How to Spot Wind Damage to Your Roof
A roof is made to withstand the elements for years. But extreme or severe weather puts a damper on that, and strong winds play a big part.
Wind damage is actually one of the main reasons homeowners file an insurance claim for roof damage. Unfortunately, it’s hard to spot wind damage to your roof if you don’t know what to look for.
This not only leaves your roof vulnerable if left alone, but you could also lose the ability to file a claim if it took too long to notice. I don’t want this to happen to you.
For over 30 years, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has helped homeowners spot and take care of roof damage caused by storms. Because of this, I’ll walk you through spotting wind damage to a roof.
I’ll start this article by jumping right into how to spot wind damage to your roof. After that, you’ll learn the 3 things you should do after spotting wind damage.
How to spot wind damage to your roof
Unlike hail damage, which takes a trained eye to see, wind damage is easier to spot. The most common way to spot wind damage to your roof is missing shingles.
If you find shingles in your yard, it’s a pretty safe bet that your roof has wind damage. However, it is possible to have wind damage even if shingles are missing.
Another way to spot wind damage to your roof is if your shingles are lifted or creased. While noticing missing shingles is obvious, spotting lifted or creased shingles is a little harder.
You'll actually need to be on the roof to find lifted or creased shingles. Just know that this type of wind damage could really be a sign of improper installation.
If the roofing contractor didn’t do the job right, you’re more likely to experience wind damage when strong storms come into your area. What makes it worse is that you can’t file an insurance claim because insurance companies won’t cover problems caused by improper installation.
3 things to do when you spot wind damage to your roof
Now you know how to spot wind damage. But what should you do once you notice wind damage to your roof?
Let’s go through the 3 steps you should take when your roof has wind damage.
1. Review your homeowners insurance policy to make sure it’s covered
The first thing you should do is review your homeowners insurance policy to ensure it’s covered and determine the kind of payout you can expect. On your insurance paperwork, you’ll either have an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy or a Replacement Cost Value (RCV) policy.
Both policies mean the insurance company covers the damage, but the value between the two is very different.
An Actual Cash Value policy is when the insurance company pays out the depreciated value of your roof. This policy only gives you what your roof is valued at currently.
On the other hand, a Replacement Cost Value policy is when the insurance company pays out what it costs to replace your entire roof back to a brand new version of itself. However, they don’t give you it all upfront.
You’ll get a first check for the actual cost value of your roof while the insurance company holds back the rest of the recoverable depreciation. After your roof replacement is complete, you’ll provide proof everything was done per the insurance claim.
Once they get the proof, the insurance company sends a second check that covers the rest of the cost. But if you don’t get the work done or the claim wasn’t followed, they don’t have to send you the second check for the depreciated part of the claim.
Both policies protect your roof in the event of storm damage. However, a Replacement Cost Value policy ensures your insurance company covers everything and pays for a full roof replacement.
2. Contact your insurance company about filing a claim for wind damage to your roof
After ensuring that your policy covers wind damage, you should contact your insurance company to file an insurance claim. Once you pass on the relevant information, they’ll either send an adjuster or have you find a roofing company for an inspection.
If the insurance company sends an adjuster, they’ll schedule a time to come out and inspect the damage to determine if you have a claim. If they approve your claim, they’ll tell you to find a roofing contractor to start the replacement process.
On the other hand, the process is a little different if they tell you to find a roofing contractor first. After finding one, they’ll perform an inspection and look for signs of wind damage.
If they find any, they’ll document the proof and send it to your insurance company. If the pictures show signs of wind damage, the insurance company will then send out an adjuster to do a final inspection.
This is pretty common in the Middle Tennessee area, but your area could be different. Just know that the adjuster or insurance company is the only one who can approve your claim.
A roofing contractor can advocate for you, but they have no power to approve your claim. But as long as there’s actual storm damage, you shouldn’t have much trouble getting it approved.
3. Find a roofing contractor with insurance experience for a wind and storm damage inspection
No matter what your insurance says as the next steps, you’ll have to find a roofing contractor. More importantly, you need to find one with experience working on insurance claims.
This ensures they know the insurance claim process, how to read a claim correctly, help you supplement anything missing, and how to do the work in compliance with your insurance company. It’s absolutely crucial that you find one local to your area.
This is due to the storm chasers who will undoubtedly come to your area after a strong storm with damaging winds. These out-of-state companies undercut local roofing company prices, get the money, and go where the storms take them next.
They don’t care about adhering to local codes or properly installing your roof. And once they leave, I guarantee they won’t answer the phone if a problem comes up down the road.
Unfortunately, this happens way too often in the roofing industry. That’s why it’s important to research roofing companies and look out for signs of a scam.
What do you need to know about filing an insurance claim?
After reading this article, you now know how to spot wind damage and the three things you need to do about it. If you think your roof has wind damage, then it’ll be time to file a claim and start the insurance process.
Just know that filing a claim is only the beginning of the journey. The truth is the insurance claim process is confusing, long, and stressful.
So, you need to know what you’re about to get into before actually filing a claim. That’s why I wrote another article that answers the top roof damage insurance questions.
Since 1990, the team at Bill Ragan Roofing has guided homeowners in Nashville and surrounding Middle Tennessee areas through the insurance claim process. We give you tools to ensure everything is covered per your insurance policy.
Here are The Top 9 Insurance Roof Replacement Questions Answered to help you understand everything you need to know about filing a claim for wind damage to your roof.