Spring has finally sprung and with it, the threat of roof hail damage. Especially here in the Midwest, a brutal winter full of ice, snow, and dangerous temperatures is followed by a volatile Spring/Summer, giving our roofs quite a beating. Most homeowners have homeowner’s insurance but whether or not their policy covers roof hail damage is another matter.
Let’s start with the basics. Your house has just withstood a hail storm.
How could it have caused damage to your roof?
- Hail: Hail can knock granules off the shingles, causing exposure of the underlayment. Cracking, holes, or completely torn off shingles can lead to water damage and rot leading to a roof collapse.
- Wind: Strong winds can knock shingles entire sections off your roof. Wind can send debris like glass or tree limbs swirling onto the roof to puncture or peel away shingles, leading to further damage. If more than 30 percent of the roof is damaged, a roof may need to be replaced.
- Debris or Tree limbs: Overhanging tree limbs or general debris can cause structural damage to a roof with continual brushing or scraping up against the shingles. Keeping trees trimmed and regular inspections can prevent such hazards.
How can you tell if your roof has been damaged (without getting on it)?
When storms roll through, your home’s exterior takes the brunt of it. Keep an eye out for missing, dented, broken shingles and leaks in the roof/ceiling. If you notice granules in downspouts or gutters, that’s a sign of roof damage. In addition, vents, flashing, dented gutters, torn siding, etc. are all a red flag for roof damage. Remember, even though roof damage may seem minimal, there is possibility for severe damage below the surface.
Tips on Filing a Claim
- Document the damages. Take pictures or video of any other damage to the home that you can see from your view. Contact a trusted contractor to assess the damage on top of the roof. To find a good contractor, look for a local, well-established contractor who will not disappear after the job is done! Ask friends and neighbors for recommendations and always make sure your contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured
- Call your insurance company and find out what they will cover. The insurer will consider the age of the roof, the extent of damage, and condition prior to the event.
- Find out if a full roof replacement or repair is needed. The insurance company will send an inspector to determine what was necessary.
Being well informed on issues concerning your roof can help save you time, money, and help prevent filing unnecessary paperwork. Filling a claim will not always lead to full coverage of costs. Be prepared that the insurance may cover nothing at all.
Pro-Homes Services is a local, well-established roofing specialist that is accustomed to working with insurance companies. We are here to weather the storm with you! If you suspect your roofing or siding has storm damage, give us a call for a free estimate at 630-790-0800.