Note: This guest post is by Steven Thomas. As President and Owner of Roof Leak Detection Company, Inc., Steven Thomas has evaluated over 20,000 roofing systems on commercial, industrial, and residential properties, and has been qualified in court as an expert in regards to roof testing and evaluations. His company is an approved Testing Laboratory and has held this certification since 1994.

I have seen a trend lately which occurs after severe weather impacts an area and damage has been caused by either hail, wind, or extreme amounts of rain (like what I witnessed this past week in Texas), and Contractors have been applying shrink wrap to roofs. Apparently, they use shrink wrap to prevent water from entering the building. When you have a leaky roof, it is costly to repair and annoying to say the least! And yes, shrink wrap can certainly provide a temporary relief from the immediate problem of water coming into the structure; however, every novel idea has its problems too!

Before you allow anyone to shrink wrap your roof, here are a few good suggestions I have for you:

  1. Make certain that you take plenty of photos of any damage that may exist. These photos are essential to justify the installation of the shrink wrap. If you are expecting your insurance carrier to pay for the cost of the shrink wrap covering, it is fair to show them why it was needed.
  2. If a contractor in Texas guarantees that the Insurance Company will PAY for the shrink wrap, they could be violating Texas Insurance laws. Furthermore, ask to look at the photos of damage. If they do not provide you with any photos clearly illustrating the suspected damage, then more likely than not, they are shrink wrapping your roof for no good reason. You could be out thousands of dollars for something you did not need.
  3. With an historic rain event such as the one in Texas this week, water can find numerous ways to enter a structure. Often, it is not from a failed roofing system but a mechanical component on the roof such as an AC unit, grease trap, vent pipe, etc. These components could be the reason water entered the building. I have been performing roof moisture surveys (leak detection) for 25 years and many leaks I find are not from the roofing system, but rather from some mechanical component on the roof. It is always recommended to have someone evaluate your roof with nothing to gain by what they find!
  4. Make certain that the contractor you select to install the shrink wrap has a long record of working in your area. After a storm event, you will inevitably have a plethora of storm chasers in your area offering their services. Many of these companies prey upon the desperation of the consumer in need. As ridiculous as this may sound, Texas has no licensing for roofing contractors so you cannot simply file a complaint against their license.

As we have witnessed through news coverage, catastrophic events can bring out the best in people. Unfortunately, it can also bring out the worst from unscrupulous people as well. The old age adage of “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” still rings true today.