Being professional roofing contractors we know all too well the damage hailstorms can do. Hailstorms produce balls of ice ranging in size from a few centimeters up to nearly 6″ in diameter. A 6″ piece of hail is pretty rare, and would certainly do major damage to your home, but even the more common, smaller hail frequently does enough damage to roofs and siding to require major repair work.
Hail damage is not always easy to detect, especially if you have a two or three story home and cannot easily access your roof. Hail damage can leave your home exposed to potential water damage as well as limiting the lifespan of your roof. Because of this you should identify and deal with damage as soon as you can. If you wait too long you may also be denied by your insurance company when you finally get around to filing a claim for the repairs. Have there recently been any hail storms in your area? Do you suspect your home may have been damaged? The following steps will help you determine if there was any damage and outline the steps to getting it repaired.
Step One: Check around the exterior of your home for visible damage. Look for things like freshly damaged paint or dents in the siding. If you are able to safely access your roof, look for missing shingles or shingles with blisters or dents. Also, check for dings and dents in your gutters and downspouts.
Step Two: Check inside your home for visible damage. New water stains on your ceiling or running down your walls is a problem that needs to be immediately addressed! If you don’t fix a roof leak in a timely fashion you could end up having to completely replace your roof, in addition to major repairs do to water leaking into your home.
Step Three: Contact your insurance agent right away and make sure they are aware of the damage. They will probably have one of their adjusters out to evaluate your home and prepare a cost estimate for the repairs.
Step Four: Contact your own local roofing contractor for an independent evaluation. Even if you trust your insurance agent and their adjuster, you should always get a second opinion from a roofing contractor you trust. Because they don’t work for the insurance company they should be less biased in their assessment. Usually the roofing contractor you contact will be willing to communicate with the insurance company if there are any discrepancies in the two evaluations.
Step Five: Get everything in writing. The roofing contractor you decide to hire should provide you with a contract detailing the work to be done and what it will cost. You insurance company should also provide you with paperwork about the details of your claim. Cover yourself by getting as much as you need to feel comfortable in writing.
It only takes a matter of minutes for a hailstorm to do an amazing amount of damage to your roof. As soon as the storm passes begin the process of determining the damage and contacting your insurance company and roofing contractor. If you wait too long it may be too late!