Your roof is designed to put up with most of what Mother Nature can dish out. Severe storms, however, can be overpowering. One moment, your roof is in perfect condition, and the next high winds, hail, or falling debris bring catastrophe, causing serious damage.
Storm damage can give any commercial building owner or manager a headache, but knowing what to do and how to file a flat roof damage insurance claim can help you get your roof back in action quickly.
Call Insurance to Start the Claims Process
Even if you’re unsure about the extent of damage to your commercial flat roof, call your insurer as soon as possible to file a claim. On the phone, talk over what’s covered under the terms of your policy and what your deductibles may be.
Filing a claim for your commercial property is typically different than filing one for your home. A homeowner is concerned with one family, but a business owner will be concerned with the employees, the business itself, the supply chain vendors, and the clients. Also, the process of recovering from a damaged commercial roof is far more involved.
To ease the process for you, here are the steps to follow when filing a claim and preparing for the adjuster’s visit:
- Contact your insurance provider and provide your policy number, cell phone number, loss location, and back-up contacts. Let them know how to get in touch with you if you’ve evacuated your office.
- Make any temporary repairs to protect your property and prevent further damage.
- Collect relevant business records to minimize business disruptions and help you prove the value of damaged items.
- Take photographs of destroyed items or debris. Check with your insurer before cleaning or discarding damaged items.
- Keep a claim diary and ensure your paperwork is organized.
Contact a Reliable Roofer
You need to call a local, trusted commercial roofing contractor as soon as possible. The roofer will conduct a thorough and detailed inspection to determine the extent of damage and give an estimate for repairs or replacement.
An experienced roofer will know what to look for and will uncover damage which is virtually invisible to the non-professional eye. Your roofer will do on-the-spot repairs and help prevent further damage.
You can be tempted to climb up onto the roof to get a clear picture of the extent of damage. Or maybe you want to ask your maintenance team or staff members to perform the inspection.
When an inexperienced person gets up on the roof, especially a roof which has been hit by a storm, there’s likely going to be an accident. Also, walking on a storm-damaged roof may cause further damage, including roof collapse. Stay off the roof and leave the inspection to an experienced roofer.
Do Not Delay
If you know or suspect storm damage to your flat roof, the worst thing you can do is wait. Ignoring a roof which needs repairs or replacement could lead to further damage. An open seam or flashing which has ripped away will disrupt the water barrier and allow water into your building. Extensive damage will cost you more to fix.
Most roofing contractors operate on a first case basis, so making the call now shortens the time it will take for a roofer to provide emergency patching and actual roof repairs.
Understand What Warranties You Have on Your Roof
When you install a new whole roof system, it will come with its own warranties. Warranties and what they cover can be different. In fact, you may come to realize your roof warranties only cover the cost of materials, installation errors, or manufacturing defects- not weather-related issues.
Stay Away From Storm Chasers
Natural disasters can be a magnet for “storm chasers.” These are unscrupulous contractors who evaluate storms throughout the country and dispatch their teams to areas recently hit by large storms. Their objective is to get as many buildings under contract as possible and scam property owners needing to repair or replace their damaged roofs.
They do not have any interests in:
- The quality of installation
- Selection of quality materials
- Their local reputation
In some cases, they will create damage where none existed. When you make a full payment, they will do some shoddy work and will be nowhere to be found when a problem pops up. Do your due diligence and choose a local trusted roofing contractor.
Repair or Replace
Your roofing contractor will recommend a roof repair or roof replacement based on the severity of the damage. Once your claim is approved, your roofer will replace or repair your roof and give you peace of mind.
If a storm has damaged your commercial flat roof in Indianapolis, IN, your reliable commercial roofing expert is Moss Roofing. We’ll take the time to thoroughly inspect your roof, provide an accurate estimate, and walk you through the maze of insurance claims paperwork. Contact us to schedule a free storm damage roof inspection.