WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU THINK YOU NEED A NEW ROOF?
If you think you need a new roof, there are several actions you should take:
If you have the warranty documents for your roof, you should get them. You may have 2 warranty documents, one from the roof material manufacturer and one from the contractor that installed the roof. Review the warranties to understand how old the roof is and what the warrantiescovers. Your warranty will potentially cover the following costs if your roof requires replacement: roofing material, labor to replace the roof, roofing repairs, and other costs. It may also cover the full replacement costs, partial costs, or may be pro-rated depending on the age of the roof. The warranty coverage potentially changes if you are not the homeowner that initially installed the roof covered by the warranties. The roof warranties are important documents to retain as long as youlive in your house since most warranties are long duration (could be up to 50 years). You will also want to retain this warranties if you plan to sell your house since many warranties can be passed along to a new homeowner. A good roof with a solid warranty has the potential to increase the value of your home when you sell it.
If you have the invoice for the roof installation and any repairs you may have done, you should retrieve these. Your first call, if you think you need a new roof or a repair, should probably be to the roof contractor that installed your roof to have them come to your house and inspect the roof. The roof contractor will generally be able to tell you if you need a new roof and what the next steps in the process will be. These roof invoices are also good documents to retain long term to prove when you installed the roof and who did the work.
Roof inspection and evaluation
You will want to have a roofing expert evaluate your roof to determine if you need a new roof, a roof repair, or if your roof is still performing well. There are several categories of roof experts that can evaluate your roof, including: insurance appraisers, roof contractors, and roof consultants and engineers. Some of these experts will evaluate a roof at no charge and some will expect to get paid. You should be clear in advance what the costs and expectations for the evaluation will be. Also, roof contractors will want to perform the evaluation as the first step in selling you a new roof or a repair. Roof contractors can also help you process the insurance claims to help pay for the new roof.
Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to determine the roof damage and repair coverage you have. This is especially important if the roof damage was caused by a hail storm, high winds, or other storm events. You should keep track of when the storms occurred since the insurance company will want this information prior to paying any claims. The coverage may include full replacement costs, partial replacement costs, or other types of coverage. Your insurance company will probably also want to send out an appraiser to inspect the roof before paying any claims for roof repairs. Your insurance policy will probably also give you contact information about who to contact and what the next steps in the claims process will be. In the event of major hail or other storms in a neighborhood, large insurance companies will setup temporary claims facilities in your area to simplify and speed up the claims process. You should find out about this as well.