Do I Need to Replace My Roof From Hail Damage?

Do I Need to Replace My Roof From Hail Damage?

Aspen Leaf Roofing: A Colorado Roofing Contractor

Can a new roof get hail damage?

People all around, especially from Colorado, always ask roofing contractors like us how their brand-new roof could be hail damaged?  The simplest answer is, the hail does not care how old your roof is.  Whether your roof is one day old or one century old, it is susceptible to hail damage.

Although we have seen recent improvements in shingle technology and design, there’s no such thing as a hail-proof roof.  They are all susceptible to storm damage.  Just like a new car getting in an accident, new roofs can get damaged by hail and storm debris.

Colorado has seen a recent increase in class 4 or “impact-resistant” roofing systems.  Some of the jurisdictions in Colorado now require a class 4 shingle to be installed on all new roofs.  Most people tend to think of these as hail proof, which as we mentioned, they are not.  The difference between a regular shingle and an impact-resistant one is a thin mesh membrane that lies beneath the asphalt layer of the shingle.

The mesh layer helps add stability to the asphalt shingles, especially from the potential impact of small to moderate-sized hail and debris.  Adding stability and consistency to the shingle, particles that would harm a roof, especially those found in the Colorado rocky mountain region, can be deflected better with a class 4 shingle compared to others.  However, as an astute observer may have already thought, this in no way makes the shingle impervious to medium-sized to large-sized hailstones.

We have roofs on new construction homes that must be replaced before the owner moves in all the time.  Again, we are dealing with mother nature, and it’s just part of living in Colorado.

One interesting thing that we have noticed in speaking with our customers is that they are sometimes fearful of making additional claims, or even their first homeowners claim because of misinformation surrounding hail claims.  We always get asked, “Will my insurance rates increase if I file another roofing claim?”  The answer to this is, NO!  The carriers view storms as an ‘act of God,’ which does not cause an increase in your rates.  The harsh reality is that if you happen to live in an area that receives hail storms every few years, then your rates are already higher compared to other parts of the country.  You should make sure you are getting what you deserve for paying higher rates and never be afraid to file a claim.

What to do if you think you have hail damage on the roof?

Whether you have had a large hailstorm or a small hailstorm, you should call a reputable Colorado roofing company and schedule an inspection.  The easiest way to find an honest contractor is to perform a google search in your area and read some of the reviews.  It should be easy to quickly determine who the legitimate companies are.

It is our opinion that most of the roofing companies in Colorado operate in the best interest of the consumer.  If you have experienced light hail or wind, you most likely will not require a full roof replacement.  If you ever have doubts, it’s always good to get a second opinion.

If it is determined by your contractor that you have hail damage, you simply need to call your insurance carrier and start a claim.  It is much easier than most people think, and there is no penalty to you for doing so.  Upon calling your carrier, they will set up a date and time for an inspector to come by and assess your damage.  It is very important to let your contractor know the details of the appointment.  If you have hired a reputable Colorado roofing company, they will want to be there to meet the adjuster and go over the damage together.  It is good to have “representation” from an expert who is there to help you.  Usually, the adjusters are fair, but they are not knowledgeable in local codes, and they tend to “accidentally” miss a lot of items, so it’s important to have a contractor who can help them navigate all the damage on your behalf.  It is also important to have a contractor who can assist you in completing all the trades necessary to bring your house back to its pre-storm condition.  Make sure you ask your roofer if he is proficient in detecting gutter, paint, and window damage as well.  If he is not, you will need to contact professionals in these other trades yourself or find a better roofer.  A qualified roofing representative should be well versed in detecting hail damage to roofs, gutters, siding, paint, skylights, and especially windows!

Once all the damage has been detected and agreed upon by your carrier, the repairs will be completed. Depending on the size of your home and the scope of your work to be done, this process can take anywhere from one afternoon to three months or longer.  Under normal conditions, you should be able to have your roof completed in a day or two, and the other trades will get finished up later.

What happens if you do not fix hail damage?

It is always a good idea to have a professional roofing company inspect your roof, even if you’ve only had a light hailstorm.  It sounds like a sales pitch, but it’s the truth.  Even small storms can cause real damage, and if you have any penetrating damage to your shingles and roof, you need to get it repaired right away.

If left untreated, a roof with hail damage can lead to much bigger damage down the road.  Water and snow can find their way through the tiny holes and into your attic.  Moisture in your attic can cause all sorts of problems from mold buildup, to rotting, and leaks into rooms below.  It may take weeks or even months for these problems to expose themselves, making time for even more damage to occur.

