11 Apr 2017
stormy sky background of colors | Featured image: storm damage deadlines

Damaging wind, hail, and debris damage

Animated Wind Map - United States

Wind Map Courtesy of Hint.fm (click to see live)

Storms have been recorded in the United States with wind speeds as high as 300 miles per hour, but it doesn’t take wind nearly that fast to damage your roof. Wind speeds of just 50 or 60 mph are enough to cause real damage. In 2015, a memorable storm ripped through the Grand Traverse region, hitting Leelanau County particularly hard. Straight-line winds in the wake of a supercell storm reached 100 miles per hour, leveling thousands of trees. Another obvious wind-related type of damage is from flying debris and falling trees.

In addition to high winds and debris is a particularly overlooked form of damage. Hail forms in a thunderstorm when strong updrafts lift rain high into the upper atmosphere which then causes the rain to freeze and form hail. When the hail gets heavy enough it falls, damaging roofs, windows, and cars. The damage to roofs is nearly impossible to see from the ground and usually goes unnoticed until it becomes a serious problem years down the road.

Trees down and road sign damaged - just a part of the wreckage after 2015 storm that decimated Leelanau County

My house wasn’t damaged, was it?

Even a trained professional cannot see hail damage from the ground, only a thorough roof-top inspection will determine whether or not damage was sustained. Northshore Exteriors does not charge for this type of inspection, in fact, they offer a complete storm damage inspection on the entire property including a roof-top inspection as well as all sides of the home, outbuildings, and any interior damage that may have resulted from roof leaks.

Deadline? Yes, all insurance companies have a deadline either 1 or 2 years from the storm date (all but a few insurance companies have a 1-year deadline). Once the claim is filed and the insurance company agrees to cover the damages the clock starts over and you have another 1-2 years to complete the work again, depending on the particular insurance company.

There is no obligation for this inspection. We are confident in our process and find most homeowners have no reason to choose another contractor once they have seen our operation in action. However, should the homeowner decide against using our company, they will be under no obligation to pay for the inspection.

Road finally partly cleared after a 2015 Leelanau County storm

What happens next?

The first thing you need to do is call and schedule an inspection.

We’ll send an experienced professional over to do a thorough inspection, taking notes and photos. We’ll generate a report that includes a breakdown of all of the damages and a complete list of costs involved using insurance carrier approved estimating software called Xactimate. You’ll also receive the photos of your damages, the Xactimate estimate, and any other pertinent documentation. Northshore will also send all photos and documentation directly to the claim department and/or adjuster. Many times the claim department will agree to our estimate without sending out an adjuster. If an adjuster is scheduled, we will meet them on site to settle on a scope of damages and associated cost.

Why is it so important to call and schedule an inspection? Inspections are complimentary and will assist the homeowner in several ways. The first is preventing an unnecessary claim. The staff at Northshore promises to “call it like it is”. If the damage is minor or non-existent, there is absolutely no sense in filling a claim. Without a professional inspection, the only way to determine if there is damage or not is by filing a claim and having an adjuster inspect. Even if there is no damage the homeowner will have a claim on their record.

The cost associated with not getting an inspection could be quite extreme. Once the insurance company’s deadline passes, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to pay for damages. Deadlines for filing a claim are either 1 or 2 years from the date of loss depending on the insurance company and policy. In addition, most homeowners find out they have a problem when the damage worsens over several years and eventually causes leaks and potentially rotted roof decking, damaged insulation, etc. This is especially true with hail damage.

.home destroyed: 2015 Leelanau County Storm destroys much, including this home

Contact Northshore Exteriors Today

Get your inspection on our calendar! We are not a large corporate entity and thus have limited availability to assist with these claims. As a locally owned and operated business in Traverse City we pay special attention to the codes and methods of our harsh roofing construction and have vast knowledge of the roofing industry. The President of Northshore has spent nearly 20 years in the roofing business as well as 7 years in the insurance restoration and adjusting industry. Not only does Northshore understand the claims process better than any other roofing company in Northern Michigan, we also install roofs that simply do not leak or fail. Not a single drop of water has entered a Northshore roof in almost a million square foot of installs. We encourage all of our new customers to spend some time calling our previous clients, we will provide an extensive list of local customers with contact info.