Roof repair after storm damage in West Michigan

a roof shingle in the yard after a storm

Your roof does its best to protect your home from the elements, but in West Michigan, sometimes those elements bring their strongest game to put your roof to the test. You might experience wind, water, or hail damage that requires a roofing contractor or service. After the winds die down, take a few quick steps to assess any roof damage and get the necessary repairs underway.

How do you deal with roof damage after a storm?

What is the best plan to repair a broken roof after a storm in West Michigan? I would first go out and assess the damage myself, at least if it can be done safely. If any wires are down, phone 911 immediately. If you can still hear thunder or if the wind continues to wail, then STOP! Wait until a safer time. But if all looks fine, then I would take a peek.

You’ll need to describe the damage to your insurance agent so they have a better understanding of your situation and can help.

Call your insurance agent

Depending on the extent of the storm damage as well as your business or house insurance and its deductible, you might want to submit a claim to your insurance agent.

If you think you know the cause of the damage, your agent can also review your policy and let you know what is covered. Depending on your situation, certain types of storm damage in West Michigan might not be covered.

The best agents are on your side. They will recommend whether a claim would be beneficial to you or if it would raise your insurance rates higher than the cost of the fix.

If the storm damage is substantial, your insurance agent will send an adjuster to your home or business to do an inspection and assess the damage. They can decide if you are in need of roof repair or a whole new roof.

Consult a reputable roofer

While your insurance agent might recommend a roofer to provide an estimate, you don’t have to use them. Hiring local companies with good reviews might be the best decision you make. Their team probably lives in your area and might offer a more professional, high-quality service than larger roofers from farther away. They can also respond more quickly to any follow-up repairs. Whoever you choose, make sure they offer a free estimate. You might consider obtaining more than one estimate also.

How do my Insurance Company and Roofing Contractor Deal with the Damage?

Knowing what comes next can help reduce the stress caused by weather and the storm damage repair to your house or business.

Perform a Roof Inspection and Assess the Cause of the Damage

After enduring a heavy weather event, the first step is to determine what the damage is, as well as the cause. If a tree fell down on your roof, what was the cause? Was it wind from a tornado? Was it water damage that saturated its roots? A complete roof inspection by the professionals sent by a roofing company will provide answers.

Wind damage

wind damage to a shingle roof after a storm

Strong wind storms in West Michigan can damage roofs either directly or indirectly. Direct damage occurs when shingles or other roofing materials are torn off, loosened, or broken by strong updrafts and downdrafts. Indirect damage happens when wind-blown debris like gravel or tree limbs strikes the roof surface, causing secondary issues that can vary from superficial scuffs to major structural damage.

When you walk around your home, you may see missing shingles and obvious exterior damage to metal components caused by high winds. A roofing specialist will be able to climb up on the roof and perform a more thorough inspection.

Water damage

Water can damage the roof in places where shingles are missing or flashing is damaged by winds. When openings in the roof allow water to penetrate to the underlayment, the roof deck or other components of the roof structure can become saturated.

Whether or not a roof leak is covered by homeowner’s insurance depends on your policy and on whether the cause was normal wear and tear or storm-related “peril.” An experienced roofing company can help pinpoint the cause during a roof inspection. In any case, the longer the water damage goes unaddressed, the bigger the problem that can become.

In addition to looking at the exterior of your property, you can perform a quick inspection from a storm by entering the attic or crawl space just below the roof deck. Look for leaks while it’s still raining. Call an experienced professional for a more thorough inspection if you find any wet spots or signs of leaks on the ceiling or underside of the roof.

Hail damage

Large size hail can result in damage to the roof, causing shingles to crack or peel up at the edges. Excessive hail can also loosen roofing granules, which amounts to premature wear on the roof. A professional roofer can identify hail damage during a roof inspection based on darkened dented spots on the shingles.

Perform quick or emergency fixes to prevent deterioration

Completing your entire roof job after a major storm might not be done immediately. When there’s a storm in West Michigan that is severe enough to cause damage to your business or residential property, the chance is high that others are looking for companies to do storm damage repair for them as well.

As a result, performing quick fixes to prevent further deterioration right away might be in order, while the rest of the job might be completed according to the contractor’s schedule.

Examples of quick repair fixes include leaks in your roof, broken windows, or shingles that could pose a hazard if severe weather hits again before things are repaired.

Cleanup

If you have the resources, you might be able to save some time and money by doing the cleanup work yourself. Check with your insurance company, as they may reimburse you for the cleanup cost amount that they would pay a vendor to do the work.

Either way, sawing down trees and branches, removing the debris, and more, might be involved.

Roof Repair or Roof Replacement

Here is where your project finally starts happening.

After a storm, the goal is to restore the roof to its original condition. Whether a simple roof repair will be sufficient or you need a complete roof replacement, it’s important to take quick steps to address the roof issues whenever storms occur in West Michigan.

If you find yourself needing roof replacement or roof repair due to weather or storm damage in and around the West Michigan area, call Melvin Belk Roofing service for a free estimate. As a local Grand Rapids area roofing company for nearly 40 years, we are a quick call away, and ready to serve you when the storms hit.