Roofing Disasters - What to do When the Roof Caves in
Mother Nature can be fickle; if she takes a dislike to your home, watch out! Your roof is one of the most vulnerable areas of your home to a variety of natural disasters: wind, tornadoes, hurricanes, falling trees, fire, leaks, collapse from heavy snow, and more. In addition to these sudden catastrophes, there is also deterioration from corrosion, repeated expansion/contraction, and general wear and tear that can erupt into a problem. And when you need a new roof, you need it right away. There is no way to predict if or when you will experience a catastrophic roof failure, but there are some things to do to prepare yourself for it.
Good Insurance Will Cover a New Roof
As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on your homeowner's insurance. If special coverage for tornadoes, earthquakes, flood, or other natural disasters is required, be sure you get it. Standing in an open-air living room is not the time to find out that your policy doesn't cover tornado damage. Always deal with a reputable, well-known company and have your agent's number on speed dial.
Choose Reliable Roofing Company
When it comes time to get repairs on your damaged or destroyed roof, hire a company with expertise in your roofing materials. If you have a tile or slate roof, don't bother with a company that only has experience with shingle roofing. You want to get things repaired as quickly as possible, but you also want them done right. However, if the damage is minimal, you might consider buying roofing materials and doing the work yourself. Above all, don't be taken in by scam artists who inevitably appear in the wake of any disaster to make a quick buck from the victims. Use a local contractor with a good reputation, and make sure their contractor's license and insurance coverage are both current.
If the damage is localized to only your house (a falling tree, for instance), you can probably get fast response from a roofing contractor. If it is more widespread (tornado or hurricane), you may have to wait your turn. In that case, try to organize your neighbors to help each other put up heavy duty plastic, plywood, or other temporary materials to keep the elements out until a permanent repair can be accomplished. Call your insurance company immediately and make sure you are covered for damage to your home's contents, and whether your insurance covers a stay in a hotel until repairs are made.
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