies require the insured to take reasonable care to maintain the property in good condition in order for the insurer to pay out for any interior damage caused by a storm.
Let’s say that you file an insurance claim (more on that below) which asserts that missing shingles caused interior damage to your home. If you fail to file a timely claim for the missing shingles or otherwise took the steps necessary to fix the problem, the insurance company can argue that you did not take steps necessary to mitigate damages. Therefore, the insurer might agree to pay for the roof repair, but not the out-of-pocket costs necessary to repair the interior damage to your home.
Risk Your Homeowner’s Insurance Renewal
Many insurance companies conduct spot checks on the condition of the homes they insure. Also, when it’s time to renew your home insurance policy, the underwriter may request a curbside inspection and photographs of the property.
Missing shingles demonstrate a home that is in disrepair, and could lead to bigger issues. This could cause your insurer to send you a home insurance cancellation notice at renewal.
At this point, your only option would be to correct the condition as soon as possible and ask the insurance company to reconsider cancellation. Even if your insurer reinstates the policy, you may incur a higher insurance premium because the insurer will consider you a higher risk.
Decrease The Value Of Your Home
Missing shingles project an unsightly appearance, which can decrease the perceived or real value of your home. If you plan to put your home on the market, missing shingles can turn off potential buyers.
Even if you receive an offer for your home, the appraiser and home inspector will note the missing shingles. The potential buyer will want to deduct the roof repair, as well as any interior damage from the price of the home.
Insurance Claims for Hail or Storm Damage
Missing shingles have been assessed and you’ve contacted a reputable roofing company but what about the insurance claim process?
When an insurance company investigates weather damage to your roof, they look mainly for hail or other storm damage. During the claims inspection, an experienced roofing contractor will work with your insurance company to collectively determine the extent of storm damage caused to your roof.
They will inspect the appearance of the shingles, checking for granules that have fallen off. Asphalt shingles have granules that guard the underlying asphalt by blocking ultraviolet rays. As shingles get older, the sun-protection offered by the granules fade. This causes your roof to dry out, and shingles to get a bubbled texture. They are now more apt to be damaged by hail and bad weather. Incidentally, a worn shingle will be brittle to the touch.
During a hailstorm, granule loss is accelerated, aging the shingles faster. If hail damage isn’t repaired by a roofing contractor, the roof will eventually experience permanent roof damage. Your insurance company probably has a statute of limitations on damage claims placed after a hail storm or other severe weather.
This is why your roofer will come in. A roof inspector looks for dark spots where granules have been displaced and fiberglass is exposed. New hail damage is shiny whereas long-term damaged roofing has a dull, washed-out appearance.
Materials Used by Roofers Hail Damage Repair
There are hundreds of basic products used to repair damaged roofs. Your insurance company may give you a discount for the installation of hail resistant roofing materials. Roof materials that pass Underwriters Laboratory test UL 2218, are deemed hail resistant. An inspector conducts this test by dropping steel balls of various weights and diameters on the roofing material. The damage, or lack thereof, is then assessed.
You can add protective materials to your roof once it’s installed to prevent future weather damage. Many companies produce weather-resistant leak barriers you can use to seal your roof and protect it from hail, ice, and water damage. These products protect your roof’s most vulnerable areas, including valleys, eaves and rakes, and around chimneys.
Elevated Roofing, is a premier roofer in McKinney, TX and DFW metroplex. We offer a free roof inspection service to assess hail damage after storms. Our trained inspectors will let you know if your roof needs repair or replacement, and we’ll recommend high-quality roofing materials to keep your home safe from leaks and prevent future damage.
Request A Free Comprehensive Roof Inspection
You may be tempted to fix the problem of missing or damaged shingles yourself. However, climbing up on a roof can be dangerous. It also takes a certain amount of expertise to identify the problems that may be associated with missing shingles and to consider the various to repair the roof correctly the first time.
If you have missing shingles or other warning signs of a problem with your roof, it is important that you schedule a comprehensive inspection of your roofing system immediately.
Elevated Roofing’s knowledgeable inspectors will provide an honest evaluation of your roof. Whether you need to patch missing shingles or consider other options, we can help guide you through the process. Contact us today!