Homeowners across Southwest Florida have been devastated by Hurricane Ian. As homeowners and property owners are assessing varying levels of damage after the storm, there are several important steps that must be taken to detect damage, prevent further damage and prepare for an insurance claim.
Now is the time to carry out your post-storm roofing checklist:
Inspect and document the damage
Visually assess your roof and check for signs of damage. Outside, check for fallen debris, lose or missing shingles, visible leaks or damage to your gutters or vents. Inside, check the ceiling, walls and attic for signs of leaks or pooling water. Make notes and take videos and photos of any damage that is discovered. Thorough documentation is critical for insurance purposes and helpful for contractors who will be making repairs on your property. Many companies offer no-cost roofing inspections and know what warning signs to look for.
Mitigate immediate roofing concerns
If the integrity of your roof is compromised, it’s essential to mitigate any immediate roofing concerns. As the property owner, it is your responsibility to remove debris and tarp your roof to prevent any further damage. In fact, this is often a requirement outlined by an insurance provider in order to qualify for a claim. Keep detailed records and receipts of your mitigation efforts for insurance purposes.
Submit your claim
If an inspection indicates that an insurance claim is necessary, you must prepare to file a claim. Have your insurance information ready so that you can file in a timely fashion. Insurance is much more likely to fulfill claims within six months – after six months, it can become increasingly challenging. Keep in mind that you only have a maximum of two years from the date of the storm to report a claim.
After a big storm, the market often becomes flooded with repair companies, and it can be hard to determine a quality provider. Look for a local business that is licensed and insured, do your research and ask for references. Depending on the extent of damage to your roof, a contractor may recommend a repair or total roof replacement.