Live in Florida long enough and you’re bound to have a storm come through.
Here in Central Florida, we are a bit more protected from storms than on the coast. When storms reach us, they have weakened over land. That said, the outer bands that spend the least time over land can still be fierce. And although it remains rare, it is possible to take a direct hit.
After a few years, most new Floridians adapt to the challenges of Atlantic hurricane season. At the same time, a lifelong resident has probably been through a dozen noteworthy storms and more than one evacuation. But no matter how many times you’ve seen it, the aftermath of a storm can still be stressful.
Storm damage is a major issue that can affect your health and safety. Because your roof is likely to bear the brunt of nature’s fury, it’s critical to have a Central Florida roofing contractor you trust. Even before a roofing contractor arrives, there are steps you can take to help minimize the impact of storm damage.
Here’s what you should do and when:
1. Remove Vulnerable Items and Find Ways to Catch Water
Even before your full storm damage walkthrough, you might notice some places where water is leaking.
Take action on these right away by making sure you have something like a bucket or pot to catch the water in. Move any objects that are especially vulnerable, including electronics and upholstered items. Pay attention to the rate of dripping so you’re able to empty out the vessels where necessary.
Once the bad weather has completely passed, you’ll have much less to worry about from leaks. Even so, water can get trapped beneath a damaged underlayment or even pool up in structural timber. That means you may notice dripping even a few hours after the weather is completely dry.
2. Examine the Home Inside and Out for Areas of Storm Damage
No matter if you’ve evacuated from your home or decided to ride it out, it’s crucial to check it out for storm damage as soon as it is safe to do so. You can begin this process by walking from room to room and simply looking up at the ceiling. These obvious leaks are places where water has penetrated deep into the roof.
Once the weather clears up and it’s safe to go outside, you can also review the exterior for damage.
We always recommend that homeowners avoid getting up on the roof whenever possible. The best way to check your roof for storm damage is to use binoculars from ground level. Look for shingles that have visible cracks, dents, and darkened areas. These dark spots are softened and vulnerable to more water intrusion.
3. Put Up a Waterproof Tarp
Many people are required to uphold this homeowner’s insurance rule they don’t even know about. Sadly, if you don’t take action right away, you might find it becomes much more challenging to get help with your roof claim after a storm. And most Florida homeowners don’t have a waterproof tarp ready and waiting to use!
Although we usually caution against getting up on the roof, this is one situation where you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. Wait until it is no longer raining and the weather is clear before you attempt to put up your tarp. Its purpose is to limit any additional damage to the roof so repair costs are easier to control.
Even though this is inconvenient, it can benefit you in the long run because it allows you to protect your home against long-term problems that can be far more expensive than a roof repair. For instance, mold remediation may cost tens of thousands of dollars after a storm if water is allowed to accumulate.
4. Call Your Homeowner’s Insurance Company
Even if roof damage after a storm appears to be light, it’s still a wise idea to get in touch with your insurer right away and let them know that you plan to make a claim. By making a call early, you might have the chance to get an adjuster on the scene fast. Often, only the photos taken by the adjuster can be used in the claim.
While you are in contact with your insurer, ask them about any other steps you are required to take. While it is sometimes difficult to get a straight answer from insurance agents – they may tell you to “consult your policy” – it is also easier for them to access the details of your policy documents than it might be for you.
If road conditions are difficult after a storm, it might take some time for an insurance adjuster to get you on the schedule. Likewise, if there are live hazards in the area such as downed power lines, they may call you before your scheduled appointment to make sure you are in, so keep your cell phone handy at all times.
5. Contact a Central Florida Roofing Contractor that Specializes in Storm Damage
This might seem like a long list, but you may be able to get everything done in one day depending on when the weather breaks, It is essential to call an experienced storm damage roofer as soon as you can because a good roofing contractor in Central Florida will be very busy after any storm.
If you have a pre-existing relationship with a good Central Florida roofing contractor, they will do everything they can to make sure you are taken care of fast. Roofing companies often need to triage damage to local homes, so they will be helping people who are in danger of flooding before correcting minor damage.
Not all Central Florida roofers specialize in storm damage, so be sure you know who you are dealing with before you invite them in. No matter what you do, don’t accept the services of any so-called roofers or handymen who go door to door after a storm. These are usually scammers who will take your cash and disappear.
6. Consider Roof Replacement Instead of Roof Repair
Florida is in the middle of a homeowner’s insurance crisis, with many insurers looking for any excuse to drop a policy – and near the top of their list is the age of your roof. Storm damage can age a roof before its time, and most insurers are now looking for roofs that are ten years old or less.
With that in mind, it can be best to opt for roof replacement rather than roof repair.
With Sheegog Contracting, you have all the support you need to get a strong, secure, and beautiful roof. We offer popular Central Florida shingle roofing as well as residential metal roofing and much more. Thanks to a unique Five-Step Process, we make roofing easy.