Act quickly, do homework to get best repairs for storm damage

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— From windshields to window panes, repair crews are seeing business go through the roof after Monday’s storms. To get quick, quality repairs, it takes a little homework

As soon as the rain, wind and hail let up, auto body shops, roofers and construction companies were flooded with job orders.

“We’re slammed,” said Robert Paganello, owner of Crash Management Auto Body in Benson. His crew has a dozen cars with dents, dings and disintegrated glass that need their care with more rolling in.

That is weeks worth of business. “We’ll probably be doing six days a week, probably 14 hours a day,” Paganello said.

Tommy Anderson, who works at the Lowe’s on N.C. Highway 42 at Interstate 40, had just made it to work Monday afternoon when the aerial bombardment rained down.

“Everybody ran outside to check their vehicles, and there were people out there with back glass out, front glass out, dents in everybody’s cars,” he said.

He’s expecting a bill of up to $3,000 to fix his Toyota SUV.

From the street to the sky, roofers, too, got busy Tuesday repairing the damage hail did to vinyl, shingles and wood.

“Man, we’ve got more work than we can say grace over,” said Josh Ward of Patriot’s Roofing.

He can get an “amen” from Elevate Roofing and Exteriors. Sales agent Don Howell said he’d seen at least 10 other companies hard at work Tuesday.

His advice: If your roof’s been run ragged by the weather, don’t drag you feet in making an insurance claim.

“All the roofing crews, not just ours but all roofing companies, are going to start getting backlogged for the amount of work that needs to be done,” Howell said.

Some roofing companies have brought in crews from other states to help with the workload. The average job takes about a week to complete.

Expect bumper to bumper traffic in the body shops as well.

“The sooner the car gets in the shop, the faster it’s going to get done,” Paganello said. “Right now, we’re about a week out.”

Here are 5 things to keep in mind to avoid becoming a victim as the cleanup continues:

  • First, do your homework to hire a reputable contractor to get the job done right.
  • Never pay too much up front. 5 On Your Side recommends no more than 10 percent down with additional payments as work is done to your satisfaction.
  • Insurance will only pay to remove trees that hit your house or garage or that block a driveway or wheelchair ramp. Plans typically pay up to $500 for tree removal.
  • When trees fall in your yard, you foot the bill to remove them, even if the tree fell from a neighbor’s property.
  • Hail, tree or debris damage to your vehicle is covered by auto insurance.