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No. 7 Most Common Damage to the Home: Roofs and Window Leaks

Gateway Roof Infographic

(This is another in the continuing series of Top 10 most common damage to the home from Gateway Restoration.)

Deanna Robbins of Gateway Restoration said, “roofs and window leaks represent 7% of our losses in the Chelsea market. We’ve had calls for roof issues caused by loose shingles, flashing leaks, blown off roofs, chimney issues, hail storms and more.”

She explained, “Some roofing damage is covered by a home insurance policy, while other roof damage is not. Unexpected roof damage is typically covered under your homeowners’ policy. For example, if your roof was damaged in a storm or a fallen tree, your insurance will most likely cover the cost of repairing it. However, there are certain types of roof damage that will not be covered by your homeowners’ policy.”

Below are a few examples:

Wear and tear damage on an older roof.

Damage caused by unaddressed maintenance issues. For example, if you have a leak on your roof that has been happening for years and you did nothing about it, you may not be able to claim damages caused by that leak.

Some policies have wind and hail exclusions, so roof damage caused by wind and hail may not be covered. Be sure to check with your agent on your coverage.

Here are tips if you have to put through a claim for roof damage:

  • Take photos of the damage.
  • Hire a contractor to make temporary repairs (or tarping) to prevent flooding or any further damage to your home.
  • Have a professional inspector assess the damages to see if there is value in filing a claim.
  • Contact your insurance agent to verify whether you are covered through your homeowner’s insurance.

According to Bill Ballagh, the State Farm Agent in Chelsea, “Routine maintenance is a very important part of home ownership. However, should inside damage occur due to a roof leak, it would generally be covered provided it hasn’t been ongoing and repeated. It is very important to take care of the problem right away. And if the damage to the roof can be related to hail, wind, or puncture from a storm, then there may be coverage for the repair on the roof as well.”  

Window Leaks. For window leaks, we need to understand  homeowner’s insurance covers damage – not maintenance. So, before you file a claim for a window leak – know what caused the window damage, she said.

Robbins explained, “Most insurance policies cover events for “Acts of God” like hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. Many insurance companies will only cover “ensuing damage” caused by a window leak, but won’t cover the cost to repair the window itself (window repairs are considered maintenance issues). Another example, if a window has aged and has major “wear & tear,” it likely would not be covered – unless it was damaged directly by an event.”

Robbins went on to say, “Another major issue we encounter – egress windows in basements. Poor planning and installation can lead to major water issues if the window is not placed and sealed properly.  So, I always recommend you take a good look at your egress windows if you are experiencing window leaks in the basement.

Be sure to join us next week for our No. 6 in our Top 10 countdown.

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