Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Many flat foam roofs in our community have sustained hail damage from the storm on Oct 5th, 2010.  This damage will not always manifest itself for years, but surely the damage has occurred and the roof life is compromised.   
If your flat foam roof has sustained hail damage, you are about to embark on an interesting journey. Because of the Oct 5th hail storm, insurance companies are experiencing heavy payouts for losses incurred from the storm.  For this reason it is wise to use a local company that has the experience necessary to perform the repairs. 

Adjusters are trying to hold the line on settlements. The rapid rising material prices only complicate the situation. As an owner and/or property manager, you should insist on having a professional roofing contractor to negotiate with the adjustor.  Foam flat roofs are hard for adjusters to estimate.

Many claims adjusters come into our state having no experience with flat Poly Urethane foam roofs.  Many do not understand the damage caused to foam roofs by hail. Some foam roofs need to be torn off to the deck.  Many foam roofs need what is known as a caulk and coat. 

Many factors are involved with determining the method of repair and/or replacement.  Only experienced Poly Urethane applicators can determine how to proceed.  Moisture meters are essential to determine which direction the contractor should recommend to the owner.  

When it comes to selecting a contractor in the aftermath of a storm, “caution” is the key word. Many “storm chasers” flock to areas of damage, and do as much work as possible before they leave for the next storm.

Some of these are legitimate, responsible companies that have chosen this way of doing business. Some set up partnerships with local contractors to get the work done much more quickly. This can be a legitimate way of doing business, as long as the local contractor will take care of any problems that occur after the storm chaser leaves.

However, there will be plenty of unscrupulous fly-by-night contractors that you need to be aware of. Don’t get caught in the trap.  You don’t want completive bids to do insurance work. Work with one contractor and let that contractor do the work with your insurance companies.  You will end up with a better job. You will also get more repair work done.  Keep one thing in mind,  INSURANCE ADJUSTERS ARE NOT YOUR BUDDIES!  REMEMBER WHO THEY WORK FOR! YOU NEED SOMEONE LOOKING AFTER YOUR BEST INTRESTS. 

When it is time for you to have your flat, shingle, tile, metal and foam roof inspected please consider using a local contractor.  Check the BBB and the Arizona Registrar of Contractor.  Make sure the company is licensed, Bonded and Insured.  Use a company that is well established in the community, preferably in business for over 10 years.   Arizona Roofing Systems, Inc. would be happy to work with you.  Call us today 480-218-8888  

Another tactic employed with steep-sloped roofs is to only pay for the elevation that the majority of the hail hit. Unfortunately, the manufacturer will not maintain any extended warranties on the portion of the roof that is not replaced - especially with shingles but even with metal roofing.

For example, let’s say that yours is a 30-year shingle roof into its fifth year of life. If the hail hit and damaged only the north elevation of your property, and the insurance company maintains that it will replace only the north elevation, you need to check with the manufacturer of the shingles to see if they will maintain the warranty on the portion of the roof that isn’t replaced.

These and many other negotiating tactics can and will be employed by many insurance adjusters. Your professional roofing contractor can help you navigate the murky waters of storm damage negotiation.

Also, if your properties are insured by an affiliate of FM Global (formerly Factory Mutual Research Corporation, commonly referred to as “FM”), you need to know that FM has recently changed the requirements for application of roof coverings. These rules will, in some cases, severely limit the type of roof that can be installed - and significantly affect costs. Check with your contractor about these requirements. If you use a specifyer and an FM affiliate does not insure your building, be skeptical if they want to use FM requirements for the installation of your new roof. 

By Chris Lundahl, President of Arizona Roofing Systems, Inc.  

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