After a storm, replacing your roof can prove a stressful undertaking. Researching and finding the right roofing company is taxing work under normal conditions, but it can prove a daunting task when everyone in your area needs roofing.
Hurricane Ida rolled in as a destructive Category 4 hurricane, eliciting the title of the second-most intense and damaging hurricane to hit Louisiana on record. Hurricane Ida sustained maximum wind speeds of 150 miles per hour at landfall, followed by catastrophic tornadic and flooding activity leaving more than a million people without electricity. While Southeast Louisiana took the brunt with the landing, Ida traveled Northeast leaving a wake of destruction and flooding along its path, making it the 4th costliest Atlantic hurricane (estimated 65.25 billion in damage).
With widespread hurricane damage, as a homeowner, it can be difficult to know where to start with recovery efforts. If you have not incurred a total loss, you will need to start somewhere but before you do, make sure it is safe to do so. With downed powerlines come electrical hazards, and widespread flooding only exacerbates the hazard. If you evacuated, wait until officials announce it is safe to return. If you rode out the hurricane, call 911 and alert them to your presence and location. While on the phone, inquire about safety concerns with downed powerlines.
After you have been given the clear to inspect your surroundings, use extreme caution when doing so. Downed trees and structural damage can pose a real danger to a novice. If for example, a tree has fallen on your home, have a professional give an all-clear before reentering the home. If your home is free of obvious danger, it’s time to start prioritizing your next steps.
First Step – Contact your insurance company to start a claim
Second Step – Contact a roofing company
Assess the Damage to Your Roof
Your roof provides protection from the elements, not only for your family, but the contents of your home. Assessing the condition of your roof is paramount to protecting everything and everyone under it. What should you look for:
- Missing Shingles – look for breaks in the shingle pattern or areas of exposed roof. Most likely you will find shingles laying on the ground near and around your home.
- Fluttered Shingles – look for curled, buckled, cracked, or dented shingles.
- Full Gutters – gutters catch pieces of asphalt, check your downspouts for granule accumulation at the base.
- Damaged Flashing – check for loose, dented, or missing flashing (a thin metal material that roofing professionals install to direct water away from critical intersections of the roof and downspouts).
- Flat roofing – cracks, bubbles, lifting, and tears
- Drooping or sagging roof or support system
- Chimney – Loose or crumbling brick
Interior Signs of Water Damage
Even a moderate storm can cause roof damage. Unrepaired roof damage can lead to additional water damage, mold, or structural rot, which can affect your roofing foundation.
- Ceilings – Look for brownish-yellow water spots or discoloration.
- Walls – Look bubbling, peeling, or cracking wallpaper or paint.
- Attic – If you have an attic or crawl space look check for leaks, rotting wood, and mold. Many times you will be able to spell a musty scent that can be detected in as little as 48 hours post-storm.
- Flooring – Scan your flooring for sagging or buckling wood or laminate flooring, also look for gaps in baseboards and flooring.
- Tile Flooring – look and listen for bubbles or a sloshing sound when you walk.
- Windows – Inspect windows for moisture buildup, with double pane windows it may appear as fog between the glass.
If You Detect Signs of Storm Damage
Your responsibilities as a Policyholder
- Give prompt notice to your insurance agent or company
- In case of loss by theft, notify the authorities
- Prevent further loss by making reasonable repairs to protect the property
- Keep records and receipts of repair expenses
- Take a detailed inventory of damage sustained to your home and personal property, provide as much detail, description, and proof of purchase as possible.