Hail is a natural occurrence that damages roofs and causes between $8 billion and $14 billion in insurance claims each year.
Hailstorms aren’t unheard of. Between May and August, the United States experiences the most hailstorms. Homeowners in what is known as “hail alley” in the United States are more vulnerable to hail damage. It encompasses parts of Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming, as well as a piece of the Midwest.
During this time, your roof may be hammered by ice ranging in size from tiny pea or mothball pellets to grapefruit-sized blocks.
When ice begins to fall from the sky, it is never good for your roof. Almost anything that falls from the sky can do significant damage to shingles, gutters, and metal flashing, as well as shattered siding or broken windows. At times, however, the harm is almost imperceptible.
Natural and predictable weather events, such as hail, should be taken seriously. It is impossible to presume that your roof will be able to withstand all types of weather. Minor hailstorms can rip open roofing materials, resulting in damage or leaks later on.
When it comes to hail, it’s critical to understand what kind of damage it can cause and how to repair it.
What Kind of Hail Damages Roofs
Hail damage is affected by size, density, and impact speed. The severity of a storm influences how rapidly and densely hail falls.
Hail is grouped into sizes similar to other objects.
· Pea or ¼ inch diameter: hail this small generally doesn’t cause impact damage
· Mothball or 1/2 inch: hail this small is unlikely to cause impact damage unless the storm was severe
· Penny or 3/4 inch: this hail can cause granule loss, chip windows, tear screens, damage metal components, chip paint, and damage siding
· Quarter or 1 inch: this can damage shingles straight through to the underlayment and tear apart gutters, flashing, and fascia; severe wind conditions worsen the damage
· Ping-Pong Ball or 1 ¼ to 1 1/2 inch: this is always bad news and can cause the same damage as inch sized hail, regardless of wind conditions or storm severity
· Golf Ball or 1 3/4 inches: this hail breaks windows, ridge caps, plastic vents, metal flashing, gutters, and can tear off siding
· Tennis Ball or 2 1/2 inches: anything above 2 inches will cause severe property damage
The size of the hail can reveal a great deal about the severity of the damage. If only a modest amount of pea-sized hail fell, the roof should be alright.
Hail the size of tennis balls, baseballs, softballs, or grapefruits, on the other hand, is almost certain to harm your roof. In this scenario, the best plan of action is to contact a local roofing business that provides 24-hour emergency service.
How Hail Damages Shingles
Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roof, so we’ll start here. Hail damage includes:
· Surface granule loss
· Shingle bruising
· Dents and pings
· Cracks, breaks, or tears
· Weakened seals
The surface granule covering is commonly damaged by hail. The granules may become loose or rub off as a result of impact, resulting in bald patches or diminished density. It may not appear to be much, but any area with low density is more susceptible to water penetration.
The hail’s impact might weaken or shatter the shingle’s seal. Hail can occasionally knock shingles from their moorings. On shingles, impact marks such as dents, pings, or black patches might form.
Shingle bruising occurs when the shingles’ surface is harmed and the underlying mat is fragmented. Larger hailstones cause bruising, which is a sort of functional damage. This needs to be fixed right now.
How Hail Damages Other Popular Roofing Materials
In the midst of hail, other roofing materials perform differently. Some just dent on impact, while others crack, tear off, or split open.
Here’s how a few common types handle hail:
· Metal: white scuff marks, dents, cracks, or breaks
· Wood: splits and breaks
· Clay or Slate: cracks, dents, chips, gouging
Damage to certain materials may be easier to notice. Look for chips, splits, tears, cracks, and scuff marks on the object.
How Hail Damages Vents, Flashing, Gutters, Siding, and Windows
Other parts of the roof or house are frequently easier to recognize hail damage on. Roof vents, flashing, gutters, siding, and windows are all part of the package.
Rooftop Vents or Flashing:
· hanging pieces
· screen tears or holes
· chips in the glass
Metal vents and flashing can sustain significant damage. If you want to make a quick assessment of how terrible a storm was, you might want to start there.
Hail Damage Can Worsen If Left Alone
When it comes to roofing, there is no such thing as a problem that can be overlooked. Over time, both the shingles and the structural damage will degrade.
Granule loss, for example, may appear minor, but it compromises the major barrier to water. As a result, the layers are less resistant to moisture.
When granules are removed when a shingle’s initial layer is chipped, the layers beneath are completely exposed, and roof leaks are not long behind.
When a roof sustains damage, it becomes more fragile, prone to damage, and sensitive to the environment.
As a result, everything that jeopardizes the roof’s seal, water resistance, weather performance, structure, or integrity – no matter how trivial – must be addressed.
How to Get Hail Damage Repaired and Have Insurance Pay
There are two reasons why you should do this:
1. Hail damage – even when minor – worsens over time
2. Insurance typically doesn’t cover old hail damage
Consider yourself lucky if the roof isn’t leaking or the shingles haven’t been pulled off. You’re getting ready to do extensive roofing repairs that won’t be reimbursed by insurance.
Here’s how to proceed.
