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With the current technology, storms are predictable, although not many of them are avoidable. While we may be able to evacuate to safer areas during a storm, our houses can’t, and they’re usually left in the direct line of fire.
Storm damage is often unavoidable. There’s little you can do to stop strong winds, hailstorms, tornadoes, and torrential rain from having a go at your roofing.
What should you do when you suffer storm damage? The first thing to do is to assess the extent of the damage. Some damage may require immediate mitigation efforts while some may be only superficial. Trees down on your roof or blown off shingles require immediate attention. Hail damage to roofs normally does not require immediate attention in most cases. Regardless of the damage, call the professionals at StormMaster Restoration.
Not all damage requires you file a claim with your insurance company. All policies have deductibles. The deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket for any repairs before your insurance is obligated to pay. If the damage is minor or you have a high deductible, it might not be in your best interest to file a claim. The professionals at StormMaster Restoration can help you make that determination. We have been assessing storm damage to homes since 2006. We have the training, licenses and experience to guide you in the right direction.
Depending on which state you live in, StormMaster Restoration can assist with your insurance claim on different levels. In Illinois, our licensed public adjuster can represent you on your storm claim. You don’t have to do anything. Turn it over to our professional and let him handle it for you. In Indiana, while we can’t represent you, we can provide you with our professional knowledge and guidance to assist you in doing it yourself. We give you the hammer so you can drive the nail.
Another benefit of working with StormMaster Restoration is we are a general contractor and can handle all aspects of your restoration. From roofing to siding, interior to exterior, you just have one person to deal with.
Knowing the different types of damage caused by storms can prove handy when looking for damage. In a storm, your roof is likely to be damaged by one of three things, or all of them simultaneously:
Here’s how you can detect each type of damage.
While hail can happen anytime of the year, thunderstorm season is when your roof is most likely to experience hail damage. It is vital to assess the state of your roof after severe storms because hail can cause considerable damage.
Many times you might see damage to the perimeter of your home. There are things you can spot from the ground without having to climb on your roof. Soft metals can be damaged, such as gutters, downspouts, fascia metal and window wraps. Window screens can also show evidence of hail damage. Air conditioning coils can be damaged. You should be aware that even if these items are damaged, your shingles may not have been damaged. If you do find any of these signs, you should have your roof professionally checked.
Hail damage to asphalt shingles happens when the protective, granular coating of the shingle suffers damage, exposing the asphalt underneath. Here are some images of a hail damaged asphalt shingle.
Often, insurance companies will hire “forensic” engineers to come out and inspect roofs with suspected hail damage. It has been my experience this is done for one reason: To deny legitimate damage to a policyholder.
How do they do this? Engineers define damage their own way. They refer to hail hits as “functional damage.” This is a term that is not present anywhere in the insurance policy. The insurance policy covers “direct physical loss.” Damage that fits the definition of a “physical loss” may not rise to the level of a “functional loss.” A “functional loss” suggests the damaged item is no longer suitable for the function it was designed for. An example would be the difference between a water glass that is broken and one that merely has a chip out of it. The broken glass is no longer functional. The one with the chip is functional but still physically damaged.
A tornado is one of the most devastating forces on earth. They are known for their sheer destructive power that flattens everything in their path. In the US, around 1,200 tornadoes appear every year. Not all of them are categorized above EF3 (EF4 and EF5 are the most violent types of storms), but many of them still manage to do a lot of damage. Even if a tornado is miles away from your home, there is a risk of damage to your roof. A medium-sized tornado is capable of chucking large chunks of debris over a mile away. That puts many households in the line of fire. Tornado damage may be a bit easier to see due to the chaos and magnitude of the destruction. However, tornado damage assessment is a lot more involved than hail or standard wind damage. The sheer force involved can easily cause structural damage and even move buildings from their foundations. This sort of damage requires experienced estimators and sometimes licensed engineers to assess the structural issues (not to be confused with the engineers that are hired on hail damage claims).
Wind damage ranges from the obvious to the subtle. Obvious wind damage is evident when there are single or large patches of shingles missing from your roof. This usually comes to your attention when you are out in the yard and find shingles in the grass. This tends to get one to start looking at their roof to see if it came from theirs.
Wind damage can also be subtle. Shingles can be pulled loose from their nails and create a zippering effect. In this situation, the shingles are still in place on the roof and you cannot see the damage without a close inspection of the roof.
If you have zippering on your roof, it is likely caused by the shingles being pulled off the nails. We call this a pull through.
A third type of subtle, yet valid wind damage is mat transfer. Again, this is not damage that is noticeable from the ground. It can only be found with a hands-on inspection of the roof. Mat transfer is where the shingles were previously sealed and the wind has gotten under the shingles and broke the seal. The mat transfer leaves a hole in the shingle where the seal had broken loose from the other shingle.
This roof slope was initially denied. As you can see, on the surface it looks perfectly fine. However, every place you see a chalk circle there is mat transfer damage. This slope was approved and replaced.