Living in an area with hot summers, weather in the north or south, you wouldn’t expect hail to be a major concern but it is more common than you would think. Hail storms can bring tremendous damage to your property, preparing for a hail storm before it happens can help decrease long term damage. The northeast alone has experienced hail storms on over 150 occasions in recent years. It is important to understand that even storms which produce small sized hail can still cause damage to your roof and other items on your property.
After a storm occurs you should call your local roofing contractor for a full inspection to be sure the structural integrity of your roof is still in good shape. For insurance purposes it is important to keep a record of inspections to optimize collecting when necessary.
What should I do after a hailstorm?
Once the storm has passed you should contact your local roofing contractor and set up an appointment for a roof inspection. It may be a few days before they can make it out to you so make sure you keep a record of the date of the storm in case you have to let your insurance company know.
If you are able to see your roof and there is visible damage, try and snap some photos. If you have other items on your property like vehicles, or a grill with indentations from the hailstorm be sure and get photos of them as well. In some cases hail pieces will cause major damage resulting in your roof leaking. If this happens, take pictures and tell your local roofing contractor and insurance agency. When hailstorms happen usually strong winds accompany them so don’t forget to check for damage to gutters, fallen shingles, and even broken windows.
If you have major leaking or broken windows you should contact your local roofing company to handle any emergency repairs. A roofing contractor will address severe leaks and roof damage, if you are not able to get someone out in a timely manner then try and patch the issue for a temporary solution. Make sure you find a reputable roofing company to schedule your roof inspection, oftentimes inspections are free with an estimate especially if your roof needs to be replaced.
Even if you see no obvious damage there could be hidden issues which affect the integrity of your roof. After you have had your roof checked out by the best roofing company in your area depending on the outcome you may need to file an insurance claim. If you have significant damage your insurance company will send out an adjuster to examine your property to assess the damage. If they decide that your claim will cover the effects of the hailstorm, your selected roofing contractor will meet with the adjuster or send them the estimate of what the replacement cost will be.
How to know if you have hail damage:
- Check out your gutters, if they have obvious dents that were not there before then you most likely have hail on your roof as well.
- It is also a good idea to look at your vehicle and assess any denting from the hailstorm, if the hail was large enough to dent your car then it has definitely affected your roof.
- If you have access to viewing your roof easily, climb up and take a look. You might see large obvious signs like large circles from hail balls or just minor granule loss. Hail damage is much more obvious in clay tile roofing.
- We also suggest that you take a walk around your neighborhood if you don’t have access to your own roof. If you have a neighbor with the same type of roof material as you, try to see if they have severe damage or not. This can give you a better idea of your own roof’s condition.
Cosmetic Vs. Functional hail damage
The best roofing company can easily identify the main difference between cosmetic and functional hail damage. This is mainly used to determine the differences in insurance claims. The more severe of the two is functional hail damage and this is oftentimes more covered by an insurance company over cosmetic.
- Functional hail damage: When the hail damage has resulted in shortening the lifespan of a roof with water shedding capabilities.
- Cosmetic hail damage: The lifespan of the roof is not affected or the ability for it to function, the appearance may be altered.
Each type of roofing material will be affected differently by a severe hailstorm. While no roof is damage proof, some roofs hold up better than others. Metal roofing in Albany NY tends to dent and create dimples in a hailstorm resulting in cosmetic damage. Shingle and clay tile roofs can easily crack during a severe hailstorm but it is easier and more cost efficient to replace a few shingles or pieces of clay over metal panels.
How hail size effects roof damage
Hail size small and large can cause damage to your roof, it all depends on how severe the storm was. When the hail balls are about the size of a dime, it can impact your shingles. This can result in a few years taken off of the lifespan. When hail reaches to be the size of a quarter it can break tile and slate roofing material. This will result in moderate impact to your roof. Once the size of hail grows to be as large as a half dollar significant damage is done to your roof.
Hail damage and insurance claims
Review your homeowners insurance and immediately contact Infinite Roofing to report the hailstorm, so we can send someone out to assess your damage. Your insurance company can deny your claim but once you get an estimate it can help your contractor get damages covered. There is a time frame in which you must file for a claim, every insurance company is different but we suggest you file right away.
If you are able to find the hailstones after the storm, grab a tape measure and snap a picture for reference. It is important to use the best roofing company that you can trust to present the estimate to your insurance company. This will give you a more accurate idea of costs and also improves your chances of having the claim approved by your insurance company. With most companies even a small percentage of 25% damage can result in a new roof.
Preparing your roof for a hail storm
There is no way to completely eliminate all damage from a hail storm but you can prepare for one. Be sure to have adequate insurance that will cover you if you know you live in areas prone to hail. If you have regular roof inspections this will be much easier to gauge the actual damage done by the hail storm. Be sure to routinely clean out your gutters and drainpipes to avoid leaking and other damage. If you have a garage and you are aware of a storm coming don’t forget to pull your vehicles inside and any other items you have that are a concern.