Roofing emergencies require immediate attention. They also require a professional roofer to come and repair them; otherwise, you run the risk of:
- Exposure to the elements
- Moisture damage
- Structural damage — or worse, structural collapse
- Destructive animal activity
- Anything else that can put you and your family in danger
As a homeowner, it’s crucial that you understand what an emergency roof repair entails so that you can avoid the above risks. Consider this article your guide to dealing with emergency roof repairs so you know what to do when the time comes.
Keep reading to learn more.
What Kind of Damage Equates to an Emergency Roof Repair?
Roof damage comes in all shapes, sizes, and levels of severity. As a homeowner, you’ll experience roof damage at some point, but not all damages will require an emergency roof repair. Therefore, the first thing you need to understand is what constitutes an emergency roof repair and what can wait.
The following incidents require emergency roof repairs:
- Storm damage: High winds, hail storms, lightning strikes, downpours, and other types of inclement weather can cause roof damage by ripping off shingles, denting and puncturing roofing materials, and destroying roof structures. They can also leave your roof exposed to the next storm that comes through, which will undoubtedly cause water and structural damage, not to mention, damage to your family and furnishings.
- Fire and extreme heat: Many roofing materials today are designed to decrease flammability to curb fires, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be damaged by flames, heat, or smoke. This is especially true for the underlayment, decking, roof trusses, and other structural components.
- Fallen trees: Trees and large, heavy branches that fall onto your roof can severely affect your home’s structural integrity. The trees and their branches can also tear very sizable holes into your roof, puncturing your shingles and exposing your interior to the elements.
- Mold growth: Where there’s water damage, you can almost guarantee mold and mildew will be present. It’s also likely that some of your roofing materials will be rotting, which can pose a lot of health risks for you and your family — and that’s in addition to your home’s structure.
- Water leakage: Water leaks also require emergency repairs as they’re usually based in dangerous locations, such as near your home’s fuse box or circuit breaker. They can also allow a high volume of water to enter your home, causing immediate structural damage, which will lead to costly repairs.
How to Manage an Emergency Roof Repair
So, how do you follow through with an emergency roof repair when one of the above scenarios presents itself? The first step is to remain calm and prioritize protecting yourself and your family by doing the following:
1) Safely Assess the Roof Damage
The first thing you want to do when you notice that there’s damage is to take some time to carefully inspect it.
- Starting from your home’s exterior, walk the perimeter and take note of any issues you see from the ground up — do not climb up onto your roof!
- Now inspect the top story of your home’s interior, examining the walls and ceilings for water stains and active leaks.
- If it’s safe, go up to your attic or access space and carefully look around for further signs of damage.
Be sure to document anything you see by taking clear photos and accurate notes — you’ll need this information for your insurance company. Assessing the damage yourself will also help you determine whether or not it’s safe for you and your family to remain in your home while you figure things out with a roofing contractor and your homeowners insurance company.
2) Get in Touch With A Reputable Roofing Company
Once you’ve assessed the damage yourself, you’ll want to contact a professional and trustworthy roofing contractor right away. This is important as the roofer will:
- Give your roofing system a more thorough inspection (they’ll most likely catch things you missed during your assessment).
- Write up an official and detailed report regarding the damages
- Provide a quote for the roof repairs or replacement
- Provide insurance claims assistance when needed
- Provide other special financing options if needed
It’s important to do your research and stay away from storm chasers — AKA, scam artists that approach you with “roofing issues”. They’ll have you sign a contract and then take your money and run.
3) Protect Your Home From More Damage
Your roofing contractor will likely be able to provide you with an emergency patch or tarp to cover the damages until they can come and start the repair process. However, it’s important to take a few steps to further protect your home and belongings from damage by:
- Moving important belongings and furniture to safer spaces
- Running a dehumidifier to help with excess moisture
- Covering the spaces below the damages with plastic tarps
- Placing buckets to collect dripping water
- Mopping up as much as necessary to prevent further damage or accidents
4) Contact Your Homeowners Insurance
You’ll also need to contact your homeowners insurance agent immediately and hash out the following details:
- What your policy covers specifically
- The type of claim you’ll need to fill out
- When the insurance adjuster will come out for an inspection
- When and how the company will pay you once the claim is approved
It’s always recommended to have your roofing contractor meet with the insurance adjuster to go over the damage and their findings, as insurance adjusters can easily make mistakes.
5) Get Ready For the Repairs
Once the roof repair or replacement is scheduled, you’ll want to get your family prepared. Depending on the time frame for the project, you’ll want to consider the following:
- Preparing your home and living arrangements
- Storing valuable possessions in a safe place
- Removing any furniture, art, or other personal belongings from the most affected areas
- Tracking any expenses related to the roof damage and time spent out of the house during the repairs or replacement
Get Trusted Roofing Assistance
When you have to deal with an emergency roof repair, it’s best to have a roofer you can trust on your side. Montana Roofing Solutions will always be on your side, whether you’re in need of an emergency repair or have time to spare and want to go over all of your roofing options. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services and how we can help when you need an emergency roof repair.