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Fort Lauderdale Roof Damage Lawyer

One thing we can all attest to is that the roof is one of the most crucial parts of a house. The roof is designed to protect your house and belongings from the element, but when it sustains damage, that protection can become compromised and resulting in more substantial problems.

As a result, more and more insurance companies have become restrictive with roof coverage, and some do not even cover houses with older roofs. These restrictions can result in coverage gaps as well as claim denials.

There are many types of roof damage, which can occur at any time. Severe winds are especially common in Florida. A tree may also fall on your house, compromising its structure and integrity. While these damages are usually covered under a homeowner’s policy, there are cases where the insurance company may deny your claim. This leaves you in a dire, frustrating dangerous situation.

If your insurance company has denied or is delaying your compensation, you should turn to the skills and expertise of Fort Lauderdale roof damage lawyers. The team at Klotzman Property Damage Law has been in the industry for years and we will use our resources and knowledge to protect your rights.

Call our Fort Lauderdale property damage lawyers today at 954-915-7405 for a free initial consultation.

Table of Contents

What Are the Common Causes of Roof Damage in Fort Lauderdale?

There are numerous factors that can contribute to roof damage. The common ones include:

Poor Roof Maintenance

This is arguably the most common factor that ends up costing people the most as the longer they wait, the more the problems. Failure to schedule professional roof inspections and maintenance results in leak development and other types of damage as the roof wears down over time.

When the repairs are done early, they are simple and cheap, but when ignored, they become major and expensive problems down the line.

Strong Winds

Extreme winds can rip off shingles and exposed nails and even warp various parts of your roof. The stressful part about this type of damage is the lack of evidence when the shingles have not been blown away. In some cases, shingles curling happens, resulting in the possibility of trapped water.

Hail Damage

Hail happens as a result of severe storms and it is one of the most feared elements due to its devastating potential. Hail consists of heavy ice balls that not only dent the roof but cause wear to the granules found within the roof.

Inclement Weather

Some weather conditions such as excess sun exposure, humidity, and snow can lead to roof damage with time. At first, the damage is meager, but once the materials start breaking down, the small issue escalates into a worrying problem.

Tree Branches

While the trees on your property can be a source of shade and fresh air, they can also lead to roof damage if they are too close to the house. This happens when the branches break off during inclement weather.

Incorrect Installation

Even the best materials won’t hold off if the roof was installed poorly. Poor roof installation increased the possibility of issues like trapped water, leaks, and even roof collapse. That’s why it is imperative to have the best roof installers for the job.

Animals

Any animal that can make its way to the roof is a potential threat. From squirrels and woodpeckers to mice and termites, there are many ways your roof can sustain damage. They can make holes, pull away the shingles and damage the flashings.

Debris

Things like pine needles, leaves, etc. can cause damage to the roof. Debris accumulates over time resulting in trapped water. This moisture in return becomes a source of mold and rot. If left unattended, mold can spread, causing health issues. As for rot, it makes it easy for holes to be punched through.

UV Rays

Your roof is constantly exposed to the sun, making it one of the most common contributors to wear. Over time, the sun’s rays start to age the shingles and other exposed layers. Sings of this kind of aging include faded coloring, cracked or dried shingles, and pieces of the roof falling. This type of damage is usually a sign that the roof needs to be replaced.

Gutters

Gutters are a part of the roof that allow rainwater to drain away from the structure. A gutter that’s not functioning properly results in trapped debris, blocking the flow of water. Over time, water can make its way through the structure’s layers and lead to rot formation.

Hail falling on a roof, concept of Fort Lauderdale roof damage lawyer

What Are the Types of Roof Damage Covered by Insurance?

Generally, Florida homeowners insurance covers roof damage that can’t be linked back to the homeowner. These include:

Severe Weather Conditions

Florida is renowned for harsh weather. Common threats include harsh rains, hail, high winds, and hurricanes. These natural disasters can take a toll on your home, leading to thousands of dollars in repairs. Luckily, homeowner’s insurance covers these damages.

Falling Trees

It is important to note that your insurance won’t always cover roof damage. That’s because most claims fall within a thin line between falls caused by neglect and those that are weather-related. If you knew about an old overhanging tree, for example, and did nothing when it was clear it was a threat, the insurance company is almost guaranteed to deny your claim.

Fires

As long as the fire that caused the damage was an accident, it is covered in your homeowner’s policy. For example, if you knocked over a candle or left the stove on, causing the house to burn, your policy will cover the damage, including the roof. However, intentional fires or rather arson by the homeowner is not included in the policy.

Vandalism

While vandalism is not as common as natural disasters, fires, or falling trees, it still happens. Generally, vandalism is covered under an all-perils or all-risks, unless it’s specifically excluded. In the state of Florida, vandalism is deemed to as damage caused to an individual’s roof just for the sake of causing damage.

Malicious mischief also falls in the same category, although the damage might not be intentional.

Home Interior

While you can get additional coverage for your roof, most of it is under the umbrella of your homeowner’s insurance policy. That said, it covers anything else that gets damaged as a result of the roof damage. A storm that results in partial damage to your roof may also result in additional damage to the interior of your house. As such, your insurance company should compensate you for that damage as well.

