Protect And Insure Your Roof Against Spring Storms in Dallas Fort-Worth
The weather in and around the Dallas Fort-Worth area is typically lovely throughout the year.
But around the months of May or June, the stormy season begins and with it comes heavy rains, high winds and sudden temperature changes.
Your house, especially your roof, will inevitably be put at risk of weather damage.
Fortunately, there are many ways to prepare our roof against the coming of spring storms.
We’ve consulted the top roofing experts over at K&M Roofing Services for advice on roofing maintenance and some nuances on roofing insurance that could help you prepare for the incoming spring storms.
Firstly, we need to understand how storms can cause damage to our roofs.
The worst thing to expect are strong and persistent gusts of stormwinds that can blow off loose parts, such as shingles and roof equipment, as well as create projectiles out of errant debris like branches and trash that can crash into your roof at high speeds.
Most roofs are highly resistant to wind, but the older your roof gets, the more vulnerable it becomes.
High winds can also cause trees and bushes around the house to shake violently, scratching and damaging the surfaces of your roofs and walls.
Water damage is a major issue that is sometimes hard to spot until it has caused significant problems.
Pools of water could form in the corners and valleys of your roof without you noticing.
If left unchecked for long enough, these pools can warp and loosen shingles, undo flashings and weather away even the best paint jobs, allowing rainwater to seep through your roof or walls and into your home.
Sudden flashes of heat followed by rapid cooling due to rain could become problematic for your roof when coupled with high winds.
Intense sunlight can expand the fittings and adhesives on your roof, while torrents of rain will rapidly decrease the temperature and cause them to contract again.
This pulling and pushing effect could result in cracks and fissures on your roof overtime, causing leaks, loose fittings and creaking of your roof.
It is important that we prepare for the event of a storm by having an awareness of our roof’s current condition.
Regular check ups and cleaning of our roof will make a huge difference once these spring storms hit.
Make sure to clean out your gutters and remove any build up of leaves to prevent water from pooling.
Check that water flows cleanly through your downspout.
A step further would be to trim any surrounding trees and bushes to prevent them from scratching on your roof and to keep large branches from falling on your roof during a storm.
Check the flashings on the edges of your roof for any leaks, and watch for shingles that show signs of loosening, warping or discoloration.
Replace any parts such as shingles, fittings, roof equipment and gutters that could potentially come apart when a storm does inevitably hit.
If this all seems daunting, don’t worry.
You can always hire a professional roofing company to inspect and repair your roof, so long as you do it before the stormy months roll in.
Importance of insurance policies for your roof
Proper maintenance can go a long way towards lessening costs, but no amount of work can guarantee 100% protection against mother nature.
Your roof is especially susceptible to natural disasters that are simply unavoidable.
Having the right insurance for your roof will provide you the financial safety and peace of mind you will need under any weather conditions.
There are a couple of things to note about roof insurance that could come in handy.
- Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover roof repair and replacement if the damages were caused by sudden and unexpected weather events, and that includes storms. Apply for a homeowner’s insurance right away to prevent any deductions due to depreciation.
- There are specialized insurances for floods or earthquakes. While these events are rare in Dallas Fort-Worth, you could consider getting insured as an extra precaution.
- It is mainly your responsibility to maintain your home, and that goes for your roof as well. Most policies will not give full reimbursement for damages caused by improper maintenance on the part of the owner. Large damages –like say your entire roof coming getting torn off by a hurricane, or a large hole from a hailstorm– will justify coverage easily enough. But the more likely scenario is that your roof encounters smaller, more subtle damages like individual shingles blown off or water warping. These could easily get written off as neglect on the part of the homeowner, and you might not get the reimbursement you deserve. Take a few before and after photos of your roof as solid evidence of its condition.
- Be aware of your roof’s lifespan, pre-existing damages and other concerns that could warrant deductions from your reimbursement. The most common asphalt or 3-tab shingle roofs are rated at 15-20 years lifespan, while higher quality roofs like slate or clay can last up to 50 years or more. The older your roof gets, the lower its actual value becomes due to depreciation.
- It helps to hire a professional roofer to perform a pre-storm inspection and have them document the condition of your roof. This is so you have proof that there was no negligence on your part in maintaining your roof and to protect you from unjust denial of deductibles should the storm cause significant damage. Professional roofers are more thorough with their inspections, and they could spot issues that you might have missed.
- Request for a certified copy of your insurance policy if possible and review it thoroughly. Understanding what is or isn’t covered by your policy will prevent any unwelcome budget surprises in the long run. There are different types of policies that you need to be aware of
The difference between Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Replacement Cash Value (RCV)
When acquiring a new insurance for your roof, make sure you understand these two types of homeowner’s insurance as it could end up costing you a lot of money in the long run.
Both types of insurance will cover for the damages to your roof, but the difference is in the added deductibles on depreciation due to aging and wear and tear.
ACV or Actual Cash Value will consider your roof’s total value when it was brand new, subtract the cost of repair, and also subtract an amount based on their assessment of your roof’s age and depreciation.
For example, if your roof cost 10,000$ when 10 years ago, and a storm causes damage worth $1000, an ACV insurance will subtract the $1000 from your coverage as well as 10 years worth of depreciation value, which will be subject to their own scrutiny.
In essence, the value you get out of an ACV insurance decreases dramatically over time as your roof ages and suffers wear and tear.
RCV or Replacement Cash Value, on the other hand, will not take into consideration any depreciation, and will instead base your coverage on the value of your roof when it was brand new.
For example, if your roof cost $10,000 when it was brand new, and a storm causes $1000 worth of damage, your total coverage will be $9000 straight up.
One thing to remember about RCV is that it typically costs more to maintain the insurance than ACV, especially on the initial investment.
But in the long run, the guaranteed return of your roof’s undepreciated value gives you a better return for your investment, as the deduction cost of depreciation can be quite hefty after years worth of wear and tear have done its job on your roof.
RCV will also protect you from unjust denial by your insurance provider, as there is no longer any need to factor-in concerns regarding your roof’s current condition or pre-existing damages.
- Spring storms arrive in the Dallas Fort-Worth area around May or June.
- Storms bring high winds, heavy rains and drastic temperature changes that are detrimental to your household’s exterior, most especially to your roof.
- Preparing for the storm can be done by conducting inspections yourself, or hiring a professional roofer to do it for you. Make sure you document your roof’s current condition through photos or videos in order to have a basis of comparison in the future event of storm damage.
- Clean up around your house and roof. Clear out built-up debris, trim trees and branches, fasten loose fittings and replace loose shingles when you can.
- Keep track of how old your roof is. The age of a roof is important in determining the insurance value you can receive should there be any damages.
- When getting your home insured, make sure you understand the difference between ACV (Actual Cash Value) and RCV (Replacement Cash Value).
- Always request for a copy of your insurance policy and review it thoroughly. Take note of what is and isn’t covered, most notably the deductibles.