4 essential questions about emergency roof repair
In a roofing emergency, a contractor will often place a tarp over the damaged area until a permanent fix can be made. (Photo courtesy of Dennis Miles)
As a homeowner, you depend on the roof to protect your home and everything inside of it. So what would you do if a tree fell on your home in the middle of the night? Would you know who to call?
Angie's List asked Harry Freidman, owner of highly rated Champion Roofing in Bensenville, Ill., several questions about what to do in an emergency roofing situation.
What is emergency roof repair?
Once a roofing system is compromised, it will allow water infiltration. A quick repair or protective cover must be installed to remediate further interior and structural damage. In most instances, we will emergency tarp the area until the weather system passes and we can assess damage and propose a more permanent repair.
What type of situations require emergency roof repair?
In most instances, the roofing system was compromised due to a weather event, animal or fire. Mother Nature is an incredibly strong opponent for roofing systems. Winds that exceed 50 mph have the force to tear shingles from the roof and expose the substrate. Trees limbs will be torn off trees and tossed about like toothpicks penetrating the structure. Lightning can strike and literally blow a hole through the structure. Raccoons and squirrels love to chew through rotted wood and create sizable holes in the roof. Fire, of course, will decimate anything in its path.
What happens when you get a call for emergency service?
If it’s in the middle of a storm, we will wait until the storm subsides and then mobilize in a quick fashion. Safety for my workers is priority one, and often times in a high wind, heavy rain with lightning storm there is nothing to reasonably do. If from a fire, we would mobilize and attempt to bring the structure back to a water-tight condition. Often times, fires compromise the structural integrity of a roofing system and that makes it dangerous to access all areas of the roof. Again safety is priority one.
What should a homeowner do in an emergency situation?
First and foremost: Don’t panic. The damage is done. Contact your insurance provider and a professional roofing contractor to help.
Do not attempt to repair [the roof] on your own. There’s too much risk of being injured, and a homeowner will not assess the actual damage properly. Roofs and ceilings can be repaired easily, broken bones cannot. Document you loss and damages in writing and with photos.
For more information and tips for hiring a roofing contractor, visit the Angie's List Guide to Roofing.