What Are the Types of Roof Damage Not Covered by Insurance?

There are also cases where your homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover roof damage. These include:

Normal Wear & Tear

As a Florida resident, you can expect harsh and inclement weather to cause wear and tear. Given standard wear is inevitable, you are expected to schedule regular roof inspections and maintenance to keep the structure in good condition. Keep in mind that inspections and maintenance aren’t covered under homeowner’s insurance as they are preventative work meant to keep your roof in optional condition.

Pest Damage

Pest control, in the eyes of insurance companies, is your responsibility. That means you’re expected to deal with the critters before they destroy the roof. Rat, termite, ant, bird, and squirrel damage is preventable and so, your policy won’t cover roof damage caused by animals.

However, there are exceptions like a sudden pest attack that resulted in a disaster. A good example is when an animal gnaws at an electrical wire, sparking a fire that resulted in damage.

Cosmetic Damage

Cosmetic damage or loss changes the physical appearance of your roof covering. In essence, it doesn’t prevent your roof from performing optimally or cause damage that caused water penetration. Strong winds may tear off a few shingles, resulting in minimal damage.

Here, the insurance carrier will likely deny your claim. In addition, you’ll want to avoid submitting claims that call for meager repairs. That is because they may have an effect on future claims or lead to an increase in premiums.

Contractors repairing a damaged roof

What Should I Do When My Roof Is Damaged?

Given the importance of your roof, it is important to know what steps to take following damage.

Assess the Damage

First and foremost, you will want to assess the location and extent of the damage. With approximate damage assessments, you will be in a better position to discuss your requirements with the insurance carrier and roofing contractor, as well as avoid unforeseen expenses. Using a pair of binoculars, document the materials visible or visible. You’ll want to look for missing shingles, exposed plywood, and tarpaper.

Contact a reliable roofing company for an estimate of repair costs. Don’t simply rely on the insurance adjustor for this.

Reduce Property Damage With Temporary Fixes

If your roof has sustained severe damage in an area where items underneath can be damaged by leaking water, do some temporary fixes. This includes removing any valuables underneath and placing a bucket under the leaks.

Call the Insurance Company

Next call the insurance carrier. Ensure you determine whether the damage is severe enough to be covered by homeowner’s insurance or if it makes more economical sense to hire a contractor for the repairs. When large residential areas are hit by a natural disaster, it makes more sense to leverage your insurance as contractors tend to be busy and expensive.

Call a Roof Damage Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

More and more insurance companies have become restrictive with roof coverage, and some do not even cover houses with older roofs. These restrictions can result in coverage gaps as well as claim denials.

If your insurance company has denied or is delaying your compensation, you should turn to our Fort Lauderdale roof damage lawyers at Klotzman Property Damage Law.

Hire a Reliable Roof Contractor

If you need to hire a roofer, ensure you work with professional certified ones. Avoid those who are there due to the natural disaster, also referred to as storm chasers as they tend to do subpar jobs at a high price.

How Much Does It Cost to Repair or Replace a Roof?

In the state of Florida, the average costs for a shingle roof are between $10,000 and $20,000. Bear in mind that the expense can increase substantially depending on an array of factors like the size of your home, roofing material, etc.

Also, note that you may still may some out of pocket if you are covered by homeowner’s insurance. In some cases, you may have to pay as little as $500. You get a roof inspection from a reputable roofing company and hire a Fort Lauderdale roof damage lawyer to protect your interests as you negotiate with the insurance adjusters.

Woman frustrated by a denied roof damage claim

Why Would a Roof Damage Insurance Claim Get Denied?

There are a number of reasons why your roof damage insurance claim may get declined. Some of the common ones include:

Previous Damage

In Florida, your roof is unlikely to hit 30 years without damage that warrants a replacement through the homeowner’s insurance policy. However, note that your policy won’t cover damage that happened under a previous policy.

Wear & Tear

As mentioned earlier, roofing materials degrade with time. So, if you are purchasing a house with an old roof that wasn’t properly maintained, the roofing issues you incur won’t be covered by your policy.

Partial Damage

For a full roof replacement, the insurance company needs to determine that enough damage was done to warrant the claim. So partial damages do not apply.

Manufacturers Defect

If it’s determined that damage was due to a manufacturer defect, your insurance provider won’t be responsible for repair or replacement costs and you’ll have to take it up with the manufacturer.

Filing a Claim too Late

Every insurance policy has a timeline by which you must file a claim. You should start your claim as soon as possible.

Ways a Roof Repair Delay Can Affect You

Overlooking roof repair or signs of damage can have undesirable effects, including:

  • Water damage
  • The structure becoming a liability
  • Health risks like mold and disease-carrying bugs
  • Reduced home energy efficiency
  • Reduced home value

Our Fort Lauderdale Roof Damage Lawyers Can Help!

Dealing with a damaged roof is a stressful situation especially when your claim is denied. A roof damage lawyer in Fort Lauderdale will help deal with insurance companies and file a lawsuit if necessary. The team at Klotzman Property Damage Law has vast experience in this field.

Do not hesitate to reach out by calling our offices at 954-915-7405 for a free case review!

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