So we had this hailstorm in my immediate vicinity. Houses and cars within a couple blocks of here had major damage. We were in the middle of having the house painted and work done on the back (South side). The hailstorm was the loudest thing ever, especially on third floor, being as how that’s right under the roof and skylights. We were having work done on the back of the house, and painting done on three sides, so there was lots of scaffolding outside getting nailed as well.
Jasper and Bailey both were awakened and wanted to know, “What’s happening?!” Jasper curled up in the inside hallway and covered his ears. We stayed away from windows. It was an incredible storm. A real show of force from Mother Nature.
The neighbors had to have the roof of their car replaced. All the watermelons growing in the front yard were smashed to bits. The leaves left on the trees had super-ball sized holes in them. It was serious business.
The roofers started coming door-to-door the following day. They were like sharks when there’s blood in the water. We called the insurance company to come and take a look at the roof, since we figured the roofers weren’t the best judge of whether we needed a new roof. The insurance company sent a kid (early twenties, maybe) from Circle Pines (not a city kid). The way he looked at my tall, tall, steep-roofed house was comical. Houses in my neighborhood are so close together, it’s hard to put a ladder between them. Lucky for him, we already had scaffolding up on the back.
He gave a nervous laugh when I pointed out that he could just climb the scaffolding to look at the roof. First, he would check the paint on the house (from the ground level). Yup, the two sides (East and West) would need to be re-primed and painted. The scaffolding appeared to have protected the south side. Adjuster-guy decided that he should check the garage next, did we have a small ladder? Yup we did. He walked around on the garage roof circling dings that we couldn’t see from the ground with chalk.
When there was nothing left to do, and with great trepidation, he started climbing the scaffolding to look at the house roof. When he got to the top level he put his hands up on the roof and peeked up over the eaves, something like what you would do to see on the top shelf of a closet. His nose barely cleared the roof. It was one or two seconds. Yup. Totaled. We’d need a new roof. Did I have the measurements for the roof? No. I only had the perimeter measurements for the house.
Adjuster-guy said he’d use Google to get a picture of the roof and calculate the amount of shingles, etc. that we’d need to re-do the house. He had some sort of calculator he used to calculate these things. He never did set foot on the roof. I guess it kind of stands to reason, since he found damage on the roof of the garage, the house is quite a number of feet closer to the sky, right? The damage has to be at least as bad as the garage damage.
Plus, if we have an insurance claim that pays for an entire new roof, it’s a pretty good bet that we’re not going to contest his adjuster skills. He was right on that score.
When he didn’t call back after about a week with a number or even an estimate on damages, I called the number on his business card. It was a nice little card, with a picture of a black lab, holding a dead duck in its mouth. When someone answered the phone I asked for him by name. Turns out the guy who answered the cell number on the business card was Mr. Adjuster, Senior. Father to the young man who was out to look at my roof. Adjuster Junior was still sleeping, he’d been all over hell and high water climbing on people’s roofs down in the city, don’t ya know. Oh yah, I knew.
I was calling to ask what he calculated for painting costs, seeing as how our painter was already set up. Senior recommended that I ask the painter for an estimate and fax that estimate over to the number on the card. The painter came up with an estimate and we faxed it over. Painter re-painted two sides of the house and we paid him, content in the knowledge that we’d be reimbursed eventually.
In the end we received a check for right around 17 thousand dollars. Sort of. When I went to deposit the check at my friendly neighborhood bank, they pointed out that the check wasn’t made out to us. It was made out to us AND the mortgage company. Stupid mortgage company.