Your roof is an important part of your home, protecting the interior from the elements. You depend on it every day without even realizing that you do. So, what happens if a tree limb crashes into your attic during a summer thunderstorm in the middle of the night? How do you protect the inside of your home from extensive damage during a roofing emergency? Learn more about how an emergency roof repair can be handled.
The first step after a roof emergency is to remain calm. Often, roof damage appears far worse to a homeowner than it will to a professional roofer. You want to try to protect your home as much as possible but if you panic, you will be unable to manage the steps you need to take to do so.
Protect as Best You Can
If your home has been damaged during a storm, you will want to minimize damage to the interior as much as you can. Try to cover any holes into the living area with plastic tarps or other waterproof materials. If the hole is very large, you may need to place buckets or other containers under the hole to collect water until the storm subsides. You should call a professional roofer as most of them have 24/7 emergency lines but keep in mind they will not send someone out during the storm as that would be unsafe for their employees. Do not try to climb on the roof yourself to repair the damage.
What Will a Roofer Do?
Once the roofer is able to get to your home, they will inspect the area and look for any additional issues that may exist. They will cover the opening with strong plastic tarps that are secured tightly against the elements. If your home was damaged by fire, it is possible that firefighters compromised the structural integrity of your roof. This may mean you will need to find an alternate place to live until the roof can be restored.
Contact Your Insurance Company
As soon after the damage as possible, contact your homeowner’s insurance company. Unexpected roof damage can cause significant financial difficulty. If you must vacate the home as it is unsafe, your insurance company may offer coverage for hotels or other living areas while your roof is being repaired. The insurance company will send out an adjuster who will review the damage and determine how much the claim is worth. If you feel the estimate is too low, you can get estimates from different roofing companies and provide those to the insurance company as proof of the damage.
Types of Emergency Roof Damage
There are many different situations that could lead to roof damage. High winds can tear shingles from the roof, exposing the substrate which could then be compromised by rain. Tree limbs can be thrown into your roof, causing significant damage. Lightning strikes can actually blow a hole in your roof as well. Wildlife, including squirrels and raccoons, are known to chew through wooden structures and create holes that can be quite large. As mentioned, fire can lead to structural damage to the roof that may even make your home unsafe to enter.
Choose a Licensed Contractor
When you choose a roofing contractor, be sure to choose on that is licensed and insured. There are “storm chaser” companies that prey on homeowners after severe weather events. These are often fly-by-night companies who appear in neighborhoods to try to convince homeowners to use them for repairs. Often, the repairs are either sub-standard or the company requires a large deposit. Once they receive it, they leave the area and never perform the work. Get references from any company you choose and ask them for proof that they are licensed as well as insured.
The most important thing to do when you are facing a roofing emergency is not to panic. It is also very important that you not try to repair the damage yourself, especially in the middle of a nasty storm. RGB Construction offers an around-the-clock emergency line to get a technician to you as soon as possible. We will perform whatever tasks we need to do to protect your home immediately and then assess the damage to determine what steps should come next. We are licensed and insured as well. RGB Construction is also GAF Master Elite Certified so you know you will get a technician that is highly trained who will use only the highest quality materials. When you need roofing help, call us or fill out the easy online form.