wind storm

30
Jan

Will Filing an Insurance Claim After a Storm Increase Insurance Rates?

damage storm increase insurance rates

Scared that filing an insurance claim after a storm will increase insurance rates? 

You are not alone!  But fortunately, your insurance company is NOT ALLOWED to increase your insurance rates from damage due to storms (or Acts of God).

“But my friend, neighbor, brother-in-law, co-worker, (FILL IN THE BLANK) once told me that filing an insurance claim will make my rates go up.”

Why do most people assume that filing a home insurance claim will increase their rates?

Because we have been conditioned into assuming that a claim, any claim, will cause rates to go up.

Auto insurance has worked this was for so long, we assume all insurance, including home insurance, will operate the same way.

Home insurance does NOT work this way.  

How is home owner insurance different?

The reason behind your claim is the determining factor in whether or not the insurance company can increase your rates (or drop you).

The reason behind a storm claim is very simple – a storm.

Your insurance rates CANNOT be increased due to claim related to a storm.

The answer is simple.  If you have storm damage, make a claim!

Get the money your are owed, WITHOUT the fear of increasing insurance rates.



Want more information?  Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. 

No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

25
Jul

5 Secrets Roofing Storm Chasers Don’t Want You To Know

Sleazy roofing storm chaser

Sleazy Storm Chaser

What sneaky tactics do roofing storm chasers use?

Large-scale storms with wide spread damage attract contractors who know that reputable businesses are overwhelmed.

Roofing storm chasers do what their name describes. Chase storms around the country to hawk their roofing contractor services.  While some companies are legitimate, many of these storm chasers are unscrupulous.

What are these shady tactics?

  1. Prey on the elderly.  Roofing storm chasers amp up their aggressive sales tactics when an elderly person answers the door.  Many elderly tend to be more trustworthy or give people the benefit of the doubt and therefore do not research the roofer. Storm chases will inflate the cost or ask for money on top of the insurance proceeds.
  2. Ask for cash up front. When widespread damage occurs, it might seem reasonable for a contractor to ask for a deposit to reserve their services.  Sadly, the day the homeowner gives the storm chaser $2,000 or more is usually the last day they will see them.
  3. Fake or create damage. Ball-peen hammers. Spoons. Golf balls. Dimes.  The list can go on and one. Roofing storm chasers have a terrible reputation for faking damage.  Creating or “adding” damage where none exists and collecting insurance money can carry criminal and civil penalties.
  4. Paying for the deductible. It sounds so good.  Get insurance money, get roof fixed, and never pay a deductible.  Disreputable roofing storm chasers pay for or absorb the homeowner’s deductible to get the business.  A homeowner is committing insurance fraud if the contractor promises to pay the deductible and does so.
  5. Negotiate for more money. In 44 out of 50 states, roofers cannot legally negotiate an insurance claim without an adjuster’s license.  Contractors can defend their pricing but not negotiate a claim settlement.  If negotiations are necessary, property owners should hire an experienced Avvo-rated attorney since they are paid only a percentage of any new money they negotiate for the homeowner.

REMEMBER:  Only use local roofers with great BBB ratings and outstanding reputations.  Get at least 7 bids from roofers before making a decision.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

28
May

5 Reasons To Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm

recent hail storm map texas

Thunderstorms Bring Hail to Texas

Why Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm?

One of the most frequent questions asked is “Do I need to call my insurance company?” or similarly, “Do I have to call my insurance company?”

The simple answer is YES.  Call and make an insurance claim.  Not only does it makes sense but you most likely must do it or you breach your insurance contract.

Homeowners often are nervous about making an insurance claim, even after storm damage.  Usually this fear stems from past experiences related to auto insurance.  That being, that rates will increase after a claim.  But property insurance contracts and State insurance laws are different.

Top 5 Reasons To Notify The Insurance Company After A Recent Hail Storm

1. If you have recently received damage you are more than likely REQUIRED to notify the insurance company under your policy.

2. In the future, they can deny a roof replacement claim due to undisclosed and previous damage.

3. There exists a statute of limitations on insurance claims.  Once this run out, the insurance company can deny your request to replace the roof.

