Roof damage from wind, hail, lightning, debris, and other storm-related issues are common in Florida, affecting many home and business owners each year. You may not even know that you have roof damage until it’s too late and an active leak is now present. You should have your roof inspected regularly to search for roof damage before it causes bigger problems, especially after a major storm.
If you find roof damage after a major weather event, document the damage and immediately report it to your insurance company. Contact a professional to document necessary information, such as photographs and an analysis of what caused the damage. All of this documentation will be important later if you need to fight your insurance company’s decision on your claim.
What happens if your roof damage is more extensive than what a minor repair can fix? The following rule applies in Florida if your roof has significant damage:
Florida Building Code § 708.11:
Not more than twenty-five (25) percent of the total roof area or roof section of any existing building or structure shall be repaired, replaced or recovered in any 12-month period unless the entire roofing system or roof section conforms to requirements of this code.
What does that mean? In simpler terms, if more than 25% of your commercial or residential roof is damaged because of wind, hail, debris from a storm, or other damage from a weather event, you are entitled to a replacement of your roof or the entire roof section. Per the Florida Building Code, the definition of a roof section is two sides of a sloping roof. Don’t try to guess the percentage of your roof on your own–hire an expert to inspect your roof and make this determination.
Why is this important for you to know? In most roof loss scenarios, insurance companies will state that they are only willing to pay for that minimal repair or patch to repair your roof. If you believe that the roof damage is more extensive than insurance company is suggesting, get a second opinion from a licensed public adjuster or roofer. These professionals can provide you with the in-depth analysis you need to compete with the experts hired by insurance companies.
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