- Roof damage can be caused by a variety of different weather issues – including wind, hail, and other storms.
- If you think you have roof damage, you should file an insurance claim as soon as possible.
- And you should also get a trusted advisor (like a lawyer) involved to help you resolve the claim.
Its hard to believe but the holiday season is here. For those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a Merry Christmas week. As I prepare to visit my family in Michigan, I have been thinking a lot about Santa. Maybe I need to stop watching those Hallmark Christmas movies.
Anyway, when I was a kid, I first doubted in Santa because I thought there was no way he could reach all of those households all over the world in one night. It seemed impossible. Then I learned about time zones. So obviously it could be done.
Now that I am older, and a homeowner, when I think of Santa, I too often think about him landing on my roof. And all the potential damage that nine reindeer, a huge sleigh, and a large man can do. It could be significant. So that’s what we are going to talk about in today’s blog entry – roof damage.
What Can Happen to Your Roof
As most property owners know, Texas roofs are subject to a lot of punishment. There are a lot of ways that a roof can be damaged – beyond just a large, bearded man drunk on cookies and milk with his nine reindeer.
In the summers, the heat from the sun can cause shingles to decay, warp, curl, and crack. And, of course, we have big storms that can bring strong wind and hail that can severely damage roofs. And finally, in some parts of the state, a hurricane can bring excessive wind and rain that damage a roof.
For our friends up north, they have different issues that winter storms can cause – including excess snow and ice buildup. Obviously we never have things like that in Texas. So no need to plan for it at all – right, Texas legislature?
Some of this damage is pretty visible. Large hail sometimes makes a big mark right on the shingles that is easy to recognize. But that is not always the case. Wind and hail damage can often go unnoticed until its too late. Wind, for example, can cause shingles to lift and break the seal. As a result, water could seep into the building under the lifted shingles. And this damage can occur at lower wind speeds that you may think.
As a property owner, therefore, its important to pay attention to the weather and the effect that can have on your roof.
What to do if Potential Roof Damage
So if we do have a storm and you think your commercial or residential roof may be damaged, what should you do?
The first thing you should do is file an insurance claim. Call your insurance broker and get the process started. And make sure to include all of the potential reasons the roof may be damaged – including wind, hail, rain – whatever the cause of the damage is.
As a property owner, you want to file the claim as soon as you know about the potential damage. Your insurance policy likely has a claim that basically says if you do not inform the insurance company immediately, it may be prejudiced and that can reduce the amount of your recovery. As a result, you want to let it know as soon as you think there may be potential roof damage.
We also recommend that you get someone to help you with the claim as soon as possible. There are good insurance companies out there and some of them will treat you fine. But insurance companies do not make money by fully paying out claims. As a result, you want to get a lawyer or an appraiser on your side to help you make sure the insurance company is treating your fairly.
Your lawyer can also help you decide what is the best approach to take from there. Once your insurance company makes its offer, your lawyer can help you decide whether to:
- Accept the offer;
- Go to appraisal; or
- File a lawsuit.
So if you think you may have roof damage to your commercial or residential building, contact your broker and get that insurance claim filed asap. And if it was Santa that caused it, well you will probably have to find a different law firm to sue him.