4. You are paying for insurance in case of storm damage or similar reasons.  Why would you not use it?

5. Your rates CANNOT be raised for making a claim, whether approved or denied.  Repeat the words: CANNOT be raised.

So in the immortal words of Nike, Just Do It!

Notify the Insurance Company after a recent hail storm by making an insurance claim.  Get the estimated damage and monies available to replace your roof from the insurance company.

Bid out the job to at least seven different companies to find the best contractors at the best price.  Save tons of money. Enjoy your new roof.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

15
May

Brazoria County Hail Storm? What to do next.

Brazoria County Hail Storm Hail Paths

“Hail and wind like I haven’t seen in all the years I’ve lived here,”

said James S., a Lake Jackson resident who also works in Brazoria County.  Later he remarked “Northwood and West Columbia got hit pretty good and the weather service said Angleton got some 4 inch hail”.

This is no surprise if your reside almost anywhere in Brazoria County, Texas.  Last month’s April showers brought high wind, hail, and what some were calling a 500-year rain.

While a Brazoria County hail storm is not unheard of, it has been several years since Brazoria has seen hail larger than a marble.

The picture above shows a hail path we mapped around Angleton and Lake Jackson from just a single day.  The hail path shows just the center of the storm; the actual swath of the storm was much, much larger.   What does this mean?  If a property was anywhere near this path it got hit.

Did you get large or small hail?

Even small hail can cause significant damage in large volumes or high winds.  Ever seen a picture of hay needles or branches stuck into the side of a barn from tornado winds?  Even small hail such as pea or marble- sized can do significant damage when thrown at 60-70 mph.  The latest Brazoria County hail storms had very high winds.

Brazoria County Hail Storm pea sized hail

Small hail which caused damage in Brazoria
County

What to do if you suspect you have roof damage from the Brazoria County hail storms?

Call, Examine, Act

  • Call your insurance company, open a claim, and have your roof examined. REMEMBER: Your rates cannot be increased for making a storm related claim.
  • Examine the results of the insurance company’s estimate of damage before doing anything else.
  • Act by taking advantage of the insurance company’s estimate and their money:
    • If they agree to replace your roof in full then start by getting at least 7 bids from qualified roofers (Better Business Bureau, etc.).
    • If they DO NOT agree to replace in full, but only part of your roof then:
      • Get 3 roofers to examine your roof to get their opinion OR
      • Hire a licensed insurance adjuster (not a Public Adjuster) to verify the actual damage OR
      • Contact RoofBidders and we will advise you AT NO CHARGE based on satellite imagery and on the ground spotters.
    • After getting multiple bids by high quality roofers, put a new roof on your home, and save tons of money.

NOTE: If the insurance company denies your claim and you know you have damage from the latest Brazoria County hail storm (or any other storm) then contact an attorney.

REMEMBER:  Take advantage of infrequent but powerful storms to upgrade your home by having the insurance company buy you a new roof whenever possible.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

 

14
Mar

Most Common Low-slope Roof Problems : Part 1

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Low-slope roof in Chicago

Common Low-slope Roof Problems

Many “standard” housing in the United States primarily uses what is considered a “low-slope” roofing style.  So what are some of the most common issues with low-slope roofs?

“Obvious or unforeseen, roof problems are always a pain and undoubtedly a significant expense,” says Jane Madison at Builders Magazine, who posted a great article about low-slope roof issue.   Below I posted the first part if her article.

Problems Plaguing Low-slope Roofs

Buildings magazine examined which problems are most common and the conditions that can either cause or be the result of premature failure and reduced service life of low-slope roof systems. This is not a self-diagnostic guide, but rather an informative list of some of the problems most often battled by building owners and facilities professionals.

“If you look at a failure curve, most roofs are the best they’re going to be at the time they are installed. The curve is pretty flat in terms of their deterioration for the first several years, and the last 25 or 30 percent of the roof [life], the curve becomes more steep,” explains Ron Harriman, vice president, Benchmark Inc., Cedar Rapids, IA. Unfortunately, problems are inevitable as the roof ages. Without proper and routine maintenance, these minor problems can even become catastrophic.

