There’s a problem: the floor of your Atlanta home has a huge puddle on it. Just as you’re about to yell at the kids for making a mess – drip. A drop falls right on your forehead. It’s the middle of one of the summer storms that Georgia is notorious for, and the roof is leaking. There is water inside the house and you’ve got one question (okay, maybe three.) Does Georgia home insurance cover a roof leak? Will home insurance cover a new roof? And how can you tell if you have a roof leak? A leak isn’t the only explanation for the water stains on your ceiling. So, here we go – let’s talk about home insurance, leaking roofs, and when a new roof might be covered.
Does home insurance cover a roof leak?
Well…It really depends on your policy. Some home insurance will cover a new roof if yours is damaged by vandalism, fire, or hail. It’s very important for you to read through your policy or reach out to your agent to find out how your particular insurance company handles roof-related claims.
What we can tell you is that a loss caused by something sudden and accidental will probably be covered, meaning that your insurance company will pay to repair or replace the roof. So, if you have a hail storm (hey, they happen even in Georgia) and your roof is damaged, you’d probably be good because that’s a sudden, accidental loss that you couldn’t prevent (unless you have superhero-like powers over the weather.)
Now, there’s one thing to note: you really have to find out how your company will handle the roof repairs or replacement. This depends on whether your roof is insured for its Actual Cash Value (ACV) or its replacement cost value. ACV takes depreciation into account and reimburses you for the value of the roof at the time of the loss. RCV doesn’t look at depreciation and allows you to replace your roof at today’s prices.
So, if a tree falls on your house or a bad storm puts a beating on your poor roof, you’re probably covered.
If your roof has a leak because it has not been properly maintained, it has outlived its life expectancy, or it has been neglected…that’s a different story. Your roof leak claim will probably not be covered. The purpose of insurance is to protect the homeowner against unforeseeable losses that are out of their control, and a lack of maintenance and upkeep doesn’t fit the bill.
So. Be sure to take care of your roof and maintain it properly. Have it inspected regularly by a trustworthy roofing professional. Your roof affects your home insurance, after all.
How to tell if your roof is leaking.
A leaky roof may not be the only possible culprit for water winding up inside your home. You could have condensation dripping in the attic. (How does this happen? When it’s cold in the winter, the warm air that naturally rises causes condensation. The condensation freezes. Then, when it warms up, the frozen condensation melts and drips.) You may have a problem with a pipe. However, there are several signs that your roof is leaking.
1. There’s algae or mold on your roof.
Dark splotches on your roof could mean algae or mold. It could be problematic or it might not. Just because there’s mold doesn’t mean the lifespan of your shingles is shortened, but it could be a sign that something’s wrong.
2. You’re seeing granules in the downspout or gutter.
You know those little specks on your shingles? Those are granules. If you start seeing a significant amount of them in your gutters or downspouts, it might be time for a new roof. Those granules have a very important job. They prevent your shingles from getting roasted by the sun’s rays – your roof is basking in the sun all day, and Georgia certainly gets plenty of strong sunshine. If the granules have started coming off, it’s possible that the shingles could become (or already are) very fragile.
(But if you’ve just gotten a new asphalt shingle roof, it’s normal to notice some granules. Those are probably just extra ones coming off.)
3. Some shingles are missing.
Well, if you’re missing some shingles on your roof and you’re getting water in the house…yeah, you’re probably looking at a roof leak.
4. You have water spots or stains on the ceiling.
If you’ve noticed dark or discolored spots that are ominously growing larger on your ceilings, you could have a leak somewhere. Likewise if there are drip marks streaking down the wall or if your walls are mysteriously bubbling. Do the spots darken or get worse after a hard rain? That could mean that you’ve got a leaking roof on your hands.
5. There are shingles that are curled at the edges or shingles that have buckled.
Water can slip underneath your shingles if there are gaps caused by the edges of the shingles curling in or the middle of the shingle buckling and becoming raised. And that water could cause your roof to leak.
6. There’s damp or moldy insulation in the attic.
Do some investigative work in your attic. If there’s damp or moldy insulation, that’s an indicator that water is seeping in somehow.
7. The flashing on your roof is damaged.
Flashing is the material that covers the joints between the roof and wall. It’s supposed to keep water out. But if it’s all dried out or cracked, it’s probably not being very effective at keeping water out.
8. Your roof is rotting.
Who would have thought that a roof could rot? But it can, particularly if it’s made out of an organic-based material.
Anyways, that’s what you should know about home insurance and leaks. If the leak is caused by damage that’s sudden or accidental, you’re probably covered for a new roof. If the leak is caused by a lack of maintenance, you’re probably not covered. Be sure to have a trustworthy, professional roofing company in mind to do roof inspections. Read through your policy very carefully to see how your roof is covered.
Do you want to save money on your Atlanta home insurance? We can help with that. Our team of insurance experts can help you shop your rates so you can compare coverages and pricing. Get started with your quotes by filling out our online form or giving us a call today.