storm damaging roof

Roof Replacement: Tips for Filing an Insurance Claim

Dealing with insurance companies is a frustrating experience. This is a universal truth. Insurance companies don’t like handing out claims and they’ll do whatever they can to deny them. But if you follow this guide, you’ll have a much easier claims process and should have a much smoother transition in getting your life back to normal.

An optional—and definitely optimal—first step is to call a roofing contractor. At NexGen, we’re A+ rated from the BBB and we’ll guide you through the insurance claim process, including essential steps like mitigating damages.

Step One: File Your Claim Immediately!

Before you can file a claim, you’ll need to gather all the necessary paperwork. This is important: make sure you have all the necessary documents when you file a claim. Don’t give them an excuse to deny your claim. Insurance companies have a vested interest in denying or limiting your claim. Don’t let them.

After you gather those documents: Do not wait! The insurance company will tell you that you have up to 1 year to file a claim. While legally true, it’s also a deceptive business practice that allows them to more easily contest your claim.

Step Two: Take Photos of the Damage

Before you do anything else, document the damage caused by the storm with photographs. This is direct visual evidence. By documenting the damage caused by the storm, you’re building an open and shut case against any attempts to deny your claim. Otherwise the insurance company may try to claim that the damage wasn’t caused by the storm, but instead caused by the homeowner for not properly mitigating the damages.

Another tip for homeowners building up a case for an insurance claim is using online resources. For example, while major storms like hurricanes are the biggest cause of roof damage, a hail storm can still cause massive damage to your roof. Sometimes the damage isn’t even visible, like denting and bruising the underlayment and weakening the foundation of the roof itself.

Another major problem with hail damage is that sometimes, although damaged, the roof won’t start leaking right away. If this is the case, you can use a free website like, stormersite.com, which has “hail report” printouts for the past decade, showing particular hail storms at your address (with a date), and providing direct evidence to the insurance company of a hail storm.

Step Three: Mitigate the Damage

You need to mitigate the damage. While the insurance company may have to replace your roof, the onus is on you to “stop the bleeding” and prevent further damage. You can call a roofing contractor to do this for you and the insurance company will reimburse you.

By following these three important steps you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.

historic-roof

Roof Maintenance: What, Why, and How

When it comes to properly maintaining a roof, very few homeowners understand what to do, how to do it, or even why they should. It’s not as clear-cut as re-staining a deck, or getting an oil change for your car. But proper roof maintenance is vital to maintain your home’s beauty and, in some cases, it’s essential for its longevity.

Roofing contractors are partly responsible for this. Very rarely will a roofing company explain how to properly maintain the roof they just installed. So let NexGen break this troubling trend and explain two of the most essential forms of roof maintenance.

Remove Those Ugly Algae Stains!

Algae Stains on Roof

When most homeowners decide to give their home a facelift, they’ll consider options like a new coat of paint, vinyl siding, or some landscaping work. But one of the easiest, least expensive, and cost-effective projects is to remove the algae stains from their roofs.

Algae stains—the black streaks and discoloration that appear on older roofs—are a major eyesore for homeowners. Take a look at your roof and the roofs around your neighborhood. You’ll notice all the black stains on all of the older roofs. The primary cause of discoloration is algae stains, which are an especially prominent problem along the Eastern seaboard.

While many premium shingles are designed to prevent that from happening (for example, NexGen uses Certainteed® Landmark® shingles, which come with a 10-year StreakFighter® algae-resistant warranty), a quality roof lasts much longer than that. This will cause a perfectly good roof to look really old and dingy.

While algae aren’t harmful to the roof itself—they’re a major eyesore. To fix this, you can clean your roof with either Chlorine Bleach (simply spray your roof with bleach and wash it away after 15 minutes), or you can use a non-bleach cleaner solution (like, “Wet & Forget”).

Prevent Leaks by Removing Ice Dams!

During the winter it’s essential for homeowners to be on the lookout for ice dams. While icicles may look pretty and picturesque forming along your roof’s edge—they can cause major problems for your roof.

Icicles, by creating an icy buildup, will prevent water from flowing off your roof. When the snow melts and flows down your roof, the water becomes trapped, “dammed” behind them, pools up, and leaks through the shingles (which are designed to protect against water flowing down them—not as a repellent against stagnate water).

Gutter guards can exacerbate the problem. While effective at keeping leaves and other debris from out of your gutters, they’re also prime causes of ice dams. Ice will form on the guards themselves and makes the potential for ice damns much worse.

By following these simple tips for roof maintenance, you can keep your home looking beautiful and also protect yourself from expensive roof repairs.