Your home’s roof is a critical shield against the elements, providing safety and protection to everything beneath it. Unfortunately, Mother Nature sometimes tests the resilience of your roof. One surefire way to guarantee roof damage? A hail storm.
Hail damage can range from minor cosmetic issues to severe structural problems. Knowing how to spot and repair it can save you money and a headache in the future. In this guide, we’ll explore:
- The risks associated with different hail sizes
- The signs of hail damage
- Insurance coverage
- The steps you should take to repair hail damage
Keep reading to become a hail damage expert!
The Damage Risks of Different Hail Sizes
Hailstones vary in size, and the extent of damage they can cause depends on their size and density. Understanding these risks is crucial for assessing the potential harm to your roof.
Small Hail (Less Than 1/4 Inch)
Small hail may not seem threatening, but it can still cause damage to your roof. The most common issues associated with small hail include:
- Granule Loss: Small hail can dislodge granules from your shingles, which can lead to premature wear and reduced shingle lifespan.
- Cosmetic Damage: Small hail may leave small dents or dimples on metal roofing materials.
- Cracking: In some cases, small hail can cause minor cracking in asphalt shingles.
Medium Hail (1/4 Inch to 1 Inch)
Medium-sized hail poses a more significant risk to your roof and can cause:
- Granule Loss: Like small hail, medium-sized hail can lead to granule loss, which reduces the roof’s ability to repel water and protect against UV radiation.
- Cracks and Fractures: Asphalt shingles can crack, and wood shingles may split when struck by medium-sized hail.
- Dents and Dings: Metal roofs, gutters, and vents are more susceptible to dents and dings from hail of this size.
Large Hail (1 Inch or Larger)
Large hailstones are the most destructive and can cause extensive damage to your roof, including:
- Shingle Breakage: Large hail can shatter or break asphalt shingles, exposing your roof to water infiltration.
- Structural Damage: In severe cases, large hail can damage the underlying roof structure, such as the decking or trusses.
- Water Leakage: Hail can create holes in your roof, leading to leaks and water damage inside your home.
5 Signs of Hail Damage to Your Roof
Identifying hail damage promptly is crucial for preventing further deterioration and ensuring timely repairs. Here are some common signs to look for:
1. Dented or Bruised Shingles
Check your asphalt shingles for dents or bruises. These marks may not always be immediately visible but can be felt by running your hand over the surface. Dents can weaken the shingles, making them more susceptible to leaks.
2. Cracked or Broken Shingles
Inspect your roof for cracked or broken shingles, which are particularly common after medium to large hailstorms. Shingles in this condition need immediate replacement to maintain the roof’s integrity.
3. Missing Granules
Hail damage often results in granule loss from asphalt shingles. Look for patches of shingles that appear discolored, as this may indicate granule loss. Excessive granule loss can reduce the shingles’ ability to protect against UV rays and water.
4. Dents on Metal Surfaces
If you have a metal roof, gutters, vents, or other metal components, check for dents or dimples. These are telltale signs of hail impact and should be addressed to prevent further damage.
5. Water Leaks
The most concerning sign of hail damage is water leaks inside your home. If you notice water stains on your ceiling or walls, or if you see water dripping, it’s essential to act quickly to prevent further damage to your home’s interior.
Will Insurance Cover Hail Damage Repairs?
One of the first questions homeowners ask when dealing with hail damage is whether their insurance will cover the repairs. In most cases, standard homeowners’ insurance policies do cover hail damage, but it’s important to understand the details of your policy, including deductibles and coverage limits. Here’s what you need to know:
- Policy Coverage – Typically, standard homeowners’ insurance policies cover damage caused by hail, including roof repairs or replacement. However, the extent of coverage may vary depending on your specific policy.
- Deductibles – Before your insurance kicks in, you’ll likely have to pay a deductible. This is the amount you’re responsible for covering out of pocket before the insurance company pays for the rest. Be sure to understand your policy’s deductible and how it applies to hail damage claims.
- Claims Process – If you suspect hail damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. They will send an adjuster to assess the damage and determine the extent of repairs or replacement needed. It’s crucial to document the damage with photos and keep any repair receipts for your records.
- Coverage Limits – Your policy may have coverage limits, which can affect the amount the insurance company will pay for repairs or replacement. Be sure to review your policy carefully and discuss any questions or concerns with your insurance agent.
8 Steps to Repair Hail Damage
Once you’ve identified hail damage and confirmed your insurance coverage, it’s time to take action to repair your roof. Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Contact a Professional Roofing Contractor
Hail damage repair is not a DIY project. It requires the expertise of a professional roofing contractor who can assess the damage accurately and recommend the appropriate repairs. Look for a reputable, licensed, and insured roofing contractor with experience in handling hail damage claims.
2. Schedule a Roof Inspection
The roofing contractor will conduct a thorough inspection of your roof to assess the extent of the damage. They will provide you with a detailed report outlining the necessary repairs and an estimate of the costs involved.
3. File an Insurance Claim
If you haven’t already filed an insurance claim, now is the time to do so. Your roofing contractor can assist you with the claims process by providing documentation and supporting evidence of the damage.
4. Review the Insurance Adjuster’s Assessment
After you’ve filed a claim, the insurance company will send an adjuster to inspect the damage. Be sure to review their assessment and compare it to the assessment provided by your roofing contractor. If there are discrepancies, discuss them with your contractor and your insurance company.
5. Schedule the Repairs
Once your insurance claim is approved, schedule the repairs with your roofing contractor. Be sure to discuss the timeline for the work and any potential inconveniences, such as noise or debris, with your contractor.
6. Monitor the Repairs
During the repair process, it’s a good idea to monitor the work to ensure that it meets the agreed-upon specifications. This will help you address any concerns or issues promptly.
7. Final Inspection and Cleanup
Once the repairs are complete, perform a final inspection of your roof to ensure that everything has been properly addressed. Your roofing contractor should also clean up any debris and leave your property in good condition.
8. Maintain Your Roof
After hail damage repairs, it’s essential to maintain your roof regularly. Regular inspections and maintenance can help identify and address any issues early, preventing more extensive and costly repairs in the future.
Professional Help In a Pinch!
Hail damage can be tricky to spot. Instead of taking it on yourself, call First American for a professional roof inspection. Our highly experienced roofers can spot even the most subtle signs of roof damage and provide you with customized solutions to get your roof back in working order. Contact us today to receive your free estimate!