Rain and Storm Damage: Hiring Professional Roofers
Every year, homeowners in Minneapolis wrestle with the damage caused by severe storms and heavy rains, particularly to their roofs. Oftentimes, much of the damage isn’t easily identifiable or recognizable to the untrained eye.
If your house has been hit by severe weather, you will always want to do at least a ground ocular and tick off on this checklist:
- Are all my shingles intact, or are some of them lifting, peeling off or missing? Loosened or missing shingles are one of the most reliable indicators of roof damage. Make sure to inspect your home either at dusk or at dawn, when lighting conditions are optimal for you to see roof damage from the ground clearly. The softer light at this time of day casts visible shadows —making it easier to see dark roof patches that indicate roof damage.
- Are my gutters and siding crooked or buckled? Any damage to these areas will usually point to damage to your shingles as well.
- Do my metal window frames have noticeable dents? Extremely strong winds can dent metal window frames.
Of course, hiring a professional roofer is best if you want to ensure that your roof remains in optimal shape, even well after a bad storm. Your contractor should be able to climb up to check on your roof up close and recommend the necessary repairs. Having a professional check out your roof also helps speed up your insurance claims.
One thing to remember is never to delay roof inspections or repairs, unless you’re willing to risk the possible consequence of your inattention – having to replace the entire roof. One of the worst things that can go undetected is a roof leak. Water damage will slowly cause your roof to rot, and eventually cause the entire roof to sag and potentially collapse. What might have been a minor repair immediately after a storm can turn into a huge renovation if left unattended for too long. Besides, there’s a time limit to making insurance claims to cover storm repairs.
Finding a Suitable Roofing Expert or Going For Professional Roofers
Finding the right roofing contractor should be a piece of cake, right? In reality, it isn’t. Right after the storm, your mailbox may be inundated with fliers advertising roofing services. A few may be from what is disreputably known as “storm chasers.” Then again, you could hit the jackpot and find just the roofer you may be looking for. However, don’t be swayed by the fliers alone. Back up your choice by doing some online sleuthing as well.
Here are a few excellent tips to guide you in picking out a legitimate and reliable roofer:
- Check out the roofer’s reputation. Is the roofing company listed with the Better Business Bureau? Does your potential contractor have insurance, and are they licensed and bonded?
- Check out your neighbors’ recommendations. If the storm hit you, then it hit your neighbors too. Maybe your neighbors have already gotten bids from some roofers. Share bid details and ask if there’s anyone they’ve previously worked with, who they would hire again. Get three or more reliable bids from your list of potential contractors before making a selection. Note that initial inspections and estimates are usually free of charge.
- When you’re good and ready, call in a contractor who has enough relevant experience in repairing storm damage, and who knows to work with you on your insurance to make sure you receive fair compensation.
- Check for contractors with valid certifications and a solid reputation. Is the roofer certified with the National Storm Development Center (NSDC)? GAF Certified or a Master Elite Contractor? Having a certification or two strongly indicates who is likely to be reliable and capable of delivering on your expectations.
The bottom line is, look for a contractor that can deliver in terms of workmanship, quality service, excellent materials, and give you value for your money. Also, make sure that they can provide you with a comprehensive warranty on the work done.
Bob Dresback is professional roofer based in Minneapolis and the owner of Garlock-French Corporation. He is very passionate about what he does and loves to share his experiences to other people. Read more about him by liking his Facebook page.