There are many things we take for granted. A roof over our head is one of them. In Canada, the weather can change instantly. Hurricane windstorms to calm and sunny, to ice and snow. We rely on that roof quite a bit, and then we realize how frustrating it can be to fix an issue that starts in the roof and attic. Here is some information to make sure your roof is looked after and how insurance companies now assess claim damages to your roof.
I’m not going to explain how roof systems work, as there are so many different kinds of roofing. Shingles, Rolled Roofing, Metal, Tin, Clay Tile, Metal Tile, Shakes, etc. However, there are some things you can do to make sure you are looking after the necessities.
- Inspect the roof twice a year; After winter and after summer. These are times of stress on a roof.
- Keep the roof clean and free from debris.
- If shingles are curling or free of granules, your roof may need immediate replacement or repair.
- Make sure your shingles are properly sealed to the roof and that all flashings, rubber washers and other items where there is a seal are in good condition with no cracks – as these are the source of most leaks.
- Keep eavestroughs and gutters clean – a build up of debris can cause water to not drain properly, potentially causing future water damage issues.
- Make sure your ventilation is available. All the vents, ridge vents, wind birds, etc. need to be free and clear of debris and never blocked. Proper ventilation ensures heat and moisture do not build up in the attic area. This prevents ice damming issues.
- Make sure downspouts are installed correctly (directed away from building) as a buildup of water right next to the house can cause seepage issues. (Not typically covered under insurance).
- Remove branches and leaves from the roof as this can cause mold or moss issues on roof. Especially cedar roofs as they need to breathe.
- Proper insulation in the attic is important to eliminate any moisture / freezing / condensation issues from occurring. Make sure you check near the edges of the attic as the wind can blow the insulation around creating bare patches.
How do insurance companies look at insuring a roof?
In 2018, insurance companies have started applying depreciation to roofs for wear and tear. Most companies start applying this depreciation on a roof that is around 16 years or older if you put in a claim for wind or hail damage. This means that you’ll be deducted a certain percentage of the claim based on the age and condition of your roof prior to the loss.
This doesn’t mean all roofs will be adjusted the same. For example, if you have a weather-resistant material like a metal tile vs 20 year shingle, the depreciation will be quite different. An asphalt shingle will depreciate at a rate of 10% per year after the 15 years to a maximum of 80% depreciation, regardless of age.
- Asphalt/Fibreglass (Class 1 Shingle) – 10%
- Asphalt/Fibreglass (Class 4 Shingle) – 7%
- Membrane Roofing – 5%
- Metal, Rubber, Synthetic, Slate, Tile, Concrete – 2%
- Wood Shakes or Shingles – 4%
- Tar & Gravel – 30%
- Other – 9%
- Soffit, Fascia, Eavestroughs – 5%
If you have a 20 year old roof with asphalt shingles (class 1), the insurance company will pay to have your roof repaired or replaced minus 50% depreciation (10% per year x 5 years).
If you have any questions regarding this coverage or the changes when settling a roofing claim; please contact us. We want to set you up to handle any risk management before a claim occurs. The best thing you can do is be prepared.