As the old yet timeless cliché goes, especially when it comes to your biggest investment — your home — it is better safe than sorry when talking in terms of scheduling a professional evaluation for possibly incurred storm damage. Whether you were at home during the storm, experiencing the noise of the wind and hail beating on your home’s asphalt shingle roof, or out of town during a horrendous, Chicago-style, spring storm, scheduling a certified professional home inspector for an evaluation, without delay, is the best action you can take against claim denial from your home insurance company.
The Importance of an Intact Roof
Excellent quality roofing material and proper installation of your chosen roofing material are two of the most important construction subprojects when in the process of building or having your home built by Chicagoland professionals in the specialty business of home construction. Think of a house as a large puzzle that needs to be put together in a timely yet attentive manner, leaving no piece unturned. When the intricate puzzle is finally complete, a binding substance can be brushed onto your finished masterpiece, keeping it protected for years to come. Your home’s roof is its protection; it protects you and your family from the rain, a brutal summer sun, wind, hail and flying debris such as limbs and autumn leaves. Many roofs find themselves pummeled by closely located, uprooted trees or felled limbs, having, thankfully, done their job of protecting the house occupants from any physical harm.
There are many types of roofing materials on the market today whereas, in the recent past, there were only asphalt shingles, primitive sheet metal, cedar wood shingles and stone or terra cotta tile. Although asphalt shingles still rank as number one for the most popular roofing material used today, we have become creative in our manufacturing of different products that are available to the general public, such as:
- Composite cedar wood
- Composite asphalt or marble/limestone granule combination
- Slate shingles
- Industrial-look metal (comes in many attractive color variations)
- Green material (for the environmentally conscious)
The combined strength of roof trusses, beams that are at the standard thickness, fasteners and quality roofing material is created by bolting and nailing each piece in its correct position, allowing for the proper balance, height and sturdiness that all roofs, whether residential or commercial, should carry. Even the slightest roofing material misalignment or mathematical miscalculation by the contractor and construction workers could mean future water damage to the interior, including your home’s walls, flooring, cabinetry, kitchen counter-tops, insulation and electrical installation.
Avoid Unexpected Emergency Repairs
There are many obvious signs of roof damage that may be noticeable when looking down on the shingles, tiles or slate by standing on a ladder leaned against the guttering of your house. You may also notice inconspicuous abnormalities on the rims and bowl of your gutter system by looking up from the ground of your property. The most commonly noticeable signs of damage from a recent wind or hail storm are:
- Shingles that are missing, more than likely having been torn from your roof.
- “Bruising,” or dents visible on top of your shingles.
- Breaks or cracks in tile, slate or concrete roofing.
- Shingle granules inside your gutters.
- Dents on gutters, fascia and possibly your house’s outdoor vents.
For the unlucky few who decide to ignore the telltale signs of storm damage, such as visible denting on the edges of their gutters, as previously mentioned, although it may take years for noticeable roof problems to appear, leaks from rainwater seeping underneath damaged tiles or missing asphalt shingles will eventually become apparent, possibly causing major damage in the home’s interior. This will unexpectedly create the need for costly, yet completely avoidable, new construction material purchases and repairs. In addition to these costs, you may choose to hire a local, Chicago-area professional, which will lead to labor costs.
When Storm Damage Is Recognized and Located
The first action that most people think to take when believing their roof to be damaged from a recent storm or high wind occurrence is to contact their insurance company right away. We are here to let you know that this is not the best way to go into the situation of requesting services for repair needs and monetary compensation.
Help with Filing an Insurance Claim is the Most Important Reason for your Cedar Roof Examined by Shake Guys
Once our professional and knowledgeable Chicagoland home inspectors have diagnosed any systemic roof damage cause by recent severe weather and you have contacted your roofing materials manufacturer as well as the installers for information on present warranties, it is time to file a claim to your insurance company. Our quality team of experts are experienced with lending a hand to those homeowners who choose to use our aid in filing their insurance claims. Our assistance gives you a better chance for your claim to pass as acceptable and legitimate, thus allowing you the freedom to use insurance money to pay for repair and labor costs.
Do Not Delay in Filing Your Claim After Our Free Inspection
Many, if not most, home insurance companies will require a suburban Chicago homeowner to have completed the process of filing a claim within only a few months. The smaller the time gap is in between the collection of documentation (pictures and lists of damaged areas on your roof, including materials receipts), the more accurate the information that is given to your insurance company. The more reliably accurate the information received by them is, the more likely it is that your settlement will be deemed fair by all parties.
Send In Completed Claim Documents to Insurance Company as Soon as Possible
It is best to fill out and send back all insurance claim documents sent to you from your Chicagoland-based home insurance company as soon as you can. This lets your claims representative know that you are serious about your insurance claim and desire a fair settlement.
When you are thoroughly prepared from beginning to end for the tedious process of filing a home insurance claim due to storm damage sustained by the roof of your house, you will find that the process will be much smoother and your claims settlement much more acceptable.
Is Your Roof Still Under Warranty?
The average warranty offered to consumers by roof installation companies or contractors is between one and two years. This warranty only refers to the installation process of the roofing material that has been cut to size and layered accordingly. The manufacturer’s warranty is usually much longer than this, averaging between seven and 10 years. There are roofing material manufacturers that go above and beyond the average warranty in order to sell their product more efficiently, offering anywhere between 45-year and lifetime warranties for their product. Asphalt shingles tend to have manufacturer warranties for seven to 10 years.
Understanding Why Your Warranty Has Been Voided
Every roofing material manufacturer is unique in regard to what its product warranty covers as well as the length of time that the warranty is applicable. A roofing shingle manufacturer, for instance, is able to void its product warranty for absolutely any reason that it deems legitimate. After it is all said and done, manufacturers are able to do this simply because their name is on the particular roofing product in question. There are, of course, guidelines as to what is universally accepted as a legitimate reason for a void in a product warranty.
Natural weather occurrences that may cause roof damage, such as lightening strikes, varied wind speeds, hurricanes, tornadoes and large hail, can all be cause for a roof warranty to be voided by the materials manufacturer. It is important to read all the fine print located on the roofing warranty document, making sure to address any questions or concerns that may arise.