Hail Damage From Hail Storm 2017:
At the end of May 2017 Haymarket, Aldie and Gainesville area experienced a hail storm.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Does My Roof Have Storm Damage, I don’t See Any Damage From The Ground?
A: Unfortunately in many cases you won’t see hail impact marks on a roof or gutters from the ground, you must be on the roof to see the hail marks on the shingles and in the bottom of the gutters. Even if you don’t see the damage– doesn’t mean it’s not there. It might take a couple of months and a few of hard driving rains for the damage to manifest itself. It is best if you can catch the damage in the early stages before the problem gets out of control
Q: My Roof Isn’t leaking– I’m OK, Right?
A: – As mentioned above, the damage from a hail storm might not be apparent right after the storm. It might take a couple of heavy rains for the roof to start leaking or it may take up to a few years for the damage to manifest itself. The reason for this is when large hail hits the roof it loosens the granules in a nickel to quarter-size area. How quickly that damage appears and potential leaks occur, really depends on how long it takes for those loosened granules to wash off during heavy rains and expose the asphalt underneath the granules. When asphalt is exposed to the sun it cracks and lets water in thus causing leaks.
– If the damage is not addressed in the timely manner, 3 things could happen: 1) the lifespan of your roof is dramatically reduced thus making you prematurely replace the roof. 2) Potential leaks in your roof not only cause headaches but also cause wood damage and other costly repairs. 3) If you are going to sell your home and you didn’t repair or replace the damaged roof, siding or gutters– the home inspector will point out the damage and you will have to pay for it yourself (because the insurance company will only pay a claim up to 2 years from the date of the damage) before the sale goes through. Make sure to get your roof inspected by a Qualified Local Contractor to verify whether there was substantial granule loss or not.
Q: Should I file a claim? Will my insurance premiums go up? Will they drop me?
A: There are many people that don’t file a claim because they are concerned that their insurance premiums will go up or that they will be dropped by their insurance company if they file a claim. This is actually a mistake because by law, hail storms are considered to be the Act of God, therefore insurance companies are not allowed to raise your rates or cancel your insurance. So there is no reason not to investigate whether you have a hail damage or not and if you do have damage there is no reason not to file a claim because eventually you will have to pay for the storm restoration yourself instead of the insurance company paying for it.
Q: How Much Will The Storm Restoration Cost Me?
A: If your home has experienced a legitimate damage from the storm– all you have to do is pay your deductible– the rest is going to be covered by your insurance company.
Q: Who Should I call First? Insurance Company or a Contractor?
A: The first thing you should do is to find out if you have damage to your roof, siding or gutters. If you call the insurance company first they will open up a claim and send an insurance adjuster to inspect your property. The
adjuster works on behalf of the insurance company and they tend to look out for the insurance’s company best interest– not yours. You should call a Qualified Local Contractor first to get your home inspected (usually at no charge) to see if there is any legitimate damage done.
If there is no damage- then you don’t need to call your insurance company and you won’t have an unnecessary claim filed on your record. If there is damage– now you have somebody to look out for your best interest when you file a claim.
Make sure your Qualified Local Contractor is present when the adjuster inspects your roof so he can make sure the adjuster sees all the damage.
Q: What Should I Do If Somebody Knocks On My Door and Offers To Replace My Roof, Siding Or Gutters For FREE; Offers To Cover My Deductible, Vacation Trips, Golf Clubs etc?
A: 1. In many states and municipalities it is illegal for a contractor to cover homeowner’s insurance deductable. This type of insurance fraud is a misdemeanor for a contractor but a felony for the homeowner. Stay away from people/companies that offer to “eat your deductible”.
2. Never sign a contract that you didn’t read or don’t understand. Start and end dates, total amount, lien releases must be in the contract– never sign an open contract! A pushy representative is a red flag and should be avoided.
3. Never let a fast talking salesman on your roof the first time you meet them! Here are some best practices:
– Take picture of the salesperson and his/her license plate.
– Ask to see a driver’s license and take a picture of it. (To check if the person is local or from out of town)
In case you do have any problems, you’ll have photos of the person, license plate, driver’s license to give to the police.
