How Can Hail Damage Your Roof?
For homeowners in Minnesota, hail damage to a roof is a real threat. Minnesota receives hail regularly, and some hailstones are a few inches in diameter. These giants can damage personal property such as your vehicle and home. And when it comes to your house, your roof tends to take the most damage during a storm.
Hail begins its life as water droplets: just another form of precipitation. With the help of updrafts, this water freezes and becomes layered, kind of like an onion. When it plummets towards earth, your home may be its unsuspecting victim.
Let’s take a look at what hail damage can mean for the stability of your roof, how to prevent it, what to look for if you think you have hail damage, and how to go about fixing problems caused by hail.
Hail Damage: Roof Problems and Consequences For Your Home
Hail damage isn’t always evident immediately following a storm, but it can have a long-lasting impact on the integrity of your roof, your interior and exterior, and even your quality of life. If you leave hail damage unrepaired, you are likely to end up with leaks, mold, and even entry spaces for bugs and other unwanted wildlife. These issues will cause even more problems and could endanger the health and safety of your family and your pets.
It is crucial to repair hail damage immediately before it causes more trouble. You can save money by fixing the problem as soon as possible before more costly problems arise. Most roofers will work with your home insurance company to inspect the roof and provide the necessary documentation to help you file a claim and pay for the damage.
How to Inspect Your Roof for Hail Damage
Most homeowners do not do regular roof inspections, nor do they typically check out their roofs following intense storms. There are plenty of valid reasons for this:
- Storms produce other issues and work, such as lack of electricity, fallen branches, and yard work.
- Homeowners do not feel safe climbing onto the roof, or they do not know how to access the roof for an inspection safely.
- They have other priorities in life, like family and work. Storms don’t appear on our schedules, and often, we need to attend to these other obligations first.
If you do not know how to access your roof safely, it’s best to call a professional. Built Strong Exteriors are here to help and happy to do an inspection for you. Those with proper construction or roofing backgrounds and adequate safety gear may feel comfortable inspecting a roof, but this is not an activity that novices should attempt. Additionally, do not mount the roof in slick conditions or when the inclement weather is still active.
If you have hail splatters on your driveway, vehicle damage, mailbox damage, or shattered glass, you should consider having your roof inspected once conditions are safe. Hail of this proportion can damage your roof.
Shingle damage: Hail damage will look different on shingles depending upon the size of the hail and the shingle material. You know how a golf ball swing leaves a divot hole in the ground? Hail damage looks like that, only more subtle. Roofing materials shield your home, but they are porous, and divots require repair. The good news is that if only a few individual shingles have been hit, repair cost and time are minimal.
Roofers describe shingle damage as dimples, holes, displacement, and bruises. Additionally, older shingles may crack or curl as a result of the damage.
If you see damage to outdoor air conditioning units, your mailbox, your siding, or your gutters, it is likely you can expect roof damage as well. Plus, most storms with hail damage produce high winds, and those can blow shingles off your roof as well.
Most hail damage occurs when the hail reaches about one inch in diameter or greater. Whether its impact causes damage is dependent on several factors:
- Type of roofing material (tile, asphalt, shake, etc.)
- The angle of impact from the hail
- The age and integrity of your roof
What Should You Do if You Find Hail Damage on Your Roof?
If you are safely on your roof and see hail damage, make sure you take pictures for your insurance company (assuming you can do so without danger). We strongly recommend hiring professional roofers such as Built Strong Exteriors to snap these photos for you, especially since we know exactly what type of evidence you need to send to your insurance company following a storm.
It is likely that your insurance company will require an evaluation from a licensed contractor anyway, so reaching out to a professional right away will save you time in the long run.
Here Are Some Steps to Follow When Dealing With Hail Damage
Documentation: The first step is to document the damage. Record the date and time of the storm and any observations you have seen or heard, such as hail hitting your roof or photos of the damage. Got a working cell phone during a storm? Record the sound of that hail hitting your property.
Reporting: Once you’ve gathered evidence (hopefully with the help of a contractor), submit your claim.
Repair: Major damage repairs must start immediately (always keep your insurance company in the loop). Your insurer may request a waiting period if your damage is minor. If that’s the case, don’t worry: we’re here to repair your roof when your claim is approved.
How to Prevent Hail Damage
The best way to prevent hail damage is to ensure that you have a strong, safe roof. Give us a call to inspect your roof on a regular basis. We recommend yearly inspections for roofs under a decade old, and twice annual inspections for older roofs. These inspections will also help you catch other damage before it becomes more costly.
Worried About Hail Damage to Your Roof? Call Built Strong Exteriors
Do you think you may have hail damage to your roof? Call Built Strong Exteriors. Our team is experienced in dealing with insurance companies and claims, so you won’t have to go through that process alone. We’ll provide an inspection and will guide you through the process. We’re prompt, thorough, and respectful. Contact us today to get started.