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Roofing/Roofer vs. Insurance Company


Backstory: A tornado passed near our Missouri home a couple of weeks ago. We had much tree damage and a section of siding blown off. A neighbor-recommended roofer inspected the roof and claimed that the storm had lifted the shingles too much in many areas, and that we needed a new roof. He demonstrated that while the shingles appeared "down", he could too easily lift them with his fingers. He predicted that that insurance adjuster would claim that the shingles were fine and would "lay back down" shortly. There is no leakage.

So basically I'm stuck between a guy who wants to sell me a roof and a company which does not want to pay for a roof. I know you can't assess my actual damage over the internet, but you can perhaps provide some insight.

Mainly: is the roofer's story feasible? He said the shingles could indeed be fine for now, but the next big wind could/would cause entire sections to be blown off, exposing the decking (my word, may not be the correct term) and we'd end up having to get the roof replaced then anyway. Is it one of those things where 10 people could have 10 different opinions on the extent of the "over lifting", or is it usually more cut-and-dried?

I plan on appealing the insurance company's judgement, and gathering more information from other sources. If the roof is fine, I see no reason to go through the hassle (and deductible costs) of getting a new one, but if it's likely "compromised" I'll do battle with the insurance company.

FYI, they're "normal" 40-year architectural shingles.

Thanks for providing this service.

You didn't say what the insurance company said. You only said the roofer said he can lift them up. Is the insurance company saying he's lying and you can't lift them up? Is the insurance company agreeing that you can lift them up but they will "go back down"?

There is a difference between lifting the ends of the shingles up and lifting whole areas up. If you can lift whole areas up then the nails will have pulled through and the shingles will not go back down and will blow off. Or if the nails were pulled up with it the nails will not go back down and the shingles will puncture holes around them.

If what you're lifting is only the flaps of the shingles then that's not due to a tornado. That's faulty shingles where the glue strip is not working. Or did the roofer break loose shingle tabs before you got up there to show you loose shingles. If just the tabs are loose then you don't have an insurance claim. You can remedy this by putting a dab of roofing cement under each one to "glue" them down permanently.

You said you had 40 year shingles but you didn't say how far into those years you were at. If you're at 39 years then you need a new roof anyway and that's why your shingles are bad. If you're at year 1 then make a claim with the shingle company.



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Brad Zacharia


All aspects of residential Roofing. This includes shingles and flat (low slope) roofs. I have knowledge in the installation as well as the design of roofs from an engineering standpoint.


I have been doing roofing for 40 years. This was my father's business and I took it over in 1980.

I have written responses to artcles that I felt needed a response to and those responses have been published in roofing trade magazines.

BSEE Drexel University

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