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What To Do When You Have Hail Damage To Your Roof
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What To Do When You Have Hail Damage To Your Roof
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What To Do When You Have Hail Damage To Your Roof

Posted on April 15, 2024

Estimated Reading Time : 6 Min.

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What To Do When You Have Hail Damage To Your Roof

Hailstorms can seriously harm your roof, requiring repairs and possibly jeopardizing your home’s structural stability. If you’ve experienced a hailstorm recently, you need to take care of any potential damage to prevent further issues. 

In this blog post, we’ll explain what to do when hail damages your roof, helping you take better care of your home.

What Does Hail Damage Look Like On A Roof?

1. Dents or Dimples

Hailstones can leave dents or dimples on the roofing material, with the extent of the impact and its size depending on the size of the hailstone that hits the roof, and the quality of the roofing material. You may find dents and dimples along your gutter system as well if the roof has sustained significant damage.

2. Bruises or Discoloration

Hail can create bruises or discoloration on the roofing material, appearing as dark spots. This is often a result of the granules on asphalt shingles becoming dislodged or damaged, exposing the underlying shingle layers.

3. Missing or Cracked Shingles

Missing or Cracked Shingles

Look for shingle granules that have been shed after a hailstorm, as these can clog gutters and downspouts. For asphalt shingles, hail can knock off shingle granules or loosen shingles, leaving the underlying layer more vulnerable.

4. Damage to Siding and Window Sills/Casings

Damage to Siding

Hail damage may be indicated by dents on a home’s siding, windowsills, or casings. In addition, look for evidence of hail damage impact on exposed metal surfaces, such as the metal flashing on the roof’s eaves.

5. Damage to Other Roofing Components

Hail storms can damage skylights, flashing, and vents, which are often parts of the roof that are less sturdy than the primary roofing material. This damage may go unnoticed, leading to water infiltration. 

Hail can also damage air conditioners, satellites, and other outdoor units. Mark each hit with chalk to assess the damage and file a claim if necessary.

6. Soft Areas or Weak Spots

Soft spots or weakened areas on the roof may indicate hail damage, though they can be hard to spot without a thorough inspection. While the size of hailstones varies, even minor hail (3/4 of an inch) can damage vinyl siding, window screens, fascia boards, and more. 

Larger hail (1 inch and above) can cause more severe damage, including bruising to shingle underlayment, significant damage to siding, gutters, fascia, and even penetration of softer roof components.

How To Assess The Damage

Assessing hail damage to your roof is crucial before proceeding with repairs. Follow these steps for a detailed checkup:

Exterior Inspection:

  • Conduct a visual inspection from the ground and look for dented or cracked shingles, missing granules, and scattered debris.
  • Prioritize safety and avoid climbing on the roof if wet or slippery.

Close-Up Inspection:

  • If safe, climb onto the roof for a closer look. Check for dents, cracks, or punctures on individual shingles, focusing on vulnerable areas like valleys and flashing.
  • Take photos or videos to document the damage for insurance claims or professional repairs.

Interior Inspection:

  • Check the interior for water stains on the ceiling, damp insulation, and visible daylight coming through the roof.
  • Address any signs of water damage to prevent further issues.

Immediate Steps To Take After Detecting Hail Damage

1. Contact Your Insurance Company

  • Prompt Notification: Notify your insurance company when you suspect hail damage. Timely reporting is crucial in order to get the coverage you need. 
  • Policy Adherence: Follow the specific timeframe outlined in your policy for reporting damage to ensure eligibility for coverage.

2. Make Temporary Repairs

  • Prevent Further Damage: Cover visible leaks or holes with a tarp or temporary protective material to prevent water infiltration before getting professional help. Temporary repairs like this help minimize the risk of additional water damage to your home.

3. Document the Damage

  • Capture Evidence: Take detailed photos and videos of the damage to your roof and other affected areas like gutters and downspouts. Documentation supports your insurance claim and aids in the company’s assessment of damage.

Repair vs. Replacement: What Is Better For A Hail Damaged Roof?

When dealing with hail damage, deciding between repair and replacement depends on many factors. The extent of the damage is crucial as minor damage may be affordably repaired, but extensive damage may necessitate replacement, revealing underlying issues. 

