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5 Steps to Take After Storm Damage to Your Roof

Your roof is the first line of defense for your home or business. A sound roof gives peace of mind throughout the seasonal extremes of midsummer heat to the occasional winter storms in Portland, Oregon. A well-maintained roof also adds to your home’s curb appeal and benefits your property value. If your home doesn’t weather a storm as well as you hope, you may have storm damage that needs to be addressed to ensure your home is both safe to occupy and to prevent long-term effects like leaks and mold.

Homeowners in Portland, Oregon, need a knowledgeable, reliable service provider who can deliver high-quality roof repairs, especially in an emergency such as storm damage. Interstate Roofing is a locally owned Portland, Oregon, roofing specialist on-call 24/7 with technicians who are specially trained to find and repair leaks. Knowing what to do immediately after a storm can help you restore your building and peace of mind so you return to normal life as soon as possible. Here are five steps to take after storm damage to your roof.

1. Assess the Damage

When the storm ends and it’s physically safe to venture out of your house or building, take time to look over your roof and check for obvious signs of damage. This might be as subtle as divots left by hail to something more significant, such as missing shingles or a hole left by falling debris. You may also see bent flashing or exposed underlayment.

You’ll also want to take a look inside your house for signs of potential roof damage. Look for wet walls or water spots on the ceiling. All of these are signs of storm damage and need to be addressed immediately to prevent a larger issue from developing, such as water leaks into your house or mold from trapped moisture.

2. Document the Damage

As safely as possible, take pictures or video (or both) of the storm damage to your roof and any other areas of your house affected, both interior and exterior. Documenting the damage as close to the time of the storm as possible will be important for filing an insurance claim. It can be helpful to get different angles and even different distances as well. You really can’t over document, so take a lot of pictures.

You can also make a log of the storm by saving relevant news reports. While you will want to ensure your property is safe after a storm, it’s important to not make major changes or do major clean-up before you document everything. Preserving the damage means the claims adjuster will have the best opportunity to assess the situation with the clearest picture of what happened.

3. Secure the Damaged Area

For major damage that you cannot clean up right away, call your insurance company immediately to start the claims process. Then work with a professional to safely mitigate the damage. Even if the damage is minor, you will need to make sure that you take steps to secure the damage and protect your home from larger issues that might occur when damage is left unrepaired or unseen. This could mean tarping a hole and cleaning up debris from your yard or cleaning up interior damage to your house caused by the storm.

Take extra caution as you secure the damage and call emergency services or your utility company if you come across downed powerlines or other hazards.

4. Check Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

After you’ve assessed the situation and documented the storm damage, take a moment to review your homeowner’s insurance policy. Every policy is different and reviewing it will ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered, on what timeline you need to file your claim, who to contact to start the claims process, how they handle the damage inspection, and how the repair could be handled. Some insurance companies will have established relationships and will schedule everything for you. Others may put more on you the policyholder. Knowing what to expect can be helpful as you navigate the claims process. This is also a good time to verify any warranties that you may have for your roof.

Once you start the claims process, be sure to document your conversations (a simple note on your smartphone could work), photos, receipts you’ve incurred along the way, and dates of everything you file for future reference. Keeping everything organized and in one central location will make your communication with the insurance company and claims adjuster easier to manage. Ask questions along the way and don’t move forward until you ensure you understand everything.

5. Work with Professionals

When you’re ready to make repairs after storm damage, you will want to ensure you work with a professional roofing contractor. Some insurance companies will have an established relationship with a contractor they will direct you to, which can streamline the repair process and timeline. Other insurance companies may allow you to choose a contractor that meets their standards and can do the work within the amount covered by the policy. In this case, if the budget exceeds the policy, you would be responsible for covering the difference.

When you have the freedom to choose, research professional contractors who specialize in roof repairs, have an established history of quality work and are fully licensed and insured. Ask about certifications, inspections, and local building codes. A professional will not only know this information but gladly walk you through the pieces necessary so you can understand what is happening and why. Since 1988 Interstate Roofing has focused on customer service, quality, and safety, growing from a one-man operation to an award-winning full-service company with strong relationships throughout the Portland-Vancouver metro area. Our in-house transportation operations give us the flexibility needed to accommodate emergencies when they happen. We’d love to work with you when storm damage affects your roof. Give us a call anytime.