After a large scale natural disaster such as a hurricane, there is generally a long line of people waiting for repairs to their roofs. Whether your entire roof suffered extensive damage or you just have a few weakened spots that need patching, you will likely have to wait several days or even weeks for a roofing contractor to become available. Below are some of the things you can do to minimize your wait time and make sure your home is protected while you wait for your turn in the roofing queue.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Family First
After a storm damages your home, your first priority should be the care of you and your family. If the damage to your home is too severe for you to stay in your home comfortably, make alternative arrangements until you can get contractors in to assess the damage. Do not stay in your home if you are concerned about roofing damage or other structural issues that may make your home unsafe.
Complete Minor Fixes On Your Own
If your roof damage is minor and not structural, you may choose to stay in your home while you wait for a contractor to fix minor holes, leaks, or missing shingles. Since the queue can be long, you may want to complete temporary fixes such as tarring or patching small areas of your roof. You should only do these repairs if you feel comfortable with them, and you should keep in mind that these are temporary fixes rather than long-term solutions. You will still need roofing contractors to assess the damage to your roof and complete thorough, more intensive repairs as necessary.
Make Sure You Find an Experienced, Qualified Contractor
After natural disasters, local and state governments may relax regulations regarding who can complete roofing repairs. The idea is to allow experienced general contractors without a roofing certification to provide repairs to meet the needs of more people, faster. However, there will be some people who step up to fill this need without the experience necessary to provide long lasting, safe roof repairs for your home.
If you can complete temporary repairs on your own and wait for a certified roofing contractor, that is the best option. Alternatively, make sure you are looking for someone who has experience with roofing and a positive reputation, even if they are not certified.
Sign Up for the Waiting List of Your Preferred Contractor
As soon as you find the contractor you want to work with, sign up for the wait list. This will put you in line for their attention. You may be tempted to sign up for 2-3 wait lists to see who will become available first. However, this can skew wait times and make you end up with your second choice contractor.
You should do enough research to find a single contractor you want to work with and then sign up for only their wait list. Both contractors and other people waiting for repairs will appreciate this courtesy.
Wait to Complete Interior Repairs Until Your Roof Has Been Fixed
While your roof is compromised, you are at risk for continued leaking and further damage from wind and rain if another storm comes through. While you may be tempted to work on your interior while you wait for a contractor, you should fix your roof before completing any expensive internal repairs to your home. However, you can remove debris and clean any dirt or sand in your home. You can also dry out your home from water damage while you wait for your contractor to become available.