Hurricane Irene left many people along the east coast without a home and many more facing high costs for repair and rebuilding of their homes. Before a storm people tend to focus on boarding up windows and gathering marriages, but many people neglect to see their roof for any weak spots. Unfortunately, many people have returned to their homes after the storm to learn a very valuable lesson: always check the integrity of your roof before a major storm.
Preparation Is Key
In general, many people go months or years without ever checking their roof to ensure it is in good working order. People tend to wait until they see a problem or experience a leak before checking their roof. Routine roof inspection and maintenance can save you money in the long run in preventable repairs.
Inspection and maintenance before a storm can protect the roof and home from avoidable damage and costly repairs. Additionally, your insurance company may not approve a claim if they deem that preventative maintenance could have protected the roof from damage and saved money. Before ending up with the bill for unnecessary roof repairs, make sure your roof is prepared for a weather event by:
Routine Inspections . A good rule of thumb is to inspect your roof every 6 to 12 months regardless of any weather events. You can inspect the roof yourself, looking for missing or damaged roof materials. Typically, missing or damaged roof materials can be repaired easily by a homeowner. However, if there is a significant portion missing or damaged, it is a good idea to call in a professional roof contractor.
Obtain a copy of the inspection report to show your insurance company, in the event you need to file a claim.
Get in touch with your insurance company . Many homeowners do not know the specifics of what is and is not covered in their policies. It is a good idea to contact your insurance company before a major storm to ask about your coverage. You may be able to purchase additional coverage or get advice on how to protect your home during a storm.
Ask your insurance provider about any maintenance requirements or exclusionary clauses prior to filing a claim
Find out what documentation will be needed in order to process any potential claims.
Take pictures . Whenever you are dealing with an insurance company, the more proof you have the smoother the claims process. Paperwork that documents any roof repair or replacement may be required by your insurance company in order to process a claim. It is important that you have evidence of what the home and roof looked like prior to the storm in order to support your insurance claim.
Always keep copies of repair work, inspection reports and roof warranty information on hand when filing a claim with your insurance company.
Take before and after pictures of your roof to submit along with your claim.
Do not be left empty handed after a storm, get the most from your insurance company by being prepared. When unjust events devastate our neighborhood, there is no reason to end up in debt over repair costs. Homeowners insurance is a helpful resource for home protection, but you have to ensure you have done your part to protect your home and family.