Whether it’s caused by extreme weather or just an extra rainy season, few things can ruin an evening at home, like having to strategically place buckets for ceiling leaks. And what’s left behind after the rain is an ugly brown stain that will only worsen over time.
But the visible damage isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. Anytime you can see a leak in your ceiling, your house is already vulnerable to mold growth and even structural damage to your home.
With all of that on your plate, the last thing you need is to find out that your roof insurance won’t pay. In this post from The Construction Group in Minnesota, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about getting your roof leaks covered by insurance.
Give us a call to schedule your roof maintenance or inspection today!
How Does Homeowners Insurance Coverage Work?
Homeowners insurance policies are meant to cover many types of sudden unexpected damage on your main dwelling and possibly additional structures on the property. The types of damage covered must be due to certain perils outlined in your insurance policy.
These are some of the most common types of perils insurance policies typically cover:
● Ice storms
● Vehicle impact
Policies typically require homeowners to pay a deductible and include coverage limits. These policy terms can be changed depending on the needs of the policyholder. Additionally, some policies may include certain exclusions.
Be sure to check the terms of your policy and keep a copy on hand at all times with your important documents. Additionally, be sure to program your insurance agent’s phone number and the number for your general contractor into your speed dial.
Are Roof Leaks Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Roof leak coverage typically depends on the circumstances of the claim. Although roof leaks are typically covered, insurance companies will usually consider both the condition of the roof prior to the claim and homeowner maintenance or neglect of maintenance.
Generally speaking, homeowners insurance companies will flatly deny claims they conclude are related to gradual wear and tear or neglected maintenance.
What Are the Common Causes of Roof Leaks?
These are the most common causes of leaky roofs. Don’t ignore the signs, or the issue will only get worse!
1. Missing or Damaged Shingles
Strong weather represents the greatest threat to your roof. High winds pull the shingles from your roof’s decking, while freezing weather can cause them to dry out and become cracked.
2. Flashing Issues
The thin metal piece installed under your shingles and onto the roof joints is called flashing. Its purpose is to help move water around from your roof’s valleys or corners. This can end up with corrosion that leads to cracks and holes.
3. Unsealed Valleys
The place where two sections of your roof come together is known as a valley. These need to be properly sealed together so water cannot seep into the attic. However, they can become loose over time or even end up missing.
4. Water Buildup
Built-up water can seep through your roof and infiltrate your home.
5. Missing or Cracked Seals
Objects on your roof, such as skylights, satellites, and chimneys, need seals around them. When these seals, known as booting, are damaged, it can cause roof problems.
6. Clogged gutters
Debris in your gutters can cause a clog, causing water to be rerouted and damage your home’s fascia, siding, or roof.
7. Aging Roof
Every roof type has its designated lifespan. Once that time reaches, it begins to show signs of weakness. Hence, your roof may begin to leak when they have reached the end of its life span.
8. Cracked Chimney
Over the course of their time, your chimneys get weak from years of continuous exposure to harsh weather, causing the mortar that holds it all together to wear away.
9. Poorly Installed Skylights
A leak originating from one of your skylights is likely to be the easiest to detect, as it should be very evident. In some situations, when leaks come from your roof windows, it's possible the flashing is also affected.
If your skylight is damaged, your window experts should be able to tell if you need a window replacement or repair.
Are These Factors Covered by Insurance?
If you’re wondering if your insurance carrier will pay to fix your roof, this will be something to keep in mind:
According to Forbes.com, your homeowner's policy likely won’t pay for damage caused by these situations:
1. Gradual wear and tear
2. Normal roof aging
3. Homeowner neglect
4. Animals, including termites and mice
6. Rot or mold
In addition, a home insurance claim for roof damage typically has a deductible. The type of deductible is determined by how the damage was caused. A roof damage claim may result in the standard homeowner's insurance deductible, or it could be eligible for a hurricane deductible if a storm or severe weather causes the damage.
A hurricane deductible or windstorm deductible can either be a flat dollar amount or a fixed percentage of your dwelling insurance coverage limit. If you’re required to pay a deductible for a roof claim, the cost will come from your total payout for the repairs.
What About Chimney Leaks & Homeowners Insurance?
You might have a chimney leak if you spot these signs:
● Eroded Masonry: When water invades masonry and wears down seals, it can cause bricks and stones to erode and deteriorate. If you see crumbling bricks or stones around the fireplace or chimney could indicate a leak.
● Visible Rust: If you notice rust around the damper or flue pipe, that’s a pretty good indicator you have a leak. The moisture from the leak will rust out the metal components in your chimneys, such as the damper and the flue.
● Damaged Flue Lining: The damper seals your flue pipe. Therefore, it may not provide a proper seal if it’s badly rusted. A damaged flue lining is no longer fireproof, making your chimney a fire hazard.
● Missing Chimney Cover: A chimney should let smoke escape from the home but block water from entering without it, it’s like a hole in the roof letting rain, snow, and debris drip down. This chimney feature is usually a piece of metal that fits over the chimney's opening with a hole in the middle for the chimney cap. Most covers have a slight slope on each side so that water rolls off rather than collecting on a flat surface and leaking inside.
● Deteriorating Chimney Cap: The chimney cap sits on top of the chase cover. The sides are made of a screen that prevents sparks from escaping the chimney. The seal between the chimney cap and the chase cover can break down over time, leading to a leaking chimney cap.
● Damaged Flashing: Flashing is the material on the roof used to direct water away from critical areas of the roof, wherever the roof plane meets a vertical surface like a wall or a dormer. If this flashing is damaged or not installed correctly, it won’t create a shield against water or debris, resulting in the chimney leaking water.
Are Chimney Damages Covered By Homeowner’s Insurance?
Will a homeowner’s Insurance cover chimney repairs? A good rule of thumb to remember is that wear and tear over the years will not be covered by your insurance. This means that if you have a leak in your ceiling due to your chimney’s old age and any damages occurring over the years, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover you. They see wear and tear as an avoidable risk that results from the homeowner not taking care of their chimney.
But, if your chimney is damaged as a result of something sudden and uncontrollable such as a lightning strike or a chimney fire, your homeowner’s insurance may cover it. Even if the chimney fire was due to homeowner negligence, it’s still considered a sudden and uncontrollable event, and most insurance companies will cover you. Always know what your policy covers when you purchase it.
Chimney Repair Services We Offer
Don’t become a victim of accidents caused by bad chimney installation or a worn-out chimney base! By repairing the chimney, your home is safer from moisture, mold, fire, and the harsh outside elements.
We can restore your chimney in the following areas:
● Flashing systems
● Chimney and roof lining
● Brick-and-mortar replacement
● Complete chimney replacement
Schedule Twin Cities Roof Maintenance
Part of responsible homeownership includes staying on top of minor roof damage to prevent serious problems down the road. Don’t risk getting into a bind with a denied policy claim. Instead, call The Construction Group to schedule a roof inspection before roof problems become significant.
To get a free quote on roof repairs, call The Construction Group in Woodbury today at 651-731-5857. Or contact us on the web to connect with a member of our team.