The roof’s age is an essential factor in this decision, as newer roofs may benefit from repairs, while older ones may need replacement due to wear and tear and color-matching challenges. Roof type matters too, since durable materials like slate may justify repairs, but structural failures may require replacement. 

Long-term plans, energy efficiency, and building codes should also be considered as a new roof can enhance resale value and energy efficiency, while repairs provide a quicker, cost-effective solution while meeting building requirements.

How Do You Prevent Future Hail Damage To A Roof?

1. Practice Regular Maintenance: 

Keep your roof in the best condition by routinely cleaning gutters and downspouts, trimming overhanging tree branches, and inspecting for signs of wear and tear. These efforts help your roof stay resilient against hail storms. 

2. Opt for Impact-Resistant Materials: 

Selecting Class 4-rated asphalt shingles or metal roofing materials improves protection against hail damage, especially in hail-prone regions. These materials undergo rigorous testing and demonstrate resilience against large hailstones, reducing the likelihood of expensive repairs.

3. Schedule Roof Inspections: 

Engage professional roofers for routine inspections to detect potential issues early on. Promptly identifying damage, particularly after hail storms, allows for timely intervention for further deterioration.

4. Work With Professionals: 

Collaborate with reputable hail damage roofing contractors to improve existing shingle roofs against hail impact, or upgrade to weather-resistant materials. These proactive measures shield your home from damage, minimizing repair expenses and ensuring long-term durability.

5. Maintain Your Trees: 

Trim trees surrounding your property to lower the risk of branches causing damage during hailstorms. This practice safeguards your roof, siding, and windows from potential harm.

6. Install Wind and Hail Resistant Shingles: 

Consider shingles with UL 2218 impact resistance ratings to withstand substantial hailstones and high winds. Investing in these shingles improves your roof’s ability to endure extreme weather conditions, offering peace of mind.

7. Make Prompt Shingle Replacements : 

Regularly inspect your roof for weakened shingles, such as those that are curled or cracked, and promptly replace them. Addressing compromised shingles promptly prevents further damage and repair expenses.

8. Document Damage: 

In case of suspected hail damage, document the incident by recording the date, capturing photos of the damage, and measuring hailstone size for insurance claims. This documentation facilitates the claims process and ensures fair compensation for repairs.

How Soon Should You Report Hail Damage To Your Insurance Company?

A hail damage insurance claim must be submitted within a certain amount of time, usually within a year. Take detailed measurements and pictures of the damage, and review your policy. Before beginning repairs, wait for the insurance adjuster’s inspection. After repairs are approved, collaborate with a contractor to solve your roofing issues. 

The Hail Damage Roof Insurance Claim Process:

Handling the insurance claims process can be daunting, but with these easy steps, you can manage it effectively:

  1. Contact Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurance company of the damage immediately
  2. Document the Damage: Take photos and videos of the damage to your roof and other affected areas
  3. File a Claim: Submit a claim to your insurance company and provide them with the documentation of the damage
  4. Review the Estimate: Carefully review the estimate provided by the adjuster to ensure it covers all necessary repairs
  5. Hire a Contractor: Engage a reputable roofing contractor to make the repairs once you’ve received the estimate

What Size Hail Will Damage A Roof?

Hail with a diameter of 3/4 inches or more, poses a significant risk of damaging roofs, with the severity influenced by factors like the length of the storm, and the roof’s condition. The National Severe Storms Laboratory categorizes hail ranging from 1/4-inch (pea-sized) to 1 and 1/2-inch to 4 and 1/2-inch (ping-pong-ball-sized and larger), capable of causing significant damage to roofs and structures. 

Find The Best Contractor To Handle Your Storm Damage Roof Inspection In Dayton, Ohio

Dealing with hail damage on your roof can be stressful and expensive, but with the right approach, you can minimize its impact. With the information provided here, you can assess the damage to your roof, navigate insurance claims, and make informed decisions regarding repair. Prompt action is crucial to protecting your home and preserving its value.

For expert assistance with storm damage roofing services, consider All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters. We specialize in roofing services that address various storm-related challenges. Trust us to assess damage, handle insurance claims, and deliver prompt repairs. With All Around Roofing, Siding & Gutters, your home is in capable hands. Give us a call at (937) 902-2839 to learn more. 

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