Monday, August 3, 2009

What Happens After the Hail Storm

Hail storms and hail damage aren’t uncommon in Colorado. Unfortunately this also makes contractor fraud associated with hail damage common too.

Keri, VP of Marketing for Coors Credit Union, was out of town a few weeks ago when that crazy big storm hit on a Tuesday night. She’ll remember her getaway as “… a good trip only to come back to find our plants had been destroyed and our house has major chips. Not to mention we have to see if we need a new roof.”

Our Colorado hail storms are severe, but that doesn’t mean that they always leave damage. It’s after the storm that things can get scary. Contractors both trustworthy and not may come looking for work in hard hit areas. They might canvas door-to-door. Most of these business people are reputable, but some are not. Some may leave a door hanger that reads, “Your roof is damaged. Please contact us to help you repair it.’” Usually damage can’t be accurately assessed without getting onto the roof. And no, they haven't been on your roof while you were out.

There are also types of roof damage, such as normal wear and tear, that might be misdiagnosed as hail damage. Hail damage often is only on one side of the roof, and it’s a series of “bruises” that appear in a pattern based on the direction of the wind. It’s typically darker than the shingles. Lighter marks left after a hail storm often mean algae or lichen have been knocked off—in most of these cases, the shingles themselves are not damaged.

Before you hire any contractor, contact your insurance agent to file a claim. A hail-damaged roof can wait a few months before fixing as long as the roof isn’t leaking. If a contractor is pressuring you to fix the roof immediately, or if their address is from out-of-town, they may not be the contractor you want to work with.

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