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6 Important Steps When You Find Roof Damage

Do you have roof damage? There are many ways your roof can be damaged and many types of roof damage. Whether you notice shingles missing, there is water dripping from your ceiling, or you’ve got some other clues, you think your roof is damaged. So, what do you do? Roof shingle damage, hail damage, or wind damage – it can be overwhelming.

Regardless of the extent or cause of the damage, there are several steps that need to be taken to ensure that the damage isn’t made worse, is properly fixed, and doesn’t end up costing you more in the long run. From an initial inspection to dealing with insurance claims for your roof, we are here to walk you through the steps.

1. Assess and Document the Extent of the Roof Damage

While you already have found some evidence of the damage, the first step is to look closely to determine how bad it is. If possible, grab a ladder and head up to your roof, or if not walk around your house and see as much as you can of the roof from the ground.

Whether it’s storm damage, a roof leak, or something that looks off from the outside, the process is the same. Starting with the most obvious roof damage, perform a basic inspection. Keep an eye out for missing or damaged shingles, cracks, pooling water, or any other signs of deterioration. If there are leaks inside your house, search the rest of your ceiling for other leaks.

Document everything you find my taking pictures of each sign of damage on your roof as clearly as you can and keep notes to help identify the damage and roof leaks. These photos and notes will help you when describing your problems to a contractor and will be crucial when starting the process for an insurance claim for roof damage.

2. Prevent Further Damage

Now that you have an idea of how bad your roof is, there are a few things you can do (if you’re handy) to prevent it from getting worse while you wait for repairs. These fixes all involve getting up on your roof: if you are unable to, find a friend or family member that can help, or otherwise do the best that you can to get a roofing contractor out as soon as possible.

If there is standing water on your roof, the first step is to use a bucket and get rid of as much as possible to reduce ongoing roof leaks. If there are large areas that are damaged, measure the area and find a tarp that can cover that area. Tarp over this area following our guide here. The tarp will prevent further water damage and roof leaks while you wait for a professional.

If your roof has smaller areas that are damaged or leaking, it may be possible to patch these temporarily with a sealant or roofing cement. These can be used to repair small holes or cracks, or in conjunction with nails reattach loose shingles. For a step-by-step guide on these temporary fixes, check out our guide here.

These are temporary fixes to prevent the damage from getting worse, and whether you are comfortable with these repairs or not, it is important to find a professional roofing contractor as soon as possible. If you aren’t comfortable with these fixes, a roofer may be willing to perform them as a first step before the rest of the process is completed.

Roofing contractor repairing roof damage

3. Contact a Roofing Contractor

Now that you’ve done everything that you can do personally, it is time to call in a professional. Find a roofing contractor that you trust and schedule an inspection. The roofer will come and check the severity of the roof damage with a professional eye and give you an idea of what steps will need to be taken to repair the damage.

This roofer will give you a quote on repairs but be sure to get a detailed list of the issues they find as you will need this for the next steps. If you aren’t satisfied with the person doing the inspection, it may be smart to get a roofer from another company to come out and give you a second opinion. If you need help, let our friends help find the best roofers in your area!

4. Notify Your Insurance Company

Time to initiate the process for an insurance claim for your roof. Follow the process for your insurance provider but be sure they receive the photos you took of the damage and the list of issues found during your professional inspection. The more evidence and documentation that you can provide, the faster and more likely they are to approve your claim. This process can take some time, so be sure to start this step as soon as you can.

5. Hire a Roofing Contractor

Now it is time to get your roof damage repaired. It is important to select a local contractor that is honest and has a good track record. You may have found someone you like during the inspection process, but if not, take the list of issues found during your inspection and shop around. you may need to get further inspections from these other contractors, but inspections and quotes can usually be received within a day or so.

Compare quotes, but also keep in mind how reputable the company is and how much they caught during the inspection. Inexperienced roofers may miss things that are obvious to an expert, while dishonest roofers may make up problems to get more money out of you. While it is valid to choose the roofing contractor with the cheapest quote, if they do a bad job, you may be looking at paying for even more repairs in the near future, so selecting the right company is critical. Our friends at NewRoofsUSA pride themselves on only working with honest and experienced professionals, and if you need help finding someone, they make it easy.

6. Conduct a Final Inspection

Once repairs are completed, you may be inclined to stop there, but it would be wise to conduct a final inspection first. Knowing what problems were supposed to be fixed, you can conduct a preliminary inspection yourself if you are able to get on your roof. Look at all the areas that from your list that were damaged. Make sure all the problems were addressed and that these areas match the adjacent sections of roofing.

Also keep an eye out to make sure the roofers cleaned up after themselves: If there are loose nails and screws, roofing materials, or forgotten tools on your roof or in your yard, your roofer didn’t do an adequate job cleaning, and can be a warning sign that they didn’t do an adequate job on the repairs either. If this is the case, or if the roofer’s actions and behavior gave you a bad feeling, it is a good idea to get one more professional inspection. This is your last chance to catch any damage that wasn’t properly repaired and get it fixed before it is made worse.


Having a roof damage and getting it fixed can be stressful, but if you break the steps down and do them one by one, it is a little easier to manage. Do your best to document the damage and do whatever temporary fixes you are able to do yourself to prevent further damage. Get at least one professional roof inspection done to further document the damage, though having a few different roofers perform the inspection can help you find one that you trust.

Send your photos and documentation to your insurance company to begin the claim process, and then pick out a roofing contractor you like to get it repaired. Finally, perform a final inspection to make sure your roofers did a good job, and hopefully you won’t have to worry about your roof for a while. Whether you roof is damaged, it’s time for a regular inspection, or you have any other questions, contact us at NewRoofsUSA and we will make the process easy.

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