4. Do your due diligence first: check the BBB, check their references, verify that their insurance is valid, verify their name if they have, if their license is valid and if there are any complaints filed against them with the state.
5. When a hail storm hits even a handyman and a gutter guy will call themselves a Storm Restoration expert. The truth is– the insurance claim process is complex and it’s not unusual for a homeowner to receive much less than they are entitled to from their insurance company (or even get their claim denied) because a contractor does not have enough experience to work with the insurance company on the homeowner’s behalf to make sure that the homeowner gets everything they are entitled to.
6. Storm Chasers are contractors who travel around the country in search of areas damaged by wind and/or hail storms. They are known for high-pressure sales techniques, vague and self-serving contract agreements, shoddy workmanship, lack of knowledge of local laws, local licenses, little or no insurance, haphazard training and high turnover of crews etc. If there are any problems with the roof, siding or gutters down the road– Storm Chasing company will thousands of miles away “working” another storm.
If you get anything out of this brochure– avoid Storm Chasers at all costs. Take your time to do the due diligence. Hire only Qualified Local Contractors with at least 200 insurance claims under their belt.
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The Ultimate Hail Damage Guide For Homeowners:
Learn The Storm Damage Industry Secrets and Avoid Getting Ripped Off.
The eBook addresses these and many other important questions:
- Was your home damaged in a hail or wind storm?
- Are you wondering what to do now? Who to call first?
- Should you file a claim or not? What happens if you do and what can happen if you don’t?
- Will your insurance premiums go up? Can your insurance company cancel the policy?
- Who are Storm Chasers? How to hire a contractor you can trust?
How To Hire a GREAT Contractor: A Step-by-Step Guide.
In this guide:
- Best industry practices- what characteristics should a contractor have to be considered a Qualified Local Contractor (QLC).
- How to find and screen contractors.
- Common mistakes/scams to avoid.
- Common red flags
- and much more.
10 Signs That Your Home Experienced Wind/ Hail Damage
In our 51 years of operation we have had many cases when a homeowner calls us with a roof leak, and after the inspection we discover that the roof leak was caused by damage from a hail storm that might have happened 2-3 years ago.
The homeowner usually doesn’t recall a hail storm, but a hail storm that might have lasted only 15 minutes can cause significant damage over time. Your roof should be inspected – especially after a wind and/or hail storm – because even minor damage made to your roof may lead to a much bigger problem in the future. Read More
How to Mitigate the Damage to Your Home from a Wind or Hail Storm
A homeowner’s insurance policy requires you, the homeowner, to mitigate any damage to your home. This means it is your responsibility as the homeowner to stop any further damage from occurring to your home after the wind or hail storm. Here are some things that you can do to mitigate the damage done by wind or hail storm:
Broken/cracked skylights and windows: If you have holes in your skylights and windows, cover them with plastic. Remember it’s your responsibility as a homeowner to eliminate any further leaks or damage that could be cause by the hail damage. Read More
Marketing Craze: What to Do After Hail Storm Hits (Buyer Beware)
When a wind or hail storm hits your area (and your house) you are going to be inundated with flyers, direct mail offers, yard signs, telemarketers, door knockers, and other types of marketing.
This can be very overwhelming and, could cause you to react emotionally because, as I mentioned before, your roof is actually worth roughly 10% – 15% of your home’s entire value. It also covers about 90% of your assets, and provides the protection from the rain for your family. Salesmen are aware of this, and they could try to prey on your emotions. So remember; it is very important to slow down and verify that the company you are dealing with is a Qualified Local Contractor. Trust me, especially after a wind or hail storm, it is best to take your time and find a local, reputable and experienced contractor to get the job done right the first time. It will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches in the future. Read More
Who Are Storm Chasers and Why You Should Avoid Them
Storm chasers are companies that follow severe weather from area to area, completing home repairs (generally roofs and siding) that are damaged by hail and wind. They collect homeowners’ insurance claim checks in payment for their services and complete the work (often shoddily) before moving on to the next storm ravaged area.
