Hailstorms can adversely damage your roof and its impact bruises or at times cracks the roofing shingles. The consequences of such damage often lead to severe water damage inside your house. Although it is difficult to prevent roof hail damage, there are measures to minimize the extent of the damage. If you detect problems early and take appropriate actions, you can prevent spending a huge amount in repairing or replacing the roof.
Understanding If Your Roof Is Damaged By Hail
After a hailstorm, carry out a close inspection of the roof to check for damages. As hail falls in random patterns, it might only damage some houses in a neighborhood. Hence, your roof may have been damaged even though the neighboring roofs are completely fine. Look for hail damage signs around the yard and property. Common signs are:
- Leaves stripped of plants
- Dents in cars
- Damages to exterior furnishings
- Damaged AC outdoor units
Professional Inspection for Hail Damages
Most of us aren’t equipped to spot different types of roof damage from the ground itself. You need to closely inspect the surface of the roof which is only possible through complete inspection. You may contact a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof. Most of them offer free inspection and estimation services. However, if you plan to do the inspection yourself, you should follow appropriate safety guidelines.
Some common types of roof damages have been discussed below:
Surface Hail Damage
The surface of the roof is the first place you need to check for damages. For asphalt shingle roofs, possible signs of damage are:
- Round black spots
- Small divots
- Loss of protective granules (often collects in downspouts and gutters)
Hidden Roof Damages
You cannot see all hail damages on the surface of the roofing shingle. Sometimes the impact of hailstone causes shingles to split and you can only see if you look at the other side of the roof shingle.
Professional roofing contractors can assist in such inspections as they have the tools to lift and examine and re-seal shingles. They will also assess other roofing components for damage like roof vents, flashing, gutters, chimney caps, skylights, etc.
Imitation Hail Damage On The Roof
Properly identifying the type of roof damage is important to take appropriate actions. Doing so ensures you do not violate any terms of the warranty or insurance claims. Experienced roofing professionals can easily differentiate hail damage from other kinds of roof damage, such as:
- Cracking or blistering caused due to UV degradation
- Scuffing damage after shingles were installed
- Wind and Debris defacement
- Worn-out shingles
After identifying the damage, your roofing contractor gives an estimate and advises the best steps to repair or replace the roof.
Should You Fix Roof Hail Damage Immediately?
Roofs damaged by hail may have cosmetic damages or impact the performance of your roof. If the damage is severe, it may allow water to pass through the roofing system and will lead to performance issues. You need to fix it as soon as possible to prevent serious water damage to your house.
For damages caused due to granule loss to roof shingles, often affects the performance of the shingles besides impacting the aesthetics. Granules on the asphalt shingles offer protection to asphalt from UV light degradation due to the sun. Although it might not lead to immediate roof leakage, shingles that have lost granules have a higher risk of falling.
Is Roof Hail Damage Covered By Insurance?
Most insurance policies cover hail damage but it’s important to closely go through the homeowner’s policy. It becomes more important if you live in areas prone to hailstorms. Some common stipulations connected to hail and related to insurance claims include:
- Usually, homeowners have a year to file a claim
- Most policies charge a deductible payment before insurance companies pay their share
- Filing a claim often leads to increased premium rates on renewals
- Some states might charge percent-based deductibles
- Cosmetic damages to the roof aren’t always covered
Can I Prevent Roof Hail Damage?
Living in areas prone to hailstorms or hail increases the risk of damage to anything outside your house and property. Commonly they include vehicles, landscaping, and patio furniture.
As you cannot pull the roof in your garage when there is a storm, you should consider installing roof materials designed to withstand adverse impacts. Such materials include Class 4, impact-resistant shingles that prevents and reduces the amount of damage due to hail.
If you live in Pinellas County, FL, and require the services of a professional roof contractor, consider consulting Done Rite Roofing Inc. They are experts and reputed contractors in the region and have been serving clients for the past several years.
Picture Credit: Crello