29 Jun Homeowner Insurance Roofing Risks and Rewards
Your roof is one of the largest single parts of your house, and it is the most exposed to the elements. Like everything, roofs age, and have a functional lifespan that depends on the materials. No matter the materials, your house is likely to outlast your roof, so a replacement may be necessary. Your homeowner’s insurance company is aware of these facts about roofs, and this impacts coverage for your roof. Here are some important facts and considerations:
What Insurance Does Not Cover
Homeowner’s insurance policies generally limit their coverage of damage to roofs that arises out of an incident. We talked to Anh Ngyuen, a State Farm Agent with offices in Annandale and Alexandria about what this means. She explained that if there is a storm or a tree falls on the house or something else happens, your insurer will pay to repair or replace the roof. However, damage due to aging is not covered, and insurance companies will ask about the age of the roof as part of insuring and covering your roof. Bear in mind that this is their business, so they know that some people think that they can wait until a small incident occurs to get their entire, aging roof replaced. This is one of the first things they will look into, and it may result in denial of the claim. Also, policies vary from company to company, so make sure to read the fine print about limits to roof coverage.
Maintain Your Roof
Since you may not be able to count on insurance to cover the replacement of an aging roof, it’s important to take care of it. While different materials have different maintenance needs, there are a few consistent things to do to keep your roof in good shape. First, remove any debris that accumulates on the roof. Fall and Winter are key times to pay attention to this issue. Check any trees close to your home to see that they are neither touching nor hanging over your roof by regular trimming. Check your gutters for clogging and wear and tear. Also check for loose or missing shingles, which you need to replace ASAP. Finally, make sure your roof is not holding or collecting water.
Regular Inspections Are Part of Maintenance
It is not always easy to spot the problems with a roof, so regular inspections are an important part of maintenance. The cost is certainly worth the savings if you can prevent a damaged or leaking roof. In addition to regular inspections, particularly to older roofs, the National Roof Certification and Inspection Association recommends inspections as a contingency when buying a house as well as any time there appears to be a water leak. While a roofing company is a good resource, and it will often offer a free inspection, do not be surprised if they find a lot of problems that need fixing.
The inspection will go into aspects of your roof that may not have occurred to you. In addition to looking for obvious damage or deterioration, a good inspection will check finer details like penetrations, flashings, sealant, chimneys and joints. They will look for incorrect repair or installation and survey the interior to make sure there are no indicators of a leak or other problems. An inspection will take approximately 1-2 hours depending on the size of the home with the results being summarized in a report. The report could be important to use in case of an insurance claim.
Biller & Associates are NRCIA certified, and able to conduct a roof inspection for your home. If you are concerned about the condition of your roof, or you have another need for an inspection, contact us to learn more about our services.