An unexpected hailstorm can cause understandable alarm not only for drivers and pedestrians but also for homeowners. Hailstones don't have to boast massive sizes to do considerable damage as they pelt your roof. The resulting structural issues can leave you wondering what to do or where to turn.
You'll find yourself in a stronger position to make confident decisions about the state of your roof once you understand more about hail and how it relates to your roof. Discover some key points to keep in mind in this distressing situation.
Different sizes of hail can do varying levels of damage to different types of roofs. The smallest hailstones, measuring around the size of a dime, may not do any damage to healthy roofing. However, asphalt shingles that have already suffered the effects of erosion and previous storms may tear or lose granules.
Hailstones the size of a quarter can strip granules away from new asphalt shingles. The loss of granules may accelerate the erosion and aging processes, forcing you to replace your roof sooner than you might originally have planned. High-speed winds accompanying the hail can cause more drastic impact damage.
Large hailstones can wreck almost any kind of roof. In addition to torn shingles, these stones can put large dents in metal roofs or shatter ceramic roof tiles. (Maryland saw hailstones 1.75 inches in diameter as recently as 2019.)
The steeper the slope of your roof, the less damage it may sustain in a hailstorm compared to shallower roof designs. A shallow slope will allow hailstones to impact the roof straight on, while a sloping roof will cause the same hailstones to strike at an angle.
Even the untrained eye can spot the more obvious symptoms of hail-related roof damage. If you have an asphalt roof, you may see an abnormal number of granules in your gutters or issuing from your downspout. The shingles may show signs of dents, pits, or cracks.
Metal roofs may display hail damage not only as a new pattern of dents but also through scratches that have defaced the outer coating of the roof. Ceramic roofs may display cracks, small punctures, or even large, well-defined holes. Slate roofs show similar signs of hail damage.
A damaged roof needs prompt inspection and correction, but you may find it a wise move to schedule an inspection from a roofer before calling your insurance claims adjuster. Some claims adjusters actually work for the insurance companies instead of serving as independent contractors, which may impair their objectivity.
Roofers also have an extra degree of practical training and knowledge that enables them to spot underlying damage that claims adjusters might miss. For example, a hail-damaged roof may also have sustained water damage, the result of breaches in your chimney flashing, shingles, or tiles.
Superficial hail damage to a roof may require nothing more than light measures, such as the replacement of individual shingles. More substantial damage, however, may raise the question of whether you try to make all the necessary repairs or simply invest in a new roof.
In some cases, your insurer may essentially make this decision for you based on how much of a claim amount you can expect to receive. However, you must also think about whether your roof has underlying structural or water damage. This damage may cause even greater problems in the future, making replacement the wise choice.
If you could go either way in terms of repair versus replacement, find out whether your home could benefit from a different kind of roof material or roof slope than it currently sports. You might find that you can replace your hail-prone roof with one that can withstand hail more robustly.
Any kind of home hail damage calls for informed opinions from experienced home improvement professionals. Schedule any inspection, advice, and roofing work you need by contacting HF General Contractor Inc. at hfroofingcontractors.com.
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