1. Schedule a roof inspection
2. Make an insurance claim
3. Get the roof repaired
You must find a licensed, insured, bonded, and professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof. Roofing inspections should be carried out at least twice a year to check for general damage, wear and tear, and degradation.
However, you should get one after a severe weather event, such as high winds, which could pummel your roof with hail, ice, or flying objects. This will detect any damage as soon as it occurs, making repairs straightforward and keeping things from worsening.
Then it’s time to call the insurance company. You can tell them what the roofing inspector said to you on the phone.
Before choosing whether or not to approve the claim, the insurance company will send an adjuster to do their own examination and communicate with your roofing inspector.
After then, it’s time to consider repairs or a whole roof replacement.
Inspecting a Roof for Hail Damage
A hail inspection examines the roof and other exterior parts for damage. The inspector will evaluate the extent of any damage, measure the approximate size of any holes, and write a report.
Places checked should include:
· Roof shingles or tiles
· Rooftop vents and metal flashing
· Windows and skylights
Damage signs should include:
· Granule loss
· Shingles with dots, spots, or dings
· Shingle cracks, lifts, and bruising
· Breaks or tears in roof tiles
· Exposed and damaged fiberglass mats
· Exposed underlayment
· Loose or weak sealing strips
· Dents, scuffs, or tears in vents
If the storm was strong or there are evidence of damage, the inspector may also want to go inside the house.
What Kind of Hail Damage Insurance Will Pay For
Fresh hail damage that impairs the performance of the roof is covered by insurance companies. They don’t like having to pay for past damage or anything just cosmetic.
We’ve all witnessed how inexpensive insurance companies can be. They wish to avoid paying for as many items as possible.
As a result, while hail damage is recognized as a covered “act of God,” most insurance companies do not accept it as such.
· Cosmetic damage is surface-level and makes things look bad, but doesn’t affect the roof
· Functional damage compromises the roof’s performance or structural integrity
Typically, the distinction is decided by size and severity. The law does not require insurance companies to pay for cosmetic harm. They are, nevertheless, meant to protect against functional injury.
Keep in mind that opinions on what constitutes functional versus just cosmetic change regularly. Insurance companies are always looking for ways to avoid paying for functional damage. This includes large holes that must be corrected as soon as possible.
This is why it’s critical to engage with an experienced roofing contractor who starts with an unbiased examination. They will specify what needs to be corrected and what constitutes functional harm.
Experienced roofers also know how to present this information to insurance companies in a way that validates your claim. Insurance companies are more inclined to comply when they work with someone who knows what they’re doing. If your insurance company continues to refuse to cooperate, a public insurance adjuster may be able to help.
How Hail Damage Is Repaired
The restoration process varies according to the nature and severity of the damage, which is frequently influenced by the size of the hail. But, once again, there is no such thing as non-repairable roof damage.
This does not have to be a costly ordeal. The repair work should be proportionate to the extent of the damage. Roofers can replace individual shingles when only a few are damaged, or they can perform partial reroofing work in specified areas.
This type of work is both quick and inexpensive. Especially when compared to rebuilding larger areas of the roof if the damage is allowed to worsen.
For hail damage to need a whole roof replacement, storms must be quite severe. This does happen, however, especially in Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming’s Hail Alley. In this situation, a full roof replacement typically takes between one and five days. Shingles can be replaced in a matter of days, but other tiling processes can take up to a week.
However, if your roof has been neglected over time, it may require more care than anticipated. If problems like this occur during an inspection, the best thing to do is contact your insurance carrier and file a claim.
Insurance companies, by the way, are known to deny coverage to roofs with long-standing hail damage. In this case, aiming to save money in the short term may result in costly costs in the long run.
Protecting Your Roof from Hail Damage
A few measures can be taken to make roofs less vulnerable to hail. Those are:
· Window Safety Films
· Impact Resistant Roofing Materials
· Self-Adhering Waterproofing Underlayment
Window safety film does not prevent breaks. However, if the glass is cracked, it will not break, making hail damage less dangerous.
Class 4 impact resistant roofing materials are high-end shingles or other roofing materials that are designed to withstand the impact of falling objects. Objects with this rating can withstand the repeated drop of a 2-inch steel ball from a height of 20 feet.
A self-adhering waterproofing underlayment is the finest solution. It assures that the initial layer of the roof, between the underlying roofing structure and the roof, is completely watertight. If the shingles are damaged, the house will be protected by this backup layer.
Need Rooftop Hail Damage Taken Care Of?
The majority of homeowners do not sleep at night worried about their roof. We tend to take for granted the shelter and safety it provides.
Your roof, on the other hand, is not impervious to storms, ice, wind, and other severe weather phenomena. And Nebraska’s tough weather puts a lot of strain on our local roofs.
As a result, it’s critical to have your roof inspected on a regular, weather-appropriate basis. Even if you assume everything is in working shape, a brief examination by a friendly roofer is far less trouble than a large repair or replacement.
We offer free inspections, gutter maintenance and repair, roofing repairs, roofing replacements, and structural rehabilitation at Canopy Roof and Solar.
We’ve been doing this for more than 20 years and are accustomed to dealing with insurance companies and claims.
Get in touch with us today.