Roofer installing shingles

Tips for Roof Maintenance & Repair |

Updated October 5, 2016 . AmFam Team

The roof over your head is your home’s first line of defense. Keeping your home in good condition ensures you’ll enjoy it for many years to come. Here are some tips to extend the life of your roof and things to consider when it’s time for replacement.

How Can I Make Sure I’m Hiring the Right Roofing Contractor?

If you’ve given your roof a good review and decided it’s time for repairs or replacement, the next step is to hire a roofing contractor you can trust. Find peace of mind by asking a few key questions.

  • How long have you been in the business?
  • Are you bonded and insured, including worker’s compensation and general liability?
  • Do you have the appropriate licenses for my community?
  • Can I call your customers for a reference?
  • Are you willing to put all agreements, promises and understanding in writing?

Remember, the cost to replace a roof varies according to the market, roofing materials, the roofing contractor, the pitch (or steepness) of the roof, the area to be covered and other factors.

Are you looking for more ways you can take care of your home? Our home maintenance hub has a number of tips and resources to guide you to keep your home in great shape all year long.

Are Roofs Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?

If your home, including your roof, is damaged, our homeowners coverage works hard to help you regroup and restore. And if your home isn’t livable while things are being repaired or rebuilt, we may even help cover temporary housing expenses. Take a look at our roof replacement coverage page to learn how your homeowners insurance covers roof damage, and in the meantime, here’s the gist of what you should know.

  • With American Family Insurance, your base homeowners policy provides actual cash value coverage for wind and hail damage to roofing systems.
  • Replacement cost value coverage for wind and hail damage to roofs is available as an optional coverage.
  • Roof losses for all other perils (e.g. falling objects) are covered at replacement cost.
  • Cosmetic hail damage coverage for metal roof or siding is available as an optional coverage.

The answers you need. Have questions about protecting your home with the right coverage? View our home insurance FAQs.

Need to file a claim? Our industry-leading claims service is focused on helping you regroup and restore, with as little interruption as possible. Let's get started.

Want to make sure you have the right coverage for your home and roof? Your American Family agent (Opens in a new tab) is ready to help!

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources and does not afford or guarantee any coverage.

*Homeowners premiums are based on a variety of factors including roof age, roof material and more, which impacts the rate you are quoted and that you will pay.

**Discount availability and eligibility varies by state and policy terms.

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    Your home is more than a roof over your head. It’s where your dreams grow, your family thrives and memories are made. But the possessions you keep inside are important, too.

    Whether you’re renting an apartment or own your home, you’ve most likely got an insurance policy designed to protect your dwelling and the things inside. Should the unthinkable happen and you have to use that insurance policy, it’s important to have a plan in place. And a home inventory list is a great way to get started!

    We’ll walk you through how to create a home inventory so — in the event of the unexpected — you’ll be more prepared and have a streamlined recovery.

    What Is a Home Inventory?

    Quite simply, a home inventory is a complete list of all the items, especially valuables, in and around your home. The best home inventories include photos, descriptions and dollar values of each of your belongings. The more detail, the better! It’ll help you provide a comprehensive list to your agent of items lost in the event your home is damaged or destroyed, allowing you to get the most out of your coverage.

    When your describing the items in your list, remember that the more information, the better. Here’s a quick reference list of the type of information you should include in your home inventory list:

    • An in-depth description of the items. For example, rather than writing down “diamond ring,” be more descriptive, such as: “an emerald cut diamond ring, with white gold shank, accent stones and initials inscribed below the bridge.”
    • Make, model, and/or serial number of the items.
    • Date of purchase, receipts and photos.
    • Estimated replacement cost if you bought it today. Do note that the value of the items might be different today than it was when you first bought them. This is especially true with jewelry, and other valuables.
    • Appraisals at time of purchase. Especially if your items were appraised for insurance purposes.

    Why Do I Need a Home Inventory?

    Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter, everyone can benefit from a home inventory!

    If you ever have to make a claim, a home inventory is a great asset to have, especially after stressful events like theft, storm damage or a fire (take a look at how one renter used their home inventory after facing an apartment fire).

    When you make a claim, you typically submit information on everything that was lost — which can be difficult to do off the top of your head for all your possessions. Remembering to replace your TV or computer are no-brainers, but when it comes to remembering each piece of jewelry in your jewelry box, things tend to get overlooked. Having a personal property inventory will help, along with knowing how to properly insure your jewelry.

    When you have your home inventory checklist, you know exactly what needs to be replaced, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing your entire household is protected.

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    You’re admiring the rain from the comfort of your home when you notice a sound — the unmistakable drip of water dropping onto your floor. The first and hardest step is figuring out why your roof is leaking. And with these tips, you’ll find the culprit in no time!

    Here’s Why Your Roof Is Leaking

    The list of reasons why your roof is leaking may seem long, but don’t worry — when it comes to finding the leak and fixing it, the finding is the hardest part. And the good thing about these problems? They can all be fixed. Check out the list and see what’s troubling your roof:

    Your roof is old

    Roofs don’t last forever. Protecting your home and everything inside it from the elements comes with a cost. And with all that rain, snow, ice, wind and even sunlight wearing down your roof, it becomes more susceptible to leaks. Every roof will eventually need to be replaced, so learn more about how long your roof should last based on what it’s made of.

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    There’s no good time to find out your roof needs repair — but you may be able to mitigate that pain by routinely checking your roof for damage after severe weather. Waiting for a leak or damage to present itself gives the problem time to grow and worsen.

    And sometimes, you’ll be faced with expensive roof and interior damage repairs if you’re not diligent. By being proactive and checking your roof for damage after severe weather hits can help your roof — and your savings — stay healthy.