Beginning around 1:30 in the morning on June 13th, a massive storm cell began moving through El Paso County. It's fury was mostly inflicted upon the town of Fountain and the surrounding areas. The storm began with average sized hail, pounded the area for up to 75 minutes, and at times in the tempest, pummeled Fountain with baseball sized hail stones.
I'm a Colorado Springs native, and I can't say that I've seen anything like this. On June 14th, as I went from inspection to inspection, it seemed like the damage I found was more cataclysmic at each house. The only thing I could think of expressing was, “This is unbelievable!”
Cars looked like gangs had wandered the streets that night, smashing them with baseball bats. Some cars literally looked like bowling balls had been hurled at them. We installed an emergency tarp on a skylight that had been completely smashed, showering the bathroom beneath it with shattered glass pieces, and even launching glass into the neighbor's yard. That same house had about 7 holes completely through the roof.
At another client's home, the owner told me that a hail stone the size of a baseball came through his shingles, through the attic insulation, and through the ceiling drywall in his daughter's bedroom. Houses in large sections of Fountain all have tarps on their roofs because so many of them have holes all the way through into the houses.
What Have We Learned?
- If they could have, the door-to-door canvassers would have been hitting the neighborhoods almost before the last hail stone fell, but since the storm happened in the middle of the night, that prevented them from doing so. Nevertheless, they were out in full force first thing in the morning, preying upon homeowners like jackals around a wounded gazelle. I simply have no tolerance for most of these companies.
- Door-to-door companies were doing anything they could to get homeowners signed up, even offering to do their roofs immediately. I'd like to know how that would work out for a homeowner and the roofing company if they replaced a damaged roof before the insurance adjuster showed up, but they were doing it.
- One homeowner reported that a door-to-door guy told her that he was going to get on her roof whether she liked it or not, and there was nothing she could do to stop him.
- About half of the roofers getting commitments from homeowners are from out of town, judging by the signs I've seen in yards all over Fountain.
- Side note of one thing I haven't learned yet: Why do homeowners let the door-to-door guys on their homes and then actually sign up with them?
- Before this storm hit, some insurance companies mitigated their liability of paying for hail damage by increasing their clients' deductible amounts, sometimes a small amount, like from $1000 to $1500, but sometimes significantly. We're seeing homeowners who thought they had $1000 deductibles discover that they have much higher ones. We've seen $2750, $3200, $6000, and even $10,000 deductibles. Before you file a claim, be sure you know what your deductible is.
- Most homes have damage not just to the roof, but they also have damage to paint, windows, window screens, HVAC units, gutters and downspouts, siding and fences. Homestead Roofing can help our clients with repairs to all items except for siding and vinyl fences.
- Insurance adjusters are missing necessary items on every claim we're seeing. Do your homework before you hire a contractor, or hire a contractor who knows how to work with your insurance company to get those items included.
- Foil tape and silicone roof patch saved the day for many homeowners. We used both products to patch holes in skylights, roofs, and windows, preventing water from entering homes.
Since May 18th, there has been 3 major hail storms hit the Colorado Springs area. If you're reading this you are probably one of our existing clients, so you understand the risks of hiring a door-to-door company. Please inform your neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers to be on high alert for scams during this season. This kind of event brings out the worst type of predator – those who are looking to score a quick dollar and then leave a homeowner high and dry with no, or poor quality repairs done to their home.