Here are the Pros and Cons of Storm Chasers… Read More
Hiring a Contractor After a Wind or Hail Storm
What Is a QLC
QLC stands for Qualified Local Contractor; an established, local contractor who strives to maintain excellent customer relationships by working with their clients to resolve problems, perform quality work, always pay their subcontractors and vendors, and conduct themselves professionally with the goal of building a successful business.
If you hire a QLC, you are in good hands and won’t have to worry about most of the things I talk about in previous posts about Storm Chasers, scams etc. If you end up hiring a contractor who is a Non-QLC or an out-of-town Storm Chaser, the best practices and advice on this website are meant to help you reduce your chances of getting ripped off, while keeping the contractor accountable. Read More
Determining if You Had Hail Damage- Home Inspection Checklist
Hail Damage Anatomy
I’ve seen many homeowners walk around their house after a hail storm, looking at their roof thinking that everything is fine since they can’t see any obvious damage from the ground, while the roof was actually damaged and that damage was not apparent without a basic home inspection checklist.
The damage will be obvious if you have experienced a golf ball size or larger hail, but even if the hail was smaller than that – there is a good likelihood that your roof was damaged (it may take 2-4 months to become apparent though). And here’s why… Read More
Filing Your Insurance Claim (To File or Not To File).
After a hail or wind storm- you might be wondering, “Should I file an insurance claim or not? How do I know when it’s good for me to file and when it’s not? Will my premiums go up? Will my insurance company drop me?”
Let’s look at the last two questions first: since hail and wind damage is considered to be “an Act of God” – your insurance company cannot legally drop you after you make an insurance claim. Having said that… Read More
Hail Storm- Insurance Adjuster Inspection: What to Expect
What exactly is the insurance adjuster going to do? What is he/she looking for? How does the insurance adjuster determine if your home has sustained enough damage for the insurance company to pay for roof replacement or roof repair? The first thing the insurance adjuster will do is… Read More
Insurance Claim Process: Approved/Denied: What’s Next?
If, after going through the insurance claim process, the adjuster approves the claim, the he/she will write up a detailed scope of work in the form of a spreadsheet with the line items detailing the repairs that the adjuster believes your insurance company should pay to replace. Then the insurance company reviews the adjuster’s report (which includes pictures showing the hail damage), the insurance company approves the adjuster’s scope of work, and sends you and your contractor the approved scope of work along with the insurance company’s pricing… Read More
Insurance Claim Approved: Getting Paid by Insurance Company
After your insurance claim is approved- getting paid by your insurance company is usually a two (possibly three) part process:
Part 1: Your insurance company will issue you the first check for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) of your claim made out to you and your mortgage company (if the insurance claim is over $10,000). Most insurance companies will make the check out just to you if the claim is less than $10,000 and/or if you don’t have a mortgage… Read More
Common Construction Contract Traps You Want to Avoid
Construction Contract Basics
A construction contract is generally defined as a legal document between the contractor and the owner(s) of a property where one party agrees to perform labor and/or services and/or supply necessary materials to complete a project and the other party agrees to make payment for same. In many states, contracts are legally required.
I’m surprised by the amount of people that I’ve talked to over the years that have signed construction contracts for large amounts of money but… Read More
Negotiating Contracts the Right Way
A contract of any kind should be agreeable and fair to both parties. As mentioned in the previous articles in the series, the contractor covering your insurance deductible is not a good deal (and it’s illegal in many states and municipalities) – so that’s out of the question. But you can negotiate a few other perks that your contractor would consider doing for FREE without too much of a fight. Here are some tips for negotiating contracts… Read More
Hail Storm Roof Restoration- Production Process (+Best Practices)
What to Expect
This is the final stage of the roof restoration project. Now that you have your first check in hand, a signed contract with a contractor (whether you hired a Qualified Local Contractor or not, it’s good to have an understanding of the best practices for your project), you have picked out your material and colors for your restoration project- it is now time to schedule your roof restoration work… Read More
Homeowner’s Insurance Best Practices After Wind / Hail Storm
If you pay your monthly homeowner’s insurance premiums, you probably assume that you’ll receive all of the benefits for any claims you may file. This isn’t always the case, however; if you want to receive the money that you are entitled to, you have to be proactive and follow the best practices outlined below… Read More
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