Mold may take a while to form but it is the most concerning peril to your attic.  If left untreated mold will eventually create spores in your attic and start to circulate through your home.  Besides destroying your home in the process, mold is extremely bad for humans.  Mold can cause allergic reactions, chronic headaches, immune system issues, and cause respiratory problems as well.  All of this is easily prevented which is why it is so important to find a trustworthy contractor to give you an honest opinion after a hailstorm comes through.

How much does insurance pay for hail damage on the roof?

Insurance companies pay a portion, or all your roof replacement costs based on several factors.  The two most important factors are the terms listed in your policy and the amount of damage your home received.  Although there are an infinite number of situations that you could find yourself in, for the most part, most consumers have comprehensive policies that do cover the cost of replacement and if there is significant damage, the roof will be properly paid for.

To make sure that you get the most out of your homeowners claim, be certain that you hire a professional, local Colorado Roofing company.  The more experienced and more positive online ratings, the better!  Be sure to ask them about working with the insurance carriers and what their experiences have been like.  Also, make sure to ask if they will SUPPLEMENT your claim for you!  This is extremely important.

Here is the information that most contractors will not tell you.  The average consumer has no idea whether their contractor did a good job with their repairs versus just telling you they did a good job.  The sad fact is that most homeowners cannot tell the difference because, quite frankly, you are not contractors.  You cannot possibly be expected to know if your roof was replaced to code, by licensed professionals, with quality materials.  To most people all shingles look about the same, all gutters look similar, most roofers look the same, etc.  Here is why this is so important; Accepting the initial estimate that your insurance company gives you, will not be enough to properly replace your roof with quality materials.  This is where the supplementing process comes in.

See, the insurance companies are hoping that you will take the initial money they offer and find a roofer who will repair the roof for that amount.  In most cases, that is bad.  Imagine for a moment that instead of your roof, we were replacing your car.  For argument’s sake, let’s also pretend that your auto insurance worked like your homeowner’s insurance.  Our example follows as this; you wreck your new(ish) Honda, make a claim, and the insurance company offers you a used Pinto.  It runs, drives, and operates just as well as your Honda, so they are happy to give you this Pinto as a replacement.  Would that make you happy?  Heck NO!!!

This is what happens with roofing and homeowner’s insurance claims all the time because most people do not know anything about materials, manufacturing, installing, etc.  As an average roofing consumer, you cannot tell the difference between a Pinto and your old Honda.  Now, this is where hiring a reputable, honest roofing contractor comes into play.  The process of getting you a Honda for a replacement, instead of a Pinto, is called supplementing.

We are experts at supplementing.  In fact, given our previous example, we do not just replace your roof with the same year Honda you had, we make sure you get a brand-new Honda!  It is important to know that this is not because we are greedy, or we want to try and take advantage of anyone, but it’s what is best and most fair for you.  Insurance policies are written to return your home to its previous condition with new materials.  For anyone who has wondered, this is the difference between the actual cash value given by your carrier and the recoverable depreciation value.  This is also why the carriers ask you so many questions about your home when you sign up for your policy.  You are rated to and pay for your insurance based on the cost of replacing the current materials and the condition of your home.  As a consumer, it’s important to understand that you’ve been paying hard-earned money for your insurance policy, and you should not be shorted when it’s time to make a claim!

Smart homeowners should take this one step further.  Not only should you be supplementing for the proper replacement dollar amount for each item, but you also need to make sure you get all of the damaged items replaced.   Again, hiring a competent Colorado roofing contractor is more important for this reason compared to any other.  As a professional roofing company, we believe that one should be skilled and well versed in not only roofing but also in paint, siding, windows, gutters, and garage doors as well.  If you have a roofer come out, look at your roof, say he’ll get you a quote, and then leave; You called the wrong person.

Any roofer you schedule an inspection with will look at the roofing damage that your home has sustained.  That is easy.  A good roofer will look at the roof, examine the entire house including the siding and deck and windows, closely examine the gutters, paint, windows, and garage door, and they will meet your adjuster when she comes out to discuss all the found damage on your behalf.

If there is damage done to your home, your insurance policy is there to pay for all the damage, not just some of it.  Your policy is called a homeowner’s policy and not just a roof policy for a reason.  Be careful, because some insurance adjusters will try and tell you otherwise, which again, is why you need a good contractor who can handle this process for you.