From the comfort of your heated kitchen, you gaze through a window at what appears to be rain. But once you hear tiny rocks hitting your roof, you realize that this rain is hail. “So what?” you may ask. “What does hail do to a roof?”
Hail might not be as bad as hurricanes along the coast, but it’s a lot worse than rain. When we talk about hail, we’re talking about the most solid form of precipitation. As it falls, it can chip away at the integrity of shingles, gutters and flashing. Here, we’d like to share the most common symptoms of hail damage as well as how to spot and address those symptoms.
Hail Damages Homes across Chicagoland
Hail can cause significant damage to any type of property, no matter the size of hailstones. As one of the most esteemed roofing contractors in the area, we can tell you that towns all over Chicagoland receive plenty of damage to their roofs. An insidious element, hail chips away at your roof’s defenses. With fewer shingles for protection, the next layer receives more damage from the elements and so on down to the deck.
What Are Symptoms of Hail Damage?
Hailstones don’t exhibit the softness of snow. Their crystalline structure allows them to leave long scratches as well as dents on homes during a storm.
Most generally, hail can shorten your roof’s lifespan such that symptoms of having an old roof, like temperature problems, curling shingles and rotting frames, will take less time to appear. Apart from rapid aging, water leaks are among the most major symptoms of hail damage, so make sure you have an inspection after almost every storm if not every storm.
While you should set up an inspection either way, many homeowners confuse hail damage with normal wear and tear. Other inclement weather and sunlight can shrivel shingles and make them appear older than they are. Pervasive blistering, breaking and cracking can all be products of wear and tear.
Does Damage Depend on Building Materials?
Yes. Building materials can determine how hard a hailstone hits. For instance, aluminum siding and asphalt shingles can receive dents, while vinyl siding can receive whole cracks.
As for what hail damage looks like on shingles, asphalt shingles have their own cocktail of symptoms, including black dents, roof felt exposure, a shiny appearance and tenderness at the site of impact.
Highly malleable, any item made from soft metal indicates hail damage best. Mailboxes, car hoods, external AC units and grills can let you know exactly how bad your last hailstorm was.
Does All Hail Strike the Same Way?
No. The size and shape of hailstones partially determine what damage occurs. At a fraction of an inch in diameter, small hailstones fall at a high enough velocity to damage delicate flowerbeds and gardens, while softball-size hailstones are more likely to damage your home’s exterior without falling fast enough to damage plants.
Apart from leaving dents, larger hailstones can crack shingles in two. Sure, this makes shingles look worse, but it also stops them from maintaining temperature in your home. The largest, fastest hailstones can tear shingles away from your roof entirely. At least cracked shingles partially remain on your roof. Completely broken shingles will fall right off. At worst, the biggest hailstones are dense enough to leave holes in a roof.
What Does Hail Damage on a Roof Look Like?
No one wants to climb up on a roof, but because so little hail leads to real adverse effects within the home, somebody should take a look. Here’s how to conduct an effective evaluation of hail damage, whether you’d like to take a stab yourself or outsource the process to roofing contractors.
Hail damage can be difficult to spot, but the most obvious example will be a series of inch-wide dents on shingles, vents, gutters and flashing among all other parts of a roof.
Hail damage is also visible from the safety of the ground; you needn’t climb on the roof to spot all dents. Check downspouts, garage doors, window screens and shutters for dents and holes, as well.
Surrounding environments can be full of buffers like other homes and overhead trees that may partially shelter your home from the elements. If your home is out in a field or meadow, pay closer attention to hail damage, as it may be more significant.
You shouldn’t just look at hail damage on your own. Many serious issues are visible only to professional roof inspectors, so be sure to schedule post-storm roof inspections even if you think everything’s fine.
Genuine roof inspectors can tell you how much hail damage can occur before replacing a roof. They work with insurance adjusters on your behalf to earn as much coverage as possible. Remember to hire a trustworthy roofer for the best results.
How Should I Handle the Insurance Aspect?
Typically, homeowners have about one year to file a claim for storm damage. If you have hail damage in the form of dents on a metal roof, an insurance company may be more likely to dismiss that damage as cosmetic, but other instances are fair game.
As for more fragile roofs, while inch-wide dents are no guarantee that your roof has received enough damage to warrant a replacement, they are enough to establish a claim with an insurance company.
The dents hail leaves needn’t be easy to spot to point out genuine damage that insurance companies ought to cover. Just remember to come to us before you go to the insurance company. Our licensed public adjusters are good at wrangling with insurance representatives.
Who Do I Call for Inspections and Repairs?
Excelling at renovations is only part of the process. Don’t settle for anything less than the right company to handle your claim appropriately and perform a stellar renovation.
If you’re looking for an experienced, versatile contractor that interacts as well with insurance companies as it does with your roof, Renowned Building Solutions is the name of the game. Since 2014, we’ve handled storm damage claims across Northern Illinois as well as those in other states.
Once we receive as much coverage as possible on clients’ behalf, we begin renovations that endure for decades. If your home has recently weathered a decent amount of hail, please call us, shoot us an email or fill a form on this site.