Colorado Thunderstorms and Hailstorms: What To Know and How To Prepare?
It is spring in Colorado. Do you know what that means? It is thunderstorm season, and in Colorado, that means hail season. I'm sure you all know that hail of all sizes can damage roofs, but did you know it can also damage other areas of your home? I've actually seen large enough hail to even leave a divot in concrete here in Colorado.
We Had Hail - Now Who Should I Call
With that in mind, if your area has experienced a hail storm, I strongly recommend you call one or two exterior experts you trust or individual contractors. For instance, a siding installer, a roofer, a window company, a painter, and of course, a gutter installation company. That is a lot of calls and a lot of appointments. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to spend that much time in appointments to get my house to look like it did the day before the storm.
You could also call and have your homeowner's insurance agent check your home. Still, he is representing the insurance company, not you, so he may not be as diligent in his examination as a contractor may be. I have learned that by contacting a reputable exterior company that is experienced in all aspects of the exterior of your home, you have someone looking out for you and your home. A good exterior company will take care of meeting with the insurance adjuster, calling the insurance to coordinate that every piece of your home that sustained damage is repaired back to the way it looked the day before the storm, coordinating the different subcontractors, roofers, siding installers, painters, gutter installation companies like us, each to do their repairs at the proper time. For instance, you wouldn't want to replace the seamless gutters on the home prior to replacing the roof. It all has to be done in the correct order.
File A Claim or Not File a Claim?
Many choose not to report damage to their homeowner's insurance because they are afraid of price increases. We all know that is usually how car insurance works. The fewer claims you've had, the less expensive the policy. That is not how homeowner's insurance works, at least not completely. When there is a hail storm in an area, that entire area's insurance is likely to go up in price the following year, whether you do a claim or not. I am not saying you need to have a claim every year. I honestly hope that your area isn't hit by hail EVERY year. I'm saying either have a professional look for damage, or you should at least look for damage to determine if it is time to get help.
If you were to poll homeowners in Colorado's front range area, from Colorado Springs, Castle Rock, Denver, Broomfield, Erie to Fort Collins, and ask them if they've ever had to pay to have their homes' shingles replaced, you'd find very few that had to pay for it entirely themselves. When we purchased our home, we knew the roof's shingles were reaching the end of their lives. It was very worn, and there is no way I would have thought the insurance would help us to get a new roof, but they did. We had to pay more than our deductible because of the wear, but they paid for a lot of it. I learned then as long as you are honest, you should always have your insurance company check on damage to your roof or have an exterior company check for damage. Then you can decide if you're ready to file a claim or not. If we had waited longer, I am sure we would have ended up with leaking and damage, but because we took care of the roof and the gutters, we were able to protect our home and, more importantly, our home's value.
Choosing an Exterior Expert
The next question I am often asked is, How do I choose an exterior contractor? I think this is important no matter where you live. Still, when you're in an area that has experienced storm damage, it is even more important because roofers and exterior companies come out of the woodwork after a hail storm. They travel all over the country, pouncing on every victim of a storm they can find. I have made a few rules I go by when choosing a company, and I thought you might find them useful too.
1. Are they local? How long have they been in Colorado? Can they prove it to you?
2. How long have they been in roofing?
3. Have they (personally) ever re-roofed a home, or have they always subcontracted it out?
4. Will your exterior contractor work with your homeowners' insurance for you?
5. Are they accredited with the Better Business Bureau?
6. How are they rated in Google?
If they do have a negative review here and there on Google, have you read it to see if it is a reasonable review? You can usually tell if the customer states facts and the company hasn't given a good explanation or apology.
Even with my rules, you can be duped into going with the wrong company, unfortunately. No one is impervious to all of the scammers out there. So my next suggestion is vital, so don't skip it.
7. Ask other homeowners you know in Colorado who they have used and whether they had a good experience.
You can ask neighbors, workmates, and other contractors that you have used and trusted. You can check the Nextdoor app for recommendations in your neighborhood. I am happy to give you a couple of companies I trust if you want to call or email us. Years of working with exterior contractors, I have ones I would never call and those I would immediately call.
You can call me directly at Colorado Gutter Pros at (720) 440 - RAIN (7246) to ask questions about anything gutter related.