Roof Damage Atlanta: Beware of Storm Chasers

March 20, 2016

Roof Damage Atlanta

Roof damage Atlanta style, sometimes brings out storm chasers…and it always brings out the opportunity to upgrade your home’s protection.

Was your Atlanta area neighborhood recently hit by a bad storm that included severe winds or even hail? If it was, your roof may have been damaged…and chances are you will soon have many roofing contractors knocking on your door.

We want to give you consumer-savvy advice on how to deal with a storm-damaged roof, as well as what you can expect from metal roofs when severe storms hit.

Local Roofing Professionals vs “Storm Chasers”
Chasing wind and hail storms is big business. There is huge electronic infrastructure set up that facilitates contractors being able to locate storms, gauge their magnitude, determine the affected neighborhoods, know the size and value of the homes, work with insurance companies, and even bid the roofs sight unseen if they want to!

Please be wary of these “storm chasers”. We encourage the use of local, experienced contractors who are properly licensed and insured to work in your area. You will want to choose a contractor who will still “be there” if problems occur down the road and your roof requires service.

“Storm Chasers” will often do all they can to look like they belong in your community.  They may show up at your house saying they were sent by your previous contractor, or even by the manufacturer of your roofing. Don’t fall for these deceptions. You are never wrong to ask for proof and evidence that what they are telling you is true, including any stories about being a long-term member of your community.

What to Do About Atlanta Roof Damage

If your home gets hit by a bad storm, we suggest you first perform your own visual inspection for damages. Walk around your home. If possible, look out of upstairs windows onto lower roofs.  Do you have a ladder that will allow you to safely look down into the roof?  We do not suggest getting on the roof but just inspect it the best you can. Use binoculars if those are helpful. And, don’t forget to look beyond the roof as well. Oftentimes, if your home has hail damage, it will also show up on roof vents, gutters, siding, and shutters.

One thing that is very important to keep in mind is that not all damages are readily visible. For that reason, a “better safe than sorry” approach can be wise when trying to decide on your next step. Calling in someone who is experienced with storm damages and how to recognize and assess them can be in your best interest.

If you suspect that your home has sustained storm damages, you can then either call your insurance agent or call on a trusted contractor to do further inspection. Keep in mind that if you hear that your neighbors are having storm repairs performed, that’s a pretty good indication that you may have damages, too. If you have your insurance agent visit and they say they do not see any covered damages, you can always go ahead and still have a contractor come look at things and then go back to your insurer if damages are found. The other option is to call in a trusted contractor right from the start and allow them to be present for the first meeting with an insurance adjuster or claims specialist

If it is determined that storm repairs must be made to your home, it can be a good time to consider upgrading your home. For example, a new roof is the perfect time to increase attic insulation and ventilation for overall home performance and energy efficiency. A new roof could also be a good time to upgrade to a better roof.

Of course, we’re partial to metal roofs but fact is, if insurance is paying toward your new roof, this will be your most economical way to upgrade to a roof that will offer greater value, beauty, and protection to your home in the future.

Classic Metal Roofing Comes to Your Atlanta Home’s Defense
Classic Metal Roofing Systems products have been used extensively in severe wind and hail areas with great success. The benefits start with our 120 mph wind warranty and our extensive successful experience in coastal hurricane zones. Our products are warranted to not leak after hail storms and we also warrant the coating on our products to not chip due to hail. Another big benefit to aluminum roofing is that it will resist hail just as well when old, as when new. That is not the case with most other roofing materials which become soft or even brittle as they age, making them more susceptible to hail damage.

Our products, as well as most metal roofs, carry the UL 2218 Class IV Impact Resistance rating. This is the highest rating available and, to pass the test, the products must survive a hit by a 2” steel ball dropped from 20’ in the air without splitting or coming apart. That is significant and few types of roofing can pass that test.

Insurance Discounts and Metal Roofing
Having a roof with the UL 2218 certification means that you might be eligible for discounts on your homeowners’ insurance premiums. However, many insurers will require that you sign a “cosmetic damage waiver” in exchange for the discount. This waiver means that, if you have a severe storm that causes cosmetic damage to your roof but does not make the panels break open in some way, they will not replace your roof. This would be similar to signing a waiver for your car stating that your insurance would not cover hail damage unless it prevented the car from operating.  Our usual suggestion is to not sign the waiver and, therefore, not take the insurance premium discount.

You can rest assured knowing that you have a hail resistant roof, but also that the roof will be replaced if a storm hits that is severe enough to cause cosmetic damage. We feel that giving up compensation for cosmetic damage is not worth the insurance premium discount in most cases.

From the insurance companies’ standpoint, we understand this. They like metal roofs for their hail resistance but they also know that, if they must replace a metal roof, it will be at a higher cost than standard roofing. We appreciate the insurance companies’ reasoning behind the cosmetic waiver. However, it may not always be in the homeowner’s best interest, especially in areas prone to frequent severe hail.

Be a Careful Consumer
Again, be wary of “storm chasers”.  Never allow anyone on your roof unless you know and trust them. Insurance companies determine whether to “total out” roofs on the basis of how many hail hits are visible in a certain roof area.  It is easy for unscrupulous contractors to go to a hidden area on a your roof and use a ball peen hammer to “create” hail hits that weren’t really caused by hail.  Don’t fall victim to this or other scams. If you ever feel that someone has tried to scam you, please contact local law enforcement.

Roof Damage is Ugly

We want to help protect and beautify homes in Atlanta and the surrounding area. Please, help to protect your community from the ravages of Storm Chasers.

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Ask the Expert: Todd Miller

Todd Miller, roofing expertTodd Miller is President of Isaiah Industries, an organization that is recognized as one of the world’s leading metal roofing manufacturers, and manufacturer of Classic Metal Roofing Systems.

Todd has over 30 years of experience in residential metal roofing and is internationally recognized as a roofing and ventilation expert. Passionate about using his experience to help homeowners make the best roofing decision for them, he can help you navigate the issues encountered in roofing or reroofing your home or commercial property. Use the form below and you'll receive a response directly from Todd or his team.