Insurance Claims - Make Sure Your Roof Is In Tip-Top Shape Before The Storm

by Grace Motley

A monster storm is lurking over the Atlantic and about to hit land. Your worn roof is likely to take a beating. All the better, you figure, as it's a good time to replace your 20-year-old roof. But if you're expecting your insurance company to foot the bill, you may end up with no storm damage coverage. 

Insurance estimators are experts at differentiating storm damage from regular wear and tear of your roof. Following are some of the dead giveaways of existing damage your insurance estimator will look for while assessing your claim. 

Old Water Damage 

If you have brown spots on the exterior or interior of your home, you will have a hard time convincing an insurance adjuster that the leaking causing the brown spots was caused by the storm. The first signs of a leaky roof for many homeowners is brown spots appearing on interior walls and ceilings. 

Brown spots are a sign of aging, and a give away that the leaking has likely been present for months. On the other hand, if there is freshly leaking water, the storm is likely the cause. The inspector will check the attic for fresh dripping, and wet insulation and frames. 

Spreading Mold Growth

In water damage inspections, mold is like the fingerprints that give away the crime suspect. Water inspectors understand how mold grows, making it an important forensic tool. According to the mold specialists, mold: 

  • appears within 24–48 hours
  • takes 1–7 days to colonize
  • and then grows one square inch per day

Ah-huh! The Columbo of water inspections can tell exactly how long the mold has been present in your home.

Poor HVAC System Maintenance 

As a safety precaution, unplug your HVAC before the storm. After the storm, the exterior of your HVAC may show obvious signs of damage. After reconnecting the HVAC, if it does not function properly, the storm has done some damage. 

If the HVAC system functions but not optimally, the inspector may call in an HVAC repair estimator for an opinion. Although if old leaves and debris are clogging the compressor, the inspector may conclude that the problem is poor maintenance. 

Neglecting water leaks and regular cleaning of debris from gutters and HVAC units in the hopes of getting your insurer to pay for a new roof may only result in more severe water damage and a larger repair bill. By having your roofing repair services perform regular maintenance, your insurance estimator can focus on valuing the storm damage.