Hail damage is a significant risk to properties all across the US. Every year, thousands of Americans experience damage to their roofs, windows, siding and gutters as a result of hail storms. This can be an expensive repair, so knowing what to do before and after a storm will help better prepare you.
Before a Hail Storm
Today the weather forecast is very predictable and with predictability comes preparation. Before a storm it is essential to understand your insurance policy, i.e. a manageable deductible. A full recoverable depreciation means that you will be reimbursed based on current costs with no depreciation. Another thing to note is code upgrades which are municipality-required upgrades to the materials used during a roof replacement to bring the property up to current building codes. In these cases, the carrier is responsible to bring the material up to code, otherwise you will be responsible for the cost. Keep in mind that if an adjuster determines that the damage is just cosmetic and not affecting the integrity of the system, they are not responsible to cover the defect. When looking at your policy these are a few things to check on.
Speak with your agent to ensure that the total cost to rebuild your home has also been updated with current pricing to ensure you are not left short in the event of a disaster. Prices are always changing and it is important to ensure you are working with updated numbers.
After a Hail Storm
After a major storm has swept through your neighborhood, it is crucial to inspect the surrounding areas for any significant damage that needs to be addressed. Signs of broken tree limbs or scattered foliage, broken windows or even shingles that may have been torn off and thrown to the ground. Look for items that require immediate attention and mitigation. If there was a large amount of hail, it is essential that you remove all debris from the window wells to prevent flooding.
Once you’ve completed your exterior walk around, call a trusted contractor to assess the damage in full and complete any emergency repairs. Your contractor will inspect the property from the roof down. This includes all collateral damage such as gutters, downspouts, siding, windows, HVAC, swamp coolers, decks and fences. Your contractor will also inspect your personal property including your grill, lights, landscapes, pots, patio furniture, hot tub covers and anything else that was left vulnerable through the storm.
Choosing a Contractor
Contrary to popular belief, not every person that knocks on your door is trying to “get something from you”. A true professional is there to help navigate the claim process and help serve you. It is important to understand that communication with your contractor is imperative! Having the process of the claim and build back go smoothly is all about having questions answered and schedules explained properly.
Use your best judgment when speaking with contractors. If the representative appears clean, respectable and branded, then it makes it easier to see who they represent. Ask for a card, so you can vet the company and read reviews. Here you will be able to see their knowledge and accountability to their past clients. A key question to ask yourself would be, are they local to the area? This is important because of the availability to address any warranty needs. It’s hard to have someone come back from another state to address any concerns you may have, especially when it comes to residential properties.
Once you’ve chosen your preferred contractor, have them guide you as you call in a claim. You want to make sure you are asking all of the necessary and appropriate questions to fully understand policy restrictions. A professional contractor will always be onsite for the initial adjustment with the Carrier and any further onsite visits that may be scheduled, ie: with the engineer or public adjuster. This is to ensure your best interests are protected and you and your property are properly represented.
Once a Scope of Loss is received, review it with your contractor to determine if there are missing items that need to be negotiated. Understand what items are being covered and have confidence that your contractor will ensure that pricing for each line item is equal to current market pricing. This has become extremely important with the inflation cost of materials in 2022. Your contractor will have the most accurate information on current lead times for most materials. The entire industry is experiencing raw material and supply chain shortages. With that being said, your contractor will appropriately mitigate and patch any leaking and/or exposure issues. With shortages, it is imperative to be flexible with brands and colors in order to get the job done efficiently. Your contractor will have the experience, knowledge and eye for design to give you options that you will feel more comfortable and confident in.
Summer hail storms are in full swing and it is important to be prepared for when they sweep through your area. If you have recently experienced a hail storm then call on a professional today at Kapella Roofing to walk you through the next steps.