A leaky roof can cause significant damages if the underlying cause isn’t discovered early. Without proper and timely repairs, you may be forced to replace the entire roof.
The cost of labor and roofing materials is expected to continue its upward trend in 2019. Fortunately for you, homeowner insurance can help you bear the burden of leaky roofs.
This article will enlighten you on the main reasons why roofs leak and how your insurance can help you out.
Major Causes of Roof Leaks
A leaky roof is a sign that something is wrong. It could be caused by damage to the materials or a flaw in the installation process. Here are three trouble causes to look out for.
1. Storm Damage
Storms are one of the most common causes of roof damages. Violent storms like hail can cause structural damage to your roof. In extreme cases, a storm can carry objects or cause them to fall on your roof. Storm damage is not preventable, you should always schedule a roof inspection after a storm. When buying a policy, make sure storms is one of the perils covered.
2. Compromised Shingles
Over time shingles are compromised either by loosening or breakage. The process occurs faster for poor quality shingles. Shingles can also be broken by extreme weather such as wind or hail.
Loosening or breakage causes leakage which is easy to spot from inside the house. Shingles can also curl or rot. This is easily identifiable from the ground, but you require a keen eye. Consult with a professional instead.
The solution is having the broken shingles replaced. The good news is, replacement is affordable.
3. Obstructed Water Flow
When water collects on your roof, it subjects the roofing material to significant strains. Eventually, the material yields and the shingles begin to rot. Here are some of the causes of obstructed water flow.
- Compromised valleys – the meeting point between two roof slopes
- Clogged gutters
- Build of debris such leaves, twigs and other foreign material
Keep gutters clean, clear all debris from the roof and get your valleys inspected. Pest infestations, plumbing leaks, and buildup of condensation can also damage the roof.
How Insurance Can Help You
Most homeowner insurance policies cover roof leaks if it is caused by a covered peril. The perils are outlined in the declaration page. The common perils include fire, wind, and hail. On successfully filing a claim and paying the deductible, the homeowner is compensated for the cost of repairs.
Insurance companies also provide homeowners with access to certified and proven contractors. And to top it all, repairs completed by approved contractors usually have warranties.
Process of Filing Roof Leak Claim
The following are the steps you need to take to file the claim for roof repairs.
- Inspect and document the damage: Most roof leakages are observable from the ground. Take a photo of the leaking roof and record the date and time of occurrence. Never go on the roof.
- Contact your Insurer: Do not wait until you have done the repairs. Alert the insurance company about the damage. Some insurance companies have strict guidelines such as the selection of a contractor. The insurer will send a specialist to assess the extent of the damage.
- Schedule a roof inspection: Find a contractor who has experience dealing with roofing claims. The contractor’s assessment will help you make a compelling argument.
- Begin repairs: In consultation with your agent, you decide to start repairs to avoid further damage. You should opt for a contractor approved by the insurance firm for quicker compensation.
- Submit the Claim: On completion of the repairs, you can submit the claim. If you followed the claim guidelines provided by the insurer, there should be no problem with the insurance payment.
Can Your Claim be Denied?
Not all claims will be approved. Your claim can be denied if;
- The leak occurred due to poor maintenance and not a sudden, accidental incident.
- The leak in the roof was caused by a peril not covered in your insurance policy (exclusions). Examples include; act of war, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or mold.
- The roof is still covered by a warranty.
- The roof is found to be older than the stated age.
Wear and tear accelerate the aging of your roof. Regular maintenance is the only remedy. Failure to act in time can cause irreparable damage.
Midwest Exterior Plus is a licensed, award-winning roofing expert. We have been providing unrivaled exterior remodeling services within the Twin Cities region for over 40 years. There is no insurance for poor maintenance. Schedule roof inspection and repair today. Reach us on (763) 445-4727 for further assistance.