Storm Damage Roof Repair: A Guide for Homeowners

storm damage roof repair

From violent blizzards to severe hailstorms, Indiana is no stranger to extreme weather. Last year alone, we had more tornadoes statewide than we’ve had in the past 20 years!

Once the storms have passed, however, the real nightmare often begins. Dealing with massive leaks, gaping holes, and other frustrating forms of destruction can become a major headache.

Even worse, many homeowners aren’t sure what to do about storm damage roof repair. What kind of damage should you look for, and can you address it on your own? How can you be sure you aren’t choosing a fraudulent repair company to service your roof?

When you’re struggling with the aftermath of a severe storm, here are a few crucial steps to take.

Assess Your Safety

It’s tempting to panic and dive right into repairs, but you should always start by assessing your household’s safety.

Keep on top of the local weather alerts to make sure that all harsh weather conditions have passed before you go outside to look at your roof. The last thing you want to do is put yourself in danger by trying to put up a DIY tarp during an ongoing storm!

During and after the storm, check your home’s interior for signs of damage. Look for water stains or dark streaks in your attic, ceilings, and walls. Cracks or other signs of structural damage are also bad signs.

Identify Signs of Damage

When the weather clears, head outdoors to look for roof damage. Keep in mind that we never recommend getting up on your roof after a storm, especially if you think your home has taken damage. Instead, stay on the ground or have someone spot you on a ladder, which you should remain on during your inspection.

Look for any missing or damaged shingles or roof tiles, which are the most common signs of storm damage. These can be hard to spot, but they should stand out from the visual pattern of your other shingles. Doing this while the sun is out can help you spot irregularities in their shadows.

Check your chimney, which should be free of fractures or ships. Make sure it isn’t leaning.

Damage to your flashing can be harder to spot from the ground or a ladder, but you should look for dents or damage around your vents, chimney, skylights, and other areas.

You may also notice shingle granules in your gutters, a sign that debris or hail may have knocked into your roof. Check your gutters and downspouts as well: you’re looking for leaks, looseness, or dents and punctures.

Document the Damage

Before you start looking for repair services, document the damage to your home. This will become important once you’ve filed a claim with your insurance.

To do this, start collecting evidence of any damage you see.

Inside your home, record videos of leaks and take pictures of water damage to your belongings. Outside, take photos of your roof damage as best you can from the ground. Once you’ve hired an emergency roofing contractor, you can ask them to take photos on your behalf when they climb up onto your roof.

You should also make a list of any items that were damaged, including details about the items’ value. This is easier if you’ve already created a home inventory for insurance purposes.

Get Temporary Roof Repairs

Next, seek emergency roof repair. Setting up a tarp can help keep leaks from worsening, protecting your home from further damage.

If you have roofing experience and feel comfortable on a roof, you can set up a DIY tarp on your own using supplies from a home improvement store. However, as we’ve mentioned above, we don’t recommend doing this if you believe your roof’s structure was impacted in any way. Instead, contact a licensed roofing contractor with the safety tools and training to tackle this task without issue.

Contact Your Insurance Company

Your home insurance policy should cover most types of storm damage, but you’ll want to file a claim as soon as possible. The chances are good that everyone in the area will be calling all at once after a bad storm, so contacting your agent right away can help you jump to the front of the line.

When you report the claim to your insurer, send them the documentation you’ve collected in the step above. While your claim is active, it’s important to follow a few best practices, like not tossing out any damaged belongings until you’re cleared to do so and keeping track of any agents you talk to about your claim.

Choose a Reputable Repair Expert

Once your claim is in play, your insurer should give you the go-ahead to start repairs.

However, don’t trust any roof repair expert you find! After a bad storm, so-called “storm chasers,” or repair companies that make money by following storms around the region, may show up at your door. These contractors may use high-pressure sales tactics and inflated prices.

Always do your research, and consider hiring a trusted local company instead. Get multiple estimates, check each company’s credentials, and ask for a written contract. While you’ll often need to pay a down payment, you should never pay the full price until the repairs are done and you’re happy with the quality of the work.

A good roof repair company can help you weigh your needs and decide between multiple services, including roof repairs vs. a total replacement. This is even more important if you have an aging roof that’s nearing the end of its lifespan.

Get Expert Storm Damage Roof Repair

Damage from a storm can cause frustrating leaks, extensive property damage, and massive headaches for weeks or months to come. Fortunately, you don’t have to go through it alone! Partnering with the right contractors can help you deal with the damage fast, putting your home back in order so you can get on with your life.

When you need fast and professional storm damage roof repair, Smith Roofing & Remodeling is the company to trust. We’re proud to help homeowners throughout Indiana deal with the aftermath of severe storms, no matter the extent of the damage. For a free roof estimate, call us today at 260-799-9999 or contact us here.