If you’re dealing with a home which was affected by fire, water or mold, you may have a little extra work on your hands.
Unlike physical damage, which can be a bit more straightforward to repair, fire damage, water damage, or lingering mold can be extraordinarily problematic.
Remember, repairing a roof means not just fixing it for today, but ensuring it holds up for years to come.
Let’s discuss what you should do in order to repair it right, and get a properly approved claim for any extra materials, depreciation, and labor.
Inspecting Fire, Water, and Mold Damage
First, if you ever suspect there is damage to a project as a result of fire, water or mold, you’ll want to complete a more thorough inspection.
You’ll want to review not just the obvious, visible damage, but all the surrounding areas and points of contact for the area you’ll be responsible for repairing. In addition, you should be extra cautious and liberal with the amount of pictures you take, too.
But a visual inspection is not going to be enough if you think the damage could be more than meets the eye.
Here’s what else you’ll want to do:
Inspect seams, joints, and all fasteners at the point of repair and everything around it
Scrape or tap on surfaces to see if issues lie below the surface of the material
Look for signs of decay, rust on metal, bumps in material, or cracking and splitting
Look for discoloration, spotting, or soot
Again, make sure to take pictures of everything, even the areas you may not feel are a concern - having a complete file for what you are going to repair is just as important as what you are not responsible for when fire, water or mold are a possibility.
Properly Estimating Replacement Costs
If you’re dealing with this kind of repair, here’s what is suggested: when in doubt, throw it out.
The thing about damage from water, fire, or mold and mildew is that it can slowly spread over time. For this reason, if even a single piece of shingle, wood, insulation or fastener is affected, it can only get worse over time.
It’s better off being fully replaced to recover the original integrity of the roof or seam than to speculate if partially removing or covering would be enough to get the job done.
As mentioned before, what you see now may not be what you get when more time has passed and additional creeping or settling occurs. This is especially true if it’s not at the surface level of the material you’re inspecting.
You may end up with a claim requesting a higher than normal material requirement, so having ample pictures and details of the severity of the damage is critical.
Documenting Quality of Work
When the job is done, you may want to consider doing a little extra legwork to document exactly what, how and to what extent repairs were completed.
There is never a guarantee you were able to clear up 100% of damage caused by fires, leaks or mold, but verifying your work at the time of repair can be critical should anything happen in the years to come.
Again, pictures, from many angles, are very important. Consider a “before and after” style of photography so there’s no doubt what was and wasn’t needed to get the roof back to its original condition.
In addition, consider documenting what was removed, too. Even if screws weren’t rusty or wood was still in good shape, note these so a future claim can’t attempt to come back to you for improperly repaired work.
Consider an Expert, When Needed
If you find extensive damage, don’t be afraid to call for help.
Fire and water restoration companies who specialize in this sort of repair may actually be a great teammate to ensure sufficient job completion. Remember, your primary concern is the roof and its integrity.
But if you’re unsure the roof repair will be top notch without the assistance of an expert in water or fire damage, it could be worth the extra help now to avoid the headache later.
Water, fire, mold and mildew damage can be a lot of extra work to deal with, so be sure to track your labor, overhead and materials closely to ensure you don’t end up in a negative cash flow job.