Waterproofing Secrets from the Front Lines: Reducing Claim Costs and Extending Roof Life
What really makes these storms so memorable isn’t the catastrophic weather, but rather the roof repair battles afterward.
By SureCoat Systems.
It’s an endless cycle: a storm hits, a wildfire burns, a snowstorm buries, a flood rushes through – damage happens, and an adjuster gets deployed, and once a property is assessed, it’s not uncommon to find a customer in disagreement over a claim. There are hundreds of beautiful places to live across our great big country, from the wide-open spaces of the Midwest to the breathtaking scenic coastal views that border our lands. What most fail to think about is that Mother Nature created these places, and she also damages them, sometimes wiping them out.
Defending and Defining Damage the Right Way
Las Cruces, New Mexico, the sight of significant hailstorms, not just once in a while, but annually, is a place that saw the most significant hail event in the country a couple of years back. Mario Moreno of Pioneer Roofing in Las Cruces, who has over 40 years of roofing under his belt, remembers this event and several other damaging hailstorms all too well.
What really makes these storms so memorable isn’t the catastrophic weather, but rather the repair battles afterward. Mario likes to refer to these situations as “you’re in good hands until you file a claim.” Many of his clients have insurance companies that send out adjusters who know one process or certain types of roofing when it comes to assessing storm damage.
“Insurance adjusters have been sent to school or training and have become mechanical about only paying so much for certain types of roofs,” Mario says. “I worked with an adjuster that was used to types of roofing, other than flat roofing, and was adamant that I didn’t know what type of roof we were looking at. Contrary to popular belief I had worked on that same roof 20 years ago and knew it was a 4-ply roof, which is the only type of roof I work on. This particular adjuster had never even seen a 4-ply roof before, and didn’t even know that was a thing.”
In another hailstorm related repair, Mario and his team fought alongside homeowners to get the proper payout for extreme Latent Hail Damage that the insurance adjuster misdiagnosed and that wasn’t confirmed until a forensic specialist got involved. Mario’s solution from the get-go is to know and understand what type of roof is in place and to do the job right the first time, so his recommendation for these homeowners was to use a product called the SureCoat Roof System, a product that could restore the extreme hail damage, ultimately being used as a reroofing alternative, which ended up saving the homeowner not only thousands on avoiding the cost associated with a tear-off, but also an additional $18,000-$20,000 associated with disconnecting and reinstalling the roof-mounted solar system.
And guess what happened when hail season hit the following year and the year after that? Nothing – there were no further insurance claims, no additional repairs.
“The need for a quality product that doesn’t just repair, but outlasts storm damage is vital, and there is a need for both the insurers and the insured customers to be aware of who’s doing the work.”
Simplicity and Ease – Doing It Right the First Time
The expectation has changed among those filing claims. Insured customers want to see and speak to their representative after any loss and look to get repairs underway as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Insurance companies have the upper hand, with the ability to improve customer service by vetting the right vendors and contractors who demonstrate experience, strong staffing, who are well-equipped to manage loss, and those who are ready to deploy to assist the insured customer immediately.
“In my experience, in the Southeast, ice storms are our point of impact. A lot of the houses aren’t built to withstand ice and snow buildup, and we see them start to collapse. So, we go in and go from home to home to fix and repair any immediate damage until an adjuster can come out and further advise us on the situation,” James mentions. “I only do two types of roofs, and that’s either SureCoat roofs or metal roofs. If there is a roof that needs further restoration or repair that was previously a SureCoat job, you just go right in, fix the rest of the damage, and it all melds together into one roof, and it doesn’t void any warranty you already have with them.”
Unfortunately, it isn’t always the case that contractors have immediate access to do repairs or have homes that already have a sound system in place that offers that kind of ease for repairs. After contacting insurance companies, many insured customers find they have to wait for any sort of contact until emergency officials give the green light, depending on the severity of damage in many areas.
“Customers want simplicity and ease, which isn’t always top of mind when it comes to damages and claims,” says Mike Treaster, who has experience on both sides of the line, as a long-time contractor who transitioned into insurance adjusting. “In my experience, a lot of customers I work with don’t care about technical data; all they want to know about is the warranty and they want to get the product installed. When they hear about a 10- or 20-year warranty, they think that’s how long they have until they have to perform any type of maintenance, which with your standard coating is a false sense of security.”
Mike, like Mario and James, also happens to be SureCoat-approved, and goes on to say, “From my experience on both sides of the line, there could be a huge market to improve the experience for the insurer and the insured customer by adding a product like SureCoat to the lineup. With SureCoat, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to go up there and roll the product on; it’s simple and easy. Say a hailstorm hits and damages your roofing system; we know we can repair it quickly to a more durable weatherproof condition. On top of that, because SureCoat is water-based, it cleans up easily. You don’t have to get chemicals involved, worrying about how you’re going to dispose of them or wonder what kind of federal laws you have to comply with. It’s safe, and it’s not going to be a threat to crew members or tenants and property owners.”
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