How to Use Digital Tools to Speed Up Storm Repair Estimates

By Dawn Killough 01-26-2021
Tag Icon

After a busy storm season and so many unknowns due to the pandemic complicating business, finding ways to lower costs is crucial for roofing contractors. Homeowners and insurance companies will be watching every dollar as repairs are made.

One way to make sure you're pinching pennies is to make detailed and accurate estimates beforehand. Using digital tools that insurance companies work with, like Xactimate software, can help you with this task.

The Benefits of Using Digital Tools

Many roofing companies have adopted the use of digital tools like video conferencing. Digital take-off and estimating tools can also help eliminate the need for a site visit, introducing new efficiencies to your business.

Digital tools, like GAF's QuickMeasure, are extremely accurate and can speed up estimating. The software removes the potential for human error from roofing measurements and calculations, helping make accurate measurements that can assist you with closing more sales. You can be sure the information is up to date, as the images used to calculate the roof areas are updated yearly.

Digital estimates also cost less to prepare than the traditional in-person method. When you don't have to send a crew out to measure each roof, labor costs for estimates are eliminated. In addition, productivity can go up, as one estimator can now provide several estimates in an hour.

Using Xactimate for Your Estimate

Xactimate is an estimating software used by most of the major insurance companies to compute costs for home repairs.

Using this software allows you to speak the same language as the insurance company when discussing a claim. You can show them your repair breakdown in the same software they're using, which makes it easier to discuss any additional line items needed for the repair that may have been missed.

Providing an invoice with an estimate from Xactimate attached makes invoice approval and payment easier, too. Adjusters can quickly review the invoice in a format generated by the software that they are familiar with, see that they are the same, and approve payment.

Greater Accuracy with Aerial Images

GAF's QuickMeasure tool can be used in conjunction with Xactimate to make estimates even quicker and simpler. GAF QuickMeasure takes aerial images of a specific address and uses them to generate a roof report for you, usually in less than one hour for a single residential home. The report the software provides will give you roof areas, quantities, dimensions, and, for residential projects, a complete materials list. It takes all the measuring and guesswork out of roofing estimates.

GAF QuickMeasure also provides site photos so you can count the vents and pipes, and includes roof pitches and the area of each. For single family residential homes, the report contains a detailed material list with quantity calculations, including waste, for shingles, starter, deck protection, leak barrier, ridge caps, and vents.

To put together an estimate for a customer, all you need to do is enter the quantities from the GAF QuickMeasure report into Xactimate, and it will produce a complete breakdown with costs and quantities for your customer and the insurance company to review.

You can make estimating even easier by setting up macros in the software that contain all the components necessary for a roof repair. Then all you have to do is go down the list from your QuickMeasure report and enter the quantities. You won't miss a thing.

Automate Your Estimating and Save Money

The more you're able to use digital tools to automate your estimating process, the more estimates you will be able to perform, and the more work you can schedule. Using these tools helps you speak the same language as insurance companies, which may help lead to additional approved work and even expedited payment.

To learn more about using Xactimate and GAF QuickMeasure for estimating roofing repairs, see GAF's Expert Value Speaker Series Webinar. Enter branch code "GAF" to access.

Dawn Killough is a freelance writer in the construction, finance, and accounting fields. She is the author of an ebook about green building and writes for construction tech and green building websites. She lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband and four cats.
Don't miss another GAF RoofViews post!
Aromatic logs, the orange glow of flames, and the heat emanating from a fireplace can make even the coldest winter days more tolerable. Preparing your fireplace for winter is imperative to ensure that it performs efficiently and safely throughout the cold season and beyond. Here are some tips for preparing a fireplace and chimney for winter so it can provide the comfort you desire during the cold months.
As part of the nation's longstanding tradition of honoring people who have served in the armed forces, a new museum has been built to recognize those who have been awarded the highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor. GAF is proud to be playing a role in the Gainesville Medal of Honor Museum and Education Center in Texas, set to open its doors in 2024.
One high-stress area of a residential roof is where its two faces meet, either at a hip or a ridge. Protecting these areas helps reduce the risk of leaks. Before the advent of shingles purpose-made for hip and ridge caps, roofers typically cut up 3-tab strip shingles and bent them over these areas of the roof. Today, specially made versions of these types of shingles provide better protection while maintaining a roof's aesthetic appeal.
Buildings are designed to keep the outside weather out and the inside space conditioned as the occupants desire. A building's enclosure or envelope is made up of multiple layers of materials with the goal of stopping the uncontrolled movement of water, air, heat, and moisture vapor.
Work is getting underway in Greater Charlotte, North Carolina, as GAF supports Habitat for Humanity with the 2023 Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project. The five-day build event began in 1984 when former President Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalyn Carter led a group of Habitat for Humanity volunteers to New York, building alongside 19 families in need of safe, affordable housing. For 36 years, the Carters have worked side by side with professional builders and volunteers at locations around the world to build and raise awareness of affordable housing.
Looking for the best roofing materials for your outdoor office, shed, or garage roof? It's not just about curb appeal—although looks are important. Learning about the materials to consider for your roof pitch can help you reduce the risk of roof leaks. You can also benefit by knowing when you need roof ventilation or drip edging, when to consider insulation, and how to calculate roof materials costs. Here are the key details to understand.
This blog contains information created by a variety of sources, including internal and third party writers. The opinions and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of GAF. The content is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

Interested in sharing or republishing our content? We kindly ask you to adhere to our guidelines.