What Causes Roof Damage?
While damage to your roof can occur over time from natural wear-and-tear, insurance typically gets involved when the damage is sudden and unexpected. Top reasons for roof damage include:
Be sure to routinely inspect and prune trees on your property. If they appear diseased or dying, it may be wise to have them removed. Tree branches are notorious for causing damage to rooftops, especially during strong winds.
Hail is especially common in Colorado, and our storm season lasts from April to August. Hail damage is responsible for millions of dollars in insurance claims every year. While there is not much you can do to prevent hail, you can minimize damage to your roof by having it inspected annually and addressing any minor repairs needed (replace cracked or missing shingles, patch holes, etc). A roof that is in good shape will stand up much better to hail.
Gutters and downspouts can become clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris that prevent them from doing their job, which is to direct water away from the roof and the home’s foundation.
If your gutters and spouts are not properly maintained, water can collect and cause moisture build-up that damages your roof via mold and mildew. In the winter, trapped water can freeze and form ice dams. Ice dams cause the gutters to pull away from the roof, leading to structural damage.
Animals like squirrels, bats, mice, and rats can nest in attic spaces, causing damage and rot to your roof from within the home. On the outside, birds such as woodpeckers look for insects that live under the shingles and fascia boards. Raccoons have even been known to tear away vent covers to find their way inside your attic.
Colorado is also prone to strong winds, which can damage and even blow off loose shingles. Missing shingles expose your roof to moisture and UV rays, ultimately shortening the life of your roof.
When Does Insurance Not Cover a Roofing Claim?
There are several reasons why an insurance company may deny a roofing claim. These include:
- Untimely filing– you should file your claim as soon as possible and within 365 days of the damage
- Natural degradation– homeowners insurance does not cover damage due to lack of routine maintenance
- Cosmetic damage exclusion– this excludes damage that is deemed to interfere only with the appearance of a structure, and not its function or safety
- Manufacturer defect– insurance companies are not responsible for failings or damages that occur as a direct result of faulty materials or installation
What to Do If Your Roofing Claim Was Denied
In the event your claim was denied, you have the option to appeal the decision. You may wish to consult with an experienced insurance attorney who can help you determine if the grounds for denial are fair, or if you have the right to take legal action. David Roth has helped hundreds of clients contest unjustly denied insurance claims. Give our office a call or schedule your free consultation online.