ROOF LEAKS AND MOISTURE

“With any roof – no matter what type – if you’ve got roof leaks, then you’ve got a problem,” explains Charles Praeger, executive director, Metal Building Manufacturers Association (MBMA), Cleveland.  Leaks can occur for a number of reasons. Built-up roofs (BUR) might experience leaks due to flashing details that weren’t fastened properly during installation. “The problems an owner is typically going to have [with a BUR system] is that 95 percent of leaks occur at flashing details – anywhere the membrane itself is terminated or interrupted,” explains Helene Hardy Pierce, director of contractor services, GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, NJ. Additionally, hot bituminous and torch-applied modified bitumen roofs may experience leaks when a proper moisture barrier is not installed underneath a coping cap on parapet walls, according to Avoiding Common Roof Installation Mistakes, a CD-Rom produced by the Center for the Advancement of Roofing Excellence (C.A.R.E. Ltd.).

The C.A.R.E. CD-Rom also pinpoints improper installation of flashing as a source of leaks on torch-applied modified bitumen roofs. Inadequate head laps and backwater laps are another mod bit installation problem that can allow moisture infiltration. “Water can get under the membrane if the field of roof is installed so that water flows against the lap. The consequences of backwater laps are leaks and blisters, which can lead to roof failure,” C.A.R.E. explains. With cold-applied modified bitumens, improper storage of materials can result in moisture infiltration built into the roofing system, and under-application of adhesive can result in poor lamination and roof leaks.

Leaks can result when single-ply membrane roofs are installed with poor seams. “You’ve got to have good seams with single-ply, because if you don’t, you don’t have much. The membranes themselves will hold water. You’ve got to have the seams either glued or heat-welded properly,” Harriman explains.

BLOW-OFFS, TENTING, REDUCED WIND UPLIFT RESISTANCE, AND BILLOWING

Leaks are not the only problem that can result from improperly installed flashing. Hot bituminous roofs where flashing is poorly attached may experience open seams and laps and ultimately cause blow-offs, reduced puncture resistance, and code issues, advises C.A.R.E. Poor gravel embedment and the use of an inadequate number of fasteners in the base sheet during application of both hot bituminous and torch-applied mod bit roof systems can also have similar consequences.

Wind uplift resistance can be reduced greatly if seams are not cured adequately on cold-applied mod bit systems. C.A.R.E. notes, “Seams made with cold adhesives do not have good integrity until the adhesive has cured. If the seams are exposed to wind and rain before they are properly cured, moisture can infiltrate the roof system or wind uplift can damage the roof membrane.”

If not adhered properly to the substrate, single-ply roofs are at risk for blow-off and billowing. “With single-ply membranes, we do a little more to hold things in place, and if it’s not done properly, then we end up with tenting of the flashings [and] we end up damaging the membrane,” says Pierce.

POOR INSTALLATION AND UNSATISFACTORY WORKMANSHIP

A faulty installation dramatically increases the likelihood of problems and reduces a roof system’s life expectancy. “Workmanship does tend to be one of the more common problems or common reasons for problems that crop up at some point in the life of the roof,” Harriman comments. BUR system installation can be problematic if specific preparations are not taken. According to Harriman, problems with adhesion can result when the area isn’t cleaned, dried, and primed properly prior to installation. “Those are things that are difficult to walk up on a roof and visually see, but could lead to future problems, premature aging, or premature failure,” he says.

Torch-applied mod bit system performance can be compromised if crews do not relax the sheets prior to installation. Material preparation is important to a quality installation. C.A.R.E. notes, “Sheets installed that have not relaxed or are installed when ambient conditions such as temperature are not right can result in wrinkles, leaks, fish mouths, contraction of sheets, or blisters.” Be sure that the contractor and crew you’ve hired are educated in proper installation techniques specific to the roof they are installing.

LACK OF MAINTENANCE

There are many reasons not to neglect the roof – including financial and business continuity reasons. Being wise to problems can prevent their escalation. “The problem in roofing is a lack of education on all levels. But if the owner of the property is better educated, the whole industry does better and less problems [occur],” explains Chris Mooney, GAFMC/C.A.R.E. national training manager, C.A.R.E., Wayne, NJ. Specific levels of maintenance are required to prevent voiding the warranty. “Perform routine inspections. You don’t have to know a lot about roofing,” Pierce explains. “Things like ponding water, a piece of slipped base flashing, pitch pockets that haven’t been filled – those should be obvious whether you know a lot about roofing or not.” Addressing minor problems before they escalate maximizes roof life as well as minimizes headaches and expense.

