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From the Houston Roofing FAQs: What Constitutes a Roof Emergency?

roof emergency caused by a large oak tree falling on home

Disaster strikes and your roof is the thing that takes the hit. Maybe your roof is damaged in a storm, or maybe a tree falls onto the roof. There’s little question that you’ll need repairs or a replacement, but does this constitute a roof emergency? Even if it’s something that you view as urgent, will roofing contractors and insurance companies feel the same way? Fortunately, we can help you understand everything you need to know about roof emergencies…what constitutes them and what you can do in the event of a roof emergency.

What Is a Roof Emergency?

The problem with the term “roof emergency” is that it is subjective depending on the company and the area in which you live. We define roofing emergencies in order to determine if emergency roof repairs are needed. Roof emergencies are roof repairs that require immediate attention, such as steady leaks, roof rot, a fallen tree, fire damage, damage from high winds, or damage that’s caused a loss in most of the roof. 

But in some cases, even issues that you might not constitute emergencies yourself could be emergencies by the standard of the roof companies. For instance, missing shingles could constitute a roof emergency if enough shingles are missing or if you have a number of damaged shingles. Storm damage can often constitute a roof emergency.

How To Know If You Have a Roof Emergency

Is your roof damage immediately detrimental to your ability to live in your home safely and comfortably? The best way to know if you have a roof emergency is to schedule a free roof inspection and roof estimate from a reputable roofer in your area. They will be able to tell you whether your roofing issue constitutes an emergency, as well as what their emergency roof repair rates would be. You can expect to pay more for emergency roof repair than you might from standard roof repair, given the rush nature of emergency roof repair.  

How Will a Houston Roofer Help With the Roof Emergency

Your roofer will perform a free inspection to assess the damage and cover any openings to protect your home. They will provide you an estimate of what needs to be repaired and the cost, which you can take to the insurance company. They can also assess the damage to the structural integrity of the roof due to roof rot or perhaps fire damage if your roof was damaged in a fire. After this conversation with the roofing company, you will be able to decide your own plan of action (more on that later). Roofers also help advocate for you while you go through your insurance claim.

Will Your Insurance Pay for Storm Damage?

In most cases, insurance companies will pay for the damage to your roof after a storm — minus the cost of your deductible, of course. However, they will require specific evidence first. You should schedule a free roof inspection from a Houston roofing company and take detailed pictures of the damage before going to your insurance company. You’ll also want to work with a roofing company that has experience and expertise working with roof insurance claims so that they can truly advocate for you through every step of the process. Going up against an insurance company can be stressful. It’s important to know that Houston Roofing has your back through this.

What To Do While Waiting For Emergency Roof Repair

The point of emergency roof repair is to swiftly take care of the issue, so you shouldn’t have to wait as long as you might when it’s not an emergency. However, it likely won’t be immediate. You may have to go at least a day with significant damage to your roof. If this is the case, cover up any openings with tarp so that any water and debris won’t get into your house. You can block leaks from inside the attic with a piece of plywood, as well.

If you know how long it will be before your roof repair can take place, you might stay at a hotel or stay with friends while you wait for things to be repaired. Even if you stay at home, you might consider kenneling your pets so that they don’t panic or cause a disruption in the meantime.

Should You Repair or Replace After a Roof Emergency?

This honestly depends on the extent of the damage. If it’s a matter of shingles that have been blown off by the wind, then replacing those shingles might be the best course of action. If your roof has been struggling with roof rot and it’s affected the structure beneath the roof, you’ll likely want to not only replace the roof but some of the roof decking below it to protect the structure of your entire home. In some cases, the cost to repair may be more than the cost to replace, if the repair costs are particularly great. A consultation with your roofer or with the insurance company will help you to decide which is the right choice for you.

At Houston Roofing, we want to help our customers with any questions they might have, and we’re happy to help you figure out what steps you need to take with your damaged roof. Contact Houston Roofing today to learn more or to get started with a free estimate.