How to repair your storm-damaged roof in San Antonio
Ian Seidler’s home sports a shiny copper roof that stands out as the only one made of metal in his Woodridge neighborhood on San Antonio’s northside. The Angie’s List member says he fought with his homeowners’ association for two years to install the unconventional $13,000 roof to prevent hail damage. “The previous shingle roofs all failed in an area that allowed water to cascade down the dining room wall,” Seidler says. “I had the roof repaired twice, and it didn’t do the job to stop the leaks.” Since the March installation, he says indoor waterfalls dried up.
When brutal heat combines with storms that produce damaging winds and drop golf-ball-sized hail, San Antonio residents may discover flapping shingles, broken windows and dented siding. “Every thunderstorm has a straight-line burst of wind,” says Walt Zaleski, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “At 50 to 60 mph, you start seeing damage to homes — trees toppling, power lines coming down, debris blown from your neighbor’s house, all of these are from straight-line winds.”
While storms most frequently hit San Antonio in the spring and early summer, homeowners hire experts to inspect and repair damage to roofs, windows and siding all year long, sometimes after discovering problems long after storms pass. Some contractors may offer off-season discounts. Ronnie Suarez, owner of highly rated Integrity Roofing in San Antonio took more than 500 calls about wind damage after February storms rolled through the area, and callers flooded the phone lines again when May storms hit. “The windstorms can cause significant leaks because the shingles in some cases have been blown right off the roof exposing the decking at times,” he says. “This has allowed rain to get into these homes and cause insulation, wood and Sheetrock damage.”
Integrity offers off-season discounts and deals to Angie’s List members that give customers 20 to 30 percent off to help increase business from November to February, Suarez says.
The most costly damage San Antonio residents experience comes from hail and wind, including tornadoes, says Jerry Hagans, Texas Department of Insurance spokesman. “Hail is a very costly type of weather event because all of our buildings have roofs, and cars get damaged,” he says. Typical Texas homeowners insurance policies also cover loss from wind and hail, along with other year-round hazards like fire, lightning, smoke, explosion, theft and vandalism, according to the insurance department.
When damage occurs, Hagans recommends calling an insurance agent to assess the situation. The Department of Insurance suggests taking a property inventory before storms hit and if damage occurs, document it. Also keep expense receipts for work such as covering windows or roofs to prevent problems with reimbursement because many policies will cover these expenses when turned in with an official claim.
Besides seasonal storms, heat can shorten the life span of San Antonio roofs, says Steve Decker, owner of highly rated Decker Roofing, based in the Great Northwest area of San Antonio. The NWS recorded San Antonio’s 30-year average high temperature for June at 92 degrees, July at 95 and August 96, Zaleski says. Homeowners might spot this heat damage later in the year in the form of curled, blistered or cracked shingles, Decker says, and he recommends making repairs to prevent leaks from developing.
Members Phillip and Janet Conwell of Windcrest hired Decker Roofing to repair a roof on a rental property as well as inspect their home’s roof before selling it. They paid $3,400 for hail damage roof repairs at the rental in November 2011 after finding the company on Angie’s List. “They were very reasonable, and the tenant there was concerned because they have two little kids and didn’t want nails in the yard,” Phillip says. “They didn’t need to worry.”