Even if you’ve been diligent about keeping up with your roof in terms of maintenance (your roof should be inspected once or twice a year at least!), one severe hail storm can really do a number. Even if there are no leaks yet, a hail damaged roof can lead to a weakening of the structure in ways that could lead to leaks and other damage. Once there are leaks, you may start having issues with water damage, mold, or trouble with your electricity systems, all of which spell bad news for your wallet and your home. So ignoring your hail damaged roof is certainly not the way to go. Chances are good you may not need to do a total roofing replacement, but roofing repair will probably be needed in some form. If your roof is older, and the damage is significant, it might be in your best interests to just totally replace the roof, though you’ll want to get it assessed by a roofing professional first.
How Do I Know If I have a Hail Damaged Roof?
If you have asphalt shingles or composite shingles, you may see hail hits that look black in no type of order or asphalt/mat may look shinier. Granules may also have come off the shingles, leaving the felt on the roof exposed. If the accompanying winds are strong enough, shingles may even be ripped off your roof.
As far as wood shingles are concerned, hailstones may split your shingle, revealing sharp corners or edges, raw wood, or hits along the split of the shingles that come from the hailstones. Similarly to asphalt or composite, the damage will be at random, depending on the hail fall.
If the hail is bad enough, it may have even punctured your roof, in which case the need for repair is obvious.
What Are the Next Steps If I Do Have Hail Damage?
You should document the hail that fell and the size (take a picture of the hail by a tape measure) and document roof damage, both in photos and in writing. This is also a good time to call roofing contractors and have one come out to inspect your roof. They’ll be able to tell you if there’s enough damage to start the process of filing a roof hail damage insurance claim.
If the roof contractor does suggest filing a claim, your next step will be to call your insurance agent or representative and talk about filing a roof hail damage insurance claim. You’ll need your homeowner’s insurance policy and know what your policy number and deductible is. Put together a dossier containing your photos, information about the hail storm, damaged items, and all the information you’ve previously gathered, as well as the roofing contractor’s assessment. You’ll receive a claim number and your case will be assigned to a claims adjuster; the case will proceed from there.
If there’s damage, but not enough to justify pursuing an insurance claim, it’s still worth doing the minor repairs, to prevent leaks or other complications from occurring later on down the road.
Are There Types of Roofs That Withstand Hail Better?
Metal roofs tend to be quite impact-resistant — indeed, most must pass UL 2218 Impact Resistance testing at the Class IV level, which is the highest level. If you’re worried about pockmarks or indentations, today’s modern metal roofs take that fear away. You may even be eligible for an insurance discount with metal roofs, as many insurers are aware of the durability of metal roofs. In the case that there is some kind of hail damage with your metal roof, the structure itself will stay intact,
though it might be a tad unsightly.
There are also rubber roofing materials that can boost the impact-resistant quality of your roof and keep you from experiencing a hail damaged roof in the future.
If you have a hail damaged roof, don’t panic. There are some logical next steps to follow and quick action, careful documentation, and professional opinions can keep your home in good shape. Preventing leaks is crucial, as those can lead to some more complicated issues, like dealing with mold or water damage.