Houston, TX – Just like the foundation, the roof is a critical part of your house and any damage to it can cause a lot of financial losses. If you want to be able to recover all your damages, you need to know exactly what to do after a storm and what mistakes can impact the outcome of your future claim.
Here’s a list of things you should do right away and certain pitfalls to avoid.
Document the damage as soon as possible
Once the storm clears, the first thing you should do is inspect the roof. To avoid injury, proceed with caution and always assume some parts may be broken.
Take pictures of the damaged areas and even short videos.
The tricky part is that the roof may have suffered internal structural damage which only a professional will notice. If it was a severe storm and your house is old, it’s best to call professional roofers to offer an assessment. When there’s hidden damage, it may be months until you realize the roof is leaking but by then it will be very hard to prove to the insurance company that the damage was caused by that terrible storm last summer.
Don’t make any permanent repairs
After a storm, homeowners find themselves in a very delicate situation. On the one hand, you are expected to prevent further damage to the property and your belongings, but, on the other hand, you cannot make any permanent repairs to the roof. You have to wait for the insurance adjuster to assess the damage first.
Unfortunately, after a major weather event, the insurance company will be flooded with calls. If the roof was damaged, call the insurance company as soon as possible so you don’t have to wait for weeks until an adjuster finds the time to inspect your house.
There have been cases when a claim was denied even though no company representative came to inspect the house. This is illegal, no matter how busy their adjusters may be, and you should get an insurance claims denial lawyer right away.
What about the leaking roof? To prevent further damage, cover the damaged part of the roof with a tarp. Remove all valuables that may be affected if it rains again or at least try to protect your belongings against the elements.
While you’re at it, make a list of all the stuff that was damaged, totally or partially, including furniture, appliances, electronics, family heirlooms, etc.
Shop around for repairmen
Before you can make an insurance claim, you need to know how much the repairs will cost you. Roofers will also be swamped with calls, so get on your phone as soon as possible. Get estimates from several companies.
Always look for reputable companies who can back you up if your insurance company disputes the value of your claim. Shady crews that make you an unbelievably cheap offer won’t want to be involved with your insurance problems. And they won’t do such a good job anyway.
If the insurance company argues the costs are excessive, get in touch with some good Texas roof damage claim lawyers. They can tell you whether the insurance company has any grounds to deny your claim or it’s acting in bad faith.
One thing to keep in mind – don’t sign a repairs contract until you’ve sorted things out with your insurer as you may get stuck with the bill.
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