Hail: A Roof’s Worst Enemy – What You Need to Know

Hail: A Roof’s Worst Enemy

A tornado or a hurricane may be able to blow the roof clear off of a structure, but a hailstorm can act as an army of angry soldiers firing golf-ball-sized bullets at your roof or other parts of your home’s exterior.

Although hailstorms are accompanied by thunderstorms, there are a number of factors such as freezing altitude and barometric pressure that make it challenging for experts to accurately forecast a simple thunderstorm versus a potentially devastating hailstorm.

The devastating potential of hailstones is due to the fact that they both increase in size and build velocity as they fall through Earth’s atmosphere. Even with fair warning, unfortunately, there isn’t much a homeowner can do to prevent such a storm from damaging their roof, siding, and windows.

The Highland, Michigan Hailstorm of 2014

Hail from 2014 storm in Highland, MI
Hail from 2014 storm in Highland, MI

The people of Highland Township, Michigan, are all too familiar with the massive destruction that a severe hailstorm is capable of imposing.

On July 27th, 2014, hailstones, some as large as tennis balls, pummeled hundreds of homes (and vehicles parked outside) for several minutes before subsiding and allowing residents to come out and assess the damage.

The hailstones, serving as bullets fired, took shingles off of or put holes in many residents’ roofs, put huge dents and holes in siding, tore through screens, and broke countless windows. Though the storm only lasted a few minutes, it would take months to restore the extensive damage sustained by hundreds of homes.

Though the storm that hit Highland Township was severe with massive hailstones, it’s important to understand that even storms featuring smaller hailstones can cause substantial property damage. The good news is that homeowner’s insurance usually covers damage inflicted by storms.

How to Determine Hail Damage

Hail damaged screen
Hail damaged screen

The first thing to do after a hailstorm is to take inventory of the damage to the exterior of your home. Allstate provides a helpful list of things to look for around your home in the wake of a hailstorm.

Take a walk around the exterior of your house and look for the following telltale signs:

  • Look for dents, cracks, or breaks on windows, screens, doors, and even patio furniture.
  • Examine outdoor appliances like air conditioning units and look for dents or excessive water intake.
  • Check trees and shrubs; if they are stripped of foliage, there’s a possibility your roof might be damaged, according to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association.

Check Gutters and Siding Carefully

Gutters are typically damaged during a hailstorm. Examine your gutters from the ground up and check for dents. Hail can make dents to the exterior and interior of gutters.

There may be obvious holes and dents on the siding of your house after a hailstorm. However, it may be difficult to determine the full extent of the damage on your home’s siding, and a professional should be contacted for a thorough examination.

Allstate also recommends taking pictures of hail damage BEFORE making any temporary repairs such as boarding up windows or covering holes in the roof with a tarp. It is essential to report any damage to your insurance company immediately upon discovery.

How to Determine if Hail has Damaged your Roof

There may be areas of your roof that are not visible from the ground, and the average homeowner might not necessarily recognize hail damage to their roof. For this reason, it is imperative to have a roofing professional to come out and assess your roof.

If your home has been through a hailstorm recently and you suspect damage to your roof or exterior of your house, contact Renovations Roofing & Remodeling, Inc.  One of our roofing experts inspect your home and assist you in obtaining the necessary repairs.

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