If you’re wondering, “does homeowners insurance cover roof leaks,” the answer varies. The cause of the leak makes all the difference when it comes to insurance coverage.
Not all roof leaks are created equal
First, determine where the leak is coming from. You may notice water damage, seepage or stains in the ceiling or down the walls. If you have a multi-story house, the source needs to be located and eliminated at each level. If you have a bathroom on your second story, a broken pipe or damaged drain can result in a leaky ceiling below.
Remember to inspect the attic. Start from the inside and move outwards. Inspect the flooring in your attic to see where the water begins.
Don’t forget the walls, too: strong winds can cause water to blow in through the sides rather than from top-down. And, remember to check the roof outside.
It’s common for the wind to blow off roof shingles. Look for fallen branches or debris that could damage the roof of your home and leave it exposed to the elements. Again, don’t forget to check the exterior walls – especially if you have vinyl siding.
According to Allstate, most insurance policies cover common perils. This vague term can apply to various sudden events out of your control like strong winds, fires, and hard rain.
If your leak is from any of those causes, chances are your insurance will cover it. Make sure to read through your policy looking for any discrepancies or talk to your agent. It’s possible your insurance may require you to purchase specific plans for this type of coverage.
Damages not Covered by Wear and Tear of Roof
Unfortunately, most plans don’t cover damage from general wear and tear. If your leak is the result of an average maintenance issue or some type of neglect, you’re probably out of luck.
Seasonal changes affect the quality of roofing material. Make sure you have no cracked, loose, or missing shingles, low spots or dips that can cause ponding.
Check the roofline and fascia area to be sure pests or critters haven’t dug an access hole. Any water not properly draining off the roof can cause interior damage to the wood construction, drywall and insulation. It’s a good idea to walk and inspect your roof seasonally and hire a qualified roofing contractor to keep up with any repairs needed.
Clean up Promptly to Prevent Mold Growth
You’re probably mostly concerned with fixing your roof. Rightfully so: it can be very expensive, and you want to know if your insurance will cover it. However, you should also concern yourself with the water damage. Failure to properly address the water accumulation can quickly lead to mold – within 48 hours. If the leak has existed for longer than a day, you might be facing some mold growth in your home.
Excess water should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. The area should also be aired out and inspected for possible mold growth.
A water damage expert has the proper testing equipment to find hidden water damage inside walls and ceilings. ServiceMaster by the Border is qualified to ensure that the water is quickly and properly removed.
When you notice problems from water damage, check your homeowner’s policy and call the right professional to reduce the water damage with fast removal. Our 24-hour attended phone number will get us on the job fast.