Hurricane Season & Your Roof: What Homeowners Can Do To Prepare

Industry Observer with ValuePenguin

With 17 storms logged and more than $200 billion in damage, 2017 marked the most expensive hurricane season in U.S. history. With the 2018 hurricane season quickly approaching, now is the time for homeowners to prepare for potential storm damage. Roof damage is one of the most common types of destruction experienced after a hurricane. Since a roof protects houses from outside forces, it's essential homeowners take steps to prepare their roofs to minimize potential damage.


The Benefits of a Roof Replacement


Before hurricane season arrives, consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roofing system, including the attic, to assess durability. Depending on the age and condition of a roof, a replacement may be necessary. Replacing a home's roof, while costly, offers many benefits to homeowners.


1. Increased Home Value


A full roof replacement can increase your home's resale value by more than $14,000. Furthermore, if you're looking to sell your home in the near future, a roof replacement can alleviate concerns for potential homebuyers, given that it's one of the more costly home repair projects.  


2. Reduced Energy Bills


A roof isn't meant to last forever, and over time it wears down and allows cold and heat into a home. The heating and cooling units have to work harder, causing increased gas and electricity usage. By replacing the roof, homeowners prevent extreme temperatures from entering their homes and typically see a decrease in energy bill costs.


3. Better Protection


Residing in a home with a damaged roof can cause significant damage to the interior of the house. A new roof keeps rain, snow, wind and other harmful elements out of the home, protecting personal property and the home itself.


4. Insurance Discounts


There are two types of roof-based discounts commonly offered by insurance companies. The first takes into consideration the age of the roof. Since newer roofs are stronger and less likely to experience damage during storms, they are less risky to insure. Therefore, homeowners insurance companies offer discounts to homes with newer roofs. The second discount is determined based on the type of roof you have installed. Some roofing material is considered impact-resistant, meaning it can handle the heavy impact of hail or falling objects. Insurance companies assign discounts based on the type and durability of the hail-resistant material used.


After your home's roof is replaced, contact your insurance carrier to see if you qualify for a roof discount on your homeowners insurance rates.


Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage?


Not every homeowners insurance policy covers damage caused by a hurricanes, and some will include a separate deductible exclusive to hurricane damage. Whether damage is covered depends on the insurance company, type of policy, amount of damage and listed exclusions. While wind and flood damage from a hurricane is common, some policies exclude wind, especially in high-risk areas like Texas. 


To make sure they are adequately protected against potential hurricane damage, homeowners should review their policies and search for these types of exclusions. In some cases, coverage can be added for an additional premium. Taking the time to review coverage now can save homeowners thousands of dollars in the event they need to replace their roofs.


What to Expect with a Roof Replacement


Homeowners should expect a new roof to last approximately 20 years, however, the length varies depending on the installation quality, manufacturer and type of materials used. Some roofing materials last longer than others. For instance, copper roofing can last as many as 60 to 80 years. Before settling on a new roof, homeowners should discuss roofing options with a skilled roofing contractor.


Hiring a Roofer


Hiring a roofer you can trust requires proper vetting and research. Start by requesting quotes from multiple companies, so you can get an average cost, and ask for references so you can verify workmanship history. When hiring a roofer, ask about any warranties they might offer, the type of materials recommended and why, and the experience of the roofing team. 


The destruction hurricanes cause can be significant in many cases. Prepare your home by getting a roof inspection today and replacing your roof, if deemed necessary.


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Joe Resendiz

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