The recent storms are a reminder that storm season is here – and spring storms in the Midwest can be very damaging!
Storms with heavy rain, strong winds and hail can cause significant damage to your home – the siding, gutters, decking, and roofs bear the brunt of the hail’s force.
As you are assessing your home after a storm, here are some things to look for that may indicate hail damage:
If you see asphalt granules in gutters or coming out downspouts, that’s a good indication that the shingles may be compromised from hail.
Dings on downspouts and gutters.
Blown, damaged or missing shingles. Do your best to assess this from the ground as we do not recommend homeowners climb on the roof, especially a wet roof.
Check vehicles that were outside in the storm. Hail dents on a vehicle typically means roof has been damaged.
Look for torn screens or siding that has dents or paint chipped off.
If you notice signs of storm damage, you should consider having the damage assessed by a professional. BUT – avoid doing business with storm chasers. These scammers will arrive from out-of-town to an area that has been recently hit with a significant wind or hail storm. They perform the bare minimum – replacing a damaged roof quickly with a cheap roof and ignoring other potential problems. This is a problem for homeowners because these roofs typically don’t last long, and the storm chaser is no longer available in the area to make any repairs.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you choose a contractor to assess the damage to your home:
Do your research. Ask for license and insurance, and make sure the company is an established, LOCAL company with an office in town.
Be leery of a door-to-door salesman. They canvas a neighborhood that was recently hit by a storm, preying on senior citizens or older homes. The scammer will offer a free inspection and once on your roof may fabricate damage or produce a picture of damage that isn’t on your roof.
Don’t sign any paperwork with a roofing company before your insurance adjustor has inspected the roof first and determined there is damage.
Don’t be pressured by a high-pressure salesman. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Some roofing scammers will bid the job much lower than everyone else, only to add more costs after the job has started. Material costs should never rise after the job has started.
Always ask for an estimate that includes the total cost of labor and materials. If a contractor doesn’t want to give you an estimate before the insurance adjustor assesses the damage, they are likely trying to scam you.
Before you make a down payment on work to be performed, make sure you are working with a reputable, local company. Be cautious about making any payment to a roofing company before supplies are delivered to your home.
If your home is damaged in a storm, don’t just trust anyone. Choose a local company with a solid reputation – it will pay off in the long run!