As we enter storm season, the possibility for hail & wind damage to your roof will increase exponentially. If your roof is damaged in a large storm you (and your neighborhood( will most likely be inundated by door-knocking roofers. Besides the obvious determining factors such as viable and sufficient liability insurance, references, etc. there are a few questions that are great for weeding out the pretenders.

Keep in mind that in Texas a state license is NOT required to be a roofing contractor. It seems impossible, but it’s true. With that in mind, here are some questions to ask along with the answers you should be receiving back…

Q What type of hail damage does my insurance company require in order to qualify my roof for total replacement?
A The industry standard criteria required is 7-10 appreciable hail impact abrasions per 10’x10’ square area on each directional slope.

Q Is hail damage to my roof visible from the ground?
A Often times – NO. Damage to vent caps, exhaust caps & wind turbines can often times be visible from the ground. Hail damage to aluminum gutters can also be easily seen from the ground and is a great indicator of shingle damage.

Q Can hail damage be spot repaired?
A No, if a roof is damaged by hail it must be completely replaced.

Q Can wind damage be spot repaired?
A Yes, if wind damage is deemed as “minor” it can be repaired. When the repairs is executed the surrounding shingles that are tied into need to be wind tabbed to prevent them from blowing apart before the summer heat can reseal the entire roof system again.

Q Can wind damage be a cause for total replacement?
A Yes, although the criterial for total roof replacement due to wind damage is not as cut and dried as hail damage criteria. Normally the insurance provider will total a roof is more than 25% of the roof is wind damaged. Often times wind damage is not readily visible from the ground or even from the roof surface. Experienced roofers and insurance adjusters will identify problem areas and then spot check the adjacent shingles in the damaged zones.

Q What is a Replacement Cost Value insurance policy?
A Replacement Cost Value (RCV) claim refers to the fact that the insurance company will pay all of the claim to the policy holder LESS the deductible. Most of the time the insurance company will withhold depreciation which they classify as “recoverable”. As long as a policy holder replaces the existing roof system with an equivalent or upgraded system the depreciation can be recovered.

Q What is an Actual Cash Value claim?
A ACV claims are not very common but are seen often on investment properties. These are claims in which the depreciation CANNOT be recovered. The trade-off for lower policy premiums is depreciation that is “non-recoverable”.

Q Can a metal roof be totaled by hail?
A Yes. Although standing seam roof systems stand up to hail and wind damage much better than their composition counterparts, they can incur structural panel surface damage which requires total replacement. Many times your roofing contractor will have some leg work to do in order to secure a total replacement finding from your insurance adjuster.

Q Can a Class 4 composition roof be totaled by hail?
A Yes. Although purely aesthetic damage will not require or warrant total replacement, damage to the integrity of the bitumen shingle mat does qualify it for total replacement.

Q What is “Net Free Area”?
A Net Free Are (NFA) is the actual square inches of free area where attic exhaust vents are cut out of the roof decking and the attic intake vents are cut from the soffit/overhangs. The NFA of the roof exhaust should evenly match the NFA of the intake vents.