PONDING WATER

“Another common problem across all roof types is what I call ‘incidental ponding water.’ If we move the water off the roof, the roof has a really good chance of performing the way it should,” notes Pierce. During the design of a dead-level roof, slope should be added with tapered insulation or crickets. “If we don’t take proactive measures when we’re actually designing the roof, then we’re building in ponding water,” she stresses.

UV rays compounded by ponding water can have adverse effects on BUR and asphalt-based mod bit roofs. During installation of hot bituminous systems, C.A.R.E. warns that improper mopping can produce voids in the membrane, block drains, and result in ponding water as well as void the warranty.

Pierce cautions that before roof repairs are hastily made, the source of the ponding water should be investigated.HVAC units without condensate drain lines could be the culprit. Always inspect thoroughly before making a repair. Check drains to make sure they are free of dirt, silt, and debris.

This wraps up the first part of Common Low-slope Roof Problems. 

Thanks again to Jana J. Madsen (jana.madsen@buildingsmedia.com) the managing editor at Buildings magazine.   For more information about C.A.R.E., visit (www.gaf.com) or e-mail (care@gaf.com).

Next week I’ll post-up the rest of this great article.

Want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us. No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

12
Feb

Top 5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips for Valentine’s Day Week

Top 5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips

Spring Cleaning for Roofs

Top 5 Spring Roof Maintenance Tips

Happy Valentine’s Day week!

Seriously?  What could be more boring when love and Spring is in the air than thinking about maintaining your roof?

But as the weather warms up in the South it is critical to start the clearing and cleaning process.

Focus first on cleaning winter debris from the roof, eves, and gutters. Garbage in, garbage out.  Failing to remove the garbage from your roof and gutters is almost a guaranteed way to damage your roof.  Then begin a cursory examination of your roof.

What are the Top 5 Spring maintenance tips?

  1. Look for missing, damaged or curling shingles or any other signs of wear and tear.  It’s easy and inexpensive to replace one or two shingles.  Failure to keep up your roof will make it harder to get your insurance company to pay for a full roof replacement – unless you use a lawyer to help.
  2. Check for signs of fungus or algae. If your roof is starting to collect moss or algae, jump into action.  You can also install zinc or lead control strips.
  3. Inspect metal areas for rust.  If it’s present, wire brush the rust, then prime and paint the metal.  Pay attention to the edges of the roof where water often runs.
  4. Examine the flashing to make sure it’s solid. If not, remove all the old caulk and scrub the area clean before re-sealing.  This is a more laborious job and may need to be handled by a roofer or other contractor.
  5. Seal any cracked mortar or caulking around joints and chimneys.

Bottom line is to be proactive

If you see any signs of leaking, like dark spots on the ceiling, or mold or dampness in your attic, act immediately. Roof leaks get worse, not better, and it’s better to spend a few dollars on roof maintenance rather than a lot on a big repair.


Confused or want more information? Trying to understand the costs associated with replacing a roof?  Call, email, post to Facebook, or tweet to us.  No Fee, No Obligation, Just help for you.

Don’t want to talk to anyone and just want a quick, satellite photograph measurement to help estimate the cost for your roof?  Order the Quick Report

If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, Facebook, or Twitter, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.

 

 

30
Aug

When Does an Asphalt Shingle Roof Need Replacement?

Roof-Replacement-in-process

Each roof’s condition is unique, and needs to be carefully looked at in order to determine whether replacement shingles are needed, or if an entirely new roof is needed.

Typically, an asphalt shingle roof will last roughly 20 years unless it was installed improperly, or a severe hail or wind storm damaged the shingles. Each roofing system is unique and should be looked at by a professional.

Still confused or want more information?   Call or email us at RoofBidders.com    We love to provide FREE education to property owners. We will talk with you at no cost.  If you have a specific roof issue and can send us a photo via email, we will do our best to advise you on the specific issue.