Q. How do I know if I have hail damage? My roof isn’t leaking.
A. In a hailstorm, most hail that hits your roof and house may be too small to cause any damage. However, a percentage of the hail may be large or irregularly shaped, which can cause severe damage that may not be readily apparent and may not start leaking for some time. If your home has been involved in any severe storm it is best to have your roof inspected by a state licensed roofing contractor to determine if you need to file an insurance claim and have an insurance adjuster assess the total amount of damage incurred. However, here are a few signs that you may have damage, but please call the professionals at Republic Roofing & Renovation for a free inspection.
• Look at the drain downspouts around your house. If you see a high concentration of black mineral deposits around the downspouts, this may be a sign of damage to your roof.
• Check your gutters. If the metal gutters have dents or dings from the hail, there is a good chance that your shingles were damaged as well.
• Inspect the ceilings in your home for signs of a leak. This is evidenced by discolored patches or holes in the ceiling and the presence of moisture.
• Climb on the roof and check the shingles. The signs can be as subtle as a small dimple in a few shingles. If you suspect damage, consider calling a specialist to thoroughly inspect the shingles for you.
Q. The insurance company withheld depreciation on my roof. Will I get that money?
A. Yes. Most all home owners policies cover full replacement value. The first check the insurance company gives you is the Actual Cost Value (ACV); what the roof is worth today with it’s useful remaining life. The money that was withheld is called depreciation, or technically, the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and will be paid to you when the work is completed or most times upon the submission of a signed contract with a licensed contractor for the work specified in the insurance adjusters summary report.
Q. Why did the insurance company withhold depreciation?
A. There are two reasons that the insurance companies hold some money back. The first reason is to make sure that you get the work done. If the insurance company gives the customer all the money up front, many people end up spending it on something else and never have the work completed. The second reason is that the insurance company wants to make sure that you pay your full deductible. The insurance companies reason that, if you are given all the money to begin with, many people would naturally try to find a contractor who would perform the job for the given dollar amount or less. By withholding an amount, they can adjust the amount of the final payout based on the roofing contractor’s invoice, thus assuring that the customer does pay the deductible.
Q. How can I avoid paying the deductible?
A. Legally, you can’t. Of course, a roofer in collusion with a homeowner can submit falsified invoices. However, doing so is insurance fraud. Please don’t ask us to do this.
Q. Did the insurance company already subtract my deductible from the check they sent me?
A. When most people look at their insurance paperwork they are confused, because they think the insurance company deducted their deductible from the money the insurance company has sent them. However, the deductible is the amount that the homeowner is responsible for paying directly to the contractor. The insurance company subtracts the home owners deductible amount on the paperwork from the total amount the insurance company allows for the claim, since the homeowner will pay their deductible directly to the contractor. The balance after subtracting what the homeowner will pay directly to the contractor as a deductible, is the total amount the insurance company will actually pay for the claim.
Q. Why is my insurance company only paying for part of my roof? My neighbor’s insurance company paid for their entire roof.
A. No two houses receive the same amount of damage in a storm. Your neighbor may have sustained extensive damage, and you may have received none. The insurance company will only pay for the actual damages incurred. If the entire roof was not damaged, unfortunately the insurance company cannot pay for the whole roof. However, if is it border line, it always helps to have your roofing contractor inspect the roof with your insurance adjuster to accurately assess all damage to the roof. Sometimes insurance adjusters may not be able to see all the damage, especially if they’re not able to walk on a steep roof and photograph certain areas. Republic Roofing & Renovation ensures a helpful presence to look out for your best interest and assist the insurance adjuster if needed with damage assessment, photographs, and measurements.
Q. Should I get several estimates?
A. Insurance companies often suggest you get several estimates. However it is up to you the homeowner to chose which contractor you would like to use regardless of the estimate. Please remember insurance companies are a business and have an interest in saving themselves money. By accepting lower bids you may end up with substandard materials or poor workmanship. However, when insurance is paying for the work, the dollar amount of the estimate is not very important as long as it is equal to or less than the insurance company estimate. In all such cases, with Republic Roofing & Renovation, you will only be paying your deductible, so your cost with us will be what the insurance company pays, plus your deductible. Therefore, your decision should be based on going with the contractor that you feel most comfortable with and whom you feel will perform the best job.
Q. What if your estimate is greater than the insurance company’s estimate?
A. Usually this is because of something the insurance adjuster missed in the scope of work to be completed. We can almost always work something out with the insurance company. We will submit what is called a “supplement” with documentation in the form of pictures, measurements and paperwork. The insurance company will review the supplement and upon approval, send a check for the additional monies needed to make the repairs.
Q. Should I have my existing roof completely removed or should I have shingles laid over my existing roof?
There are many factors to consider when making the decision to recover (overlay) or tear off the existing shingle roof.
The benefits of having a roof recovered are that the costs of labor and disposal are much lower. However, there are some requirements that must be met before a roof can even be considered for a recover. If the roof meets these requirements than a tear off is not necessary.
• The roof must only have one layer. Most states building codes prohibit having more than 2 layers on the roof top and it is never professionally recommended to lie over. Most contractors, including Republic Roofing & Renovation, cannot honor workmanship warranty and most manufacturers warranties are voided. The roof must lie flat and cannot have any problems with the decking. It is also important that the roof structure and rafters are able to withstand the added weight of a second layer of shingles.
Completely tearing a roof off is the best way to inspect for rotted decking and have it replaced. In addition, roofing professional believe that with a recover, the average life span of the shingle roof is decreased by 10-20%.
A complete tear off of the existing roofing system should be chosen if:
• There are any signs or suspicion of bad decking or soft spongy spots on the roof top.
• The existing roofing is in poor shape.
• The existing roof has more than one layer it must be torn off, as it is a code requirement in most states.
• Ice dams are prevalent it is important to have these issues corrected, as ice dams can cause major damage and costly repairs.
• Incompatible shingles – Installing new shingles over existing shingles that are not flat can cause the roof to look bumpy and can make it harder for the new shingles to form a seal. An example of this would be installing a three tab flat shingle over an existing heavier weight architectural shingle. This will cause the roof to appear bumpy and will show all the ridges.