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  • Writer's pictureEureka Contracting & Roofing

How to Address Roof Damage During Severe Storm Season

Updated: Mar 20

March ushered in the St. Louis region’s first string of severe weather. Tornado sirens blared across Jefferson, St. Louis, and St. Charles Counties, alerting residents of the first dangerous weather event of the season. Some areas experienced heavy rain, wind, and hail. Severe storms threaten your property, including roof damage on homes and commercial buildings.


How to handle storm room damage

Even if the storms did not damage your home or business, this storm was a powerful reminder that homeowners can prepare ahead of time to help minimize the impact of roof damage from hail, wind, and other weather events. When damage does occur, work with a respected roofing contractor to understand the damage, the claims process, and the costs.


Before you call your insurance company to file a claim for hail, wind, or storm damage or sign a contract with a roofing company, check these hail and wind damage indicators or call Eureka Contracting and Roofing for a free roof inspection.


Here’s what to know about safeguarding your property against storm damage and what to do if damage occurs.


Table of Contents:


Preventative Roof Maintenance for Storm Season

Many homeowners want to know how to avoid roof damage. While it’s impossible to control the weather, you can take proactive measures to keep your roof in tip-top shape to help protect it from damage. Regular maintenance ensures you can identify small concerns that could lead to extensive damage or make roofing materials more vulnerable to storm damage.


To help keep roofs in great shape, remember to:


  • Keep gutters clean. Install quality gutter guards and clean gutters twice yearly, before fall and before spring starts. This prevents leaves and other debris from settling on shingles, leading to rot, mildew, mold, and weaker structures.

  • Check soffits regularly. Soffits are simple to assess; simply walk around your home and look up at the soffits to determine if they are loose (or missing). Loose soffits should be replaced or repaired immediately. Soffits keep out wildlife and protect the roof from excess moisture.  

  • Cut away tree branches. Avoid letting branches from nearby trees rest on the roof. This can lead to damage, wildlife concerns, and other issues. Hire a professional to remove overgrowth from the roof.


How Does Hail Damage Roofs?

Hail damage is one of the most common storm damage to roofing materials. Not all hailstorms damage roofing materials; some hail pellets are small and do little damage. However, hail can grow to the size of golf balls or baseballs. These massive pieces of hail can damage shingles and dent material, weaken the structure, and even create pockets of open space prone to leaks.


In the St. Louis region, hail is fairly common during spring or summer storms. After severe weather (especially storms that lead to hail), homeowners often receive flyers or postcards from roofing companies about possible hail damage. Homeowners should exercise caution with these ads, as not all companies are looking out for their best interests.


The biggest myth about hail damage to roofs is that homeowners can always file a claim and have their homeowner’s insurance pay for the repairs. This is not true; damage must meet specific criteria for the insurance company to cover the claim. Homeowners also must understand that filing a claim, even one that is warranted, could increase their insurance rates.


Insurance companies understand that some hail damage claims are questionable. Cases of fraud or dishonesty cause insurance costs to soar, and insurers are becoming more diligent about investigating hail claims. Some common tactics of companies engaging in “hail fraud” include presenting clients with contracts with blanks or missing information, using high-pressure tactics, and requesting their payment for repairs before the work begins.


To protect yourself from fraudulent contractors, remember to never pay the full amount of the contract before the job is fully completed. It is standard for a contractor to ask for half of the money upfront. Hold on to the second half until you are completely satisfied with the work. Usually, hail damages are not a big emergency, and you do not have to sign a contract with the first contractor that calls. Learn more about how to avoid roof repair scams, and if you ever feel uncomfortable with the insurance process or pressured to pay in advance, pause and call Eureka Contracting and Roofing for advice.


Assessing Roof Storm Damage to Asphalt Shingles

Large hail pellets (or, in some cases, hail balls) can easily damage asphalt shingles. A thorough inspection after a hail storm could reveal many broken shingles, areas of leakage, or other signs of damage. However, minimal damage could be an affordable repair for homeowners that doesn’t necessitate filing a claim.


Follow our Essential Guide to Handling Storm Damage, or contact the experts at Eureka Contracting and Roofing for a free detailed inspection of the roof and a recommendation on repair costs and options.


Know the Signs of Wind Damage to Roofs

While hail is a major cause of weather-related roof repairs, high winds can damage roofing materials severely. Strong winds can blow off soffits (which protect the area beneath the roof), fascia, siding, and lift shingles, and extreme winds might blow off many shingles.


Roofs compromised by wind damage must be repaired. Loose shingles provide gaps and weak points that could lead to leaks, mold, or even areas for wildlife to enter the attic or home. If you notice missing soffits or shingles on their roofs after a storm, schedule an inspection immediately. Don’t delay repairing the roof.


Repairing Wind Damage to Shingles

Sometimes, wind damage to the roof is minimal. In some situations, only a few shingles must be replaced or repaired. However, damage also could be extensive. While homeowners might assume that the wind led to only a few loose shingles, a professional might discover that many areas of the roof have been damaged, impacting the structural integrity of the entire roof.


Extreme damage from wind might necessitate a new roof or extensive repairs. Learn more about how to understand and fix your roof's wind damage, and do not try to assess your roof damage on your own. Call a professional to identify the extent of the wind damage and find solutions.


The Cost of Repairing Roof Damage from Wind

How much should homeowners expect to pay for roof repairs related to wind damage? Unfortunately, there isn’t a simple answer. Roof damage from wind can be minimal or extensive. The amount of damage and the remediation tactics impact the cost. Obviously, replacing a few shingles will be much more affordable than replacing the entire roof.


Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Wind Damage?

Homeowners often inquire about insurance coverage related to storm damage. They must understand their homeowner’s insurance policy and what it covers. Deductibles are also an important issue. Deductible amounts can vary from $500 to %5,000, and some repairs might cost less than the deductible. In this case, it may make more sense to pay out-of-pocket rather than worrying about filing a claim to cover the damage.


In some situations, filing a claim is the best option. Some storms–especially tornadoes–do extensive damage to homes. The claim could cover damage to your home other than just the roof.


Schedule a FREE Roof Inspection with Eureka Contracting & Roofing

Roof damage caused by falling leaves and debris must be repaired to hasten further roof damage. Schedule a consultation with Eureka Contracting and Roofing. Contact us today and receive a free quote and recommendations for repairs or a new roof!


Eureka Contracting & Roofing has over 30 years of experience in the construction and insurance industry. We offer free one-on-one consultations to discuss your goals, concerns, and ideas and will provide a free roof evaluation with your best interest in mind. Call 636-938-ROOF or click www.eurekacontracting.com to learn more and schedule your free roof inspection.

 

About the Author:

Eureka Contracting and Roofing

Eureka Contracting & Roofing is a top-rated, Veteran-owned, fully licensed, and insured roofing business in Eureka, Missouri. By putting 30 years of experience to work, we ensure that our residential and commercial customer's roofs, gutters, shingles, soffits, and siding are expertly installed, maintained, repaired, or replaced. We make properties better– the proof is in the roof!



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