Summer can be a tough season for roofing materials. Not only does your roof have to endure days of record breaking heat, but during summer storms, it may also be exposed to high winds, driving rains, and damaging hail. Because of many commercial roofing designs, it can be slightly more difficult to discern roofing damage to a commercial roofing materials than it is to residential. But unfortunately, if this damage is not quickly addressed it can affect your business that is located underneath. If you suspect you have hail damage, there are a few steps you need to take.
Inspect Your Roof
There are several main types of commercial roofs that are used on flat or low slope configurations. These types are:
- Built-up roofing
- Single-ply roofing
- Metal roofing
- Modified bitumen roofing
- SPF or Spray polyurethane foam
When you inspect your roofing materials, you must know what you are looking for. Each of these roofing types will potentially be affected by hail in different ways.
For example: If you have a modified bitumen roof, hail has the potential to displace the granule surface of your roof that protects your roofing membrane. If the hail has been large enough, or has struck with enough force, you may also have the potential of the underlying membrane being punctured. On the other hand, if you have metal roofing, hail can cause scratches, dents, and dings to your roofing surface. This damage to your metal coating not only will allow water to accumulate in the impact sites, which in turn can cause rusting, but can also reduce the life expectancy of your roofing materials.
If you have any concerns that you may have sustained any potential damage, call a commercial roofing contractor to perform the inspection for you. They will know how to not only look at the surface of your roof, but will know how to inspect the underlying components as well.
Protect Your Roof
If your damage is substantial, or if you have a leak that has resulted from the damage, make sure that you cover the damaged area as quickly as possible to mitigate any additional damage to your business below. Most commercial roofing companies offer emergency services that will help you to secure your roof until you are able to complete your assessments and order your repairs.
Call Your Insurance Agent
Depending on where you live, and the type of insurance you have, your insurance policy may or may not cover you for hail damage. For example, in certain parts of Texas, that are at especially high risk of hail damage hail coverage is specifically excluded. If this is your case, this would be outlined in your policy and should have been reviewed with you at the time of purchase.
If you have coverage, your policy will pay for the costs of your repairs or for a full replacement. You may or may not have to pay a deductible depending on the type of policy you have.
To get this process started, your insurance company will send out an assessor to assess your damage. It is best if you have identified the commercial roofing company that you want to make your repairs at this point. This will allow the company to send a representative out to meet with the assessor to ensure that both of them are on the same page. This may also help to avoid delays in the repair work at a later time. Be aware, some policy has time limits in which these types of claims must be submitted. If you delay, you could miss crucial deadlines in filing your claim.
Your roofing company will then prepare you an outline of the options you have for fixing the potential problems. Once you agree and sign your contract, the work can then begin. Do not allow hail damage to shorten the life of your commercial roof; address it immediately through a company like Upson Company.