GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Roofing repairs will be a big issue for the next few weeks, maybe even months, for some people in areas hit hard by last Sunday’s tornado.
- Roofing companies are avoiding the area because of estimate surveys
- Software used by insurance companies needs to be updated for accurate estimates, local experts say
- The demand is more than local companies can handle
With dozens of damaged homes, Charlotte-based company Tru Relief Roofing Experts has crews in the Triad. The owner says even with such a high demand from the storm, roofing companies across the state are avoiding coming to Greensboro because of outdated cost estimate surveys.
"Insurance companies all use Xactimate. It’s a software they use to compile estimates. But the zip code hasn’t been surveyed in two years, so it needs to re-surveyed and updated as soon as possible so all the contractors can come in here and repair this disaster that’s going on now,” owner of Tru Relief Roofing Experts, James Ortega said.
He says the demand is way more than local companies will be able to handle.
"It’s going to take every roofing company in the state to recover. It was a 33- mile tornado,” Ortega said. Right now, he feels like his company is one of the only ones from out of the area that’s making an effort.
“I've pretty much got to pay everything out of pocket until I receive the first check from the insurance carrier which at this point is going to be too low,” Ortega said. “And the home owners here aren't going to be able to afford their deductible plus the extra $2-3,000 a job it takes to do the same job I'm doing in Charlotte and Raleigh that I'm doing here. So, the insurance companies are going to have to comply."
Homeowners Joyce and Duke Holtzman are one of several people Tru Relief helped with getting a tarp on the roof until they can rebuild.
“With a house like ours, if it were in another neighborhood or different zip code, the insurance companies would be jumping all over it and paying the prices that are asked of them, where we are in the east side. it could be a $3-4,000 difference even with the same insurance company, even in the same situation. The area makes the difference, not the damage and that’s kind of bad."
Belmont was another area hit by the storm. Ortega says because of Xactimate cost estimates in that area, it’s more worth their while. Working on an average-sized house like the Holtzman’s, just because of the zip code, Ortega can lose up to $2,000.
"I might go bankrupt,” said Ortega, “But, when I go through those pearly gates I'll get a good report card.”
He says he’ll be in the area to give people the service they need until others join the effort.