5 Common Homeowner Mistakes after a Hail Storm
After a Colorado hail storm, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all that needs to be done to get your home and property back in shape. Strong winds and hail may have knocked tree limbs down, relocated your patio furniture, and damaged your roof.
Many homeowners will do the bare minimum and forget to properly assess if there has been any damage to their property. Don’t let a busy schedule interfere with maintaining your roof, and don’t fall for these common homeowner mistakes after a hail storm!
1. Failing to do proper research
If you feel like you haven’t done enough research before you’re ready to hire a roofing contractor, you’re probably right. Go with your gut and ask questions, especially about the roofing business’ experience, licensing, and history.
Make sure you get an estimate in writing or digitally before selecting your contractor. Avoid accepting an estimate over the phone, especially if it’s a low estimate that seems too good to be true! A low estimate can lead to higher costs down the road and may not include the full scope of your project.
Hire a contractor that is reputable, professional, and honest. Make sure you look at the contractor’s website and read their reviews. Ask your neighbors and friends for their referrals.
You also should familiarize yourself with what you need to do following a significant storm, including knowing what to look for and how to get started with a homeowner’s insurance claim.
- Look for well-established, licensed, insured, and bonded roofing professionals with a federal tax identification number and a permanent address.
- Ask for a contractor’s license number and confirm with your city or county building department that they issued the license number and that it is current.
- Check to make sure the contractor is registered to conduct business in Colorado.
2. Hiring a storm chaser
Storm chasers are roofing companies that follow storm paths to get business. In Colorado, storm chasers come in from surrounding states after a storm hits and quickly leave when their work is done and payment is collected.
If someone knocks on your door following a significant storm and suggests you have damage without performing a proper inspection, proceed with caution. These companies are usually unfamiliar with the type of damage typical for Colorado, and they’ll do the bare minimum before taking your money and running. This means that if there are any problems with the work they completed, you’re not very likely to get them back for corrections.
Hire a local roofing company to complete your project. A local professional roofer will have good manufacturer and supplier connections. You will be able to call them with questions or any issues.
- Contact the Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.org/denver) to check for complaints against any company you consider hiring.
- Don’t be pushed into signing a contract right away. Never sign a contract with blanks or statements like “see insurance estimate, etc.” as fraudulent contractors may enter unacceptable terms later.
3. Not verifying the damage
You don’t need to climb a ladder with your inspector to understand what kind of damage your roof has sustained after a hail storm. Instead, you can ask them for evidence of the damage, which is what the inspection is for. If they can’t point it out to you from the ground, they should be able to provide photos and walk you through the severity of the damage.
Don’t take their word for it—some roofing companies will exaggerate the damage. A reputable company can show and explain any damage and provide you with options based on your situation.
4. Paying upfront or with cash
Never pay for a roofing project upfront. If you are dealing with an insurance claim, your insurance company will pay for the work in installments, with some payment provided at the beginning of the project that you would provide to your contractor. Your insurance will release the second portion when the roof is complete and your insurance company has received an invoice from your contractor. If a roofing company asks for full payment upfront, tell them no.
A professional roofing company will have several options for payment, including by credit card, check, or through roof financing. Payment is typically due in full upon substantial completion of the roof. You will receive documentation about your new roof, including what materials you have purchased, warranty information, and your estimate, invoice, and receipt of your payment.
5. Doing nothing
The worst thing you can do after a hail storm is sit back and do nothing. This can create a snowball effect as one problem compounds another. Perhaps most importantly, you’re working on a timeline to file a homeowner’s insurance claim after a hail storm, so take action sooner than later.
No matter what, get a roof inspection.
We’re ready for your project!
J&K Roofing has the experience and skills required for any type of roofing repair or replacement following a Colorado hail storm. We’ve been in business for nearly 40 years, and we operate throughout the Denver Metro, Front Range, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins, and Northern Colorado areas.
Get in touch with us today for a free inspection and if you have any questions!