Hailstorms have the potential to wreak havoc on your house, especially the roof. Hail is solid ice that forms when raindrops are carried into a colder portion of the atmosphere by thunderstorm updrafts. Hailstones can vary from the size of a pea to larger than a softball. Large hailstones can reach high speeds as they fall and cause serious damage to homes. Hail is especially common in the middle of the country but can occur in just about every part of the United States.
We learned about the impact of hailstorms and how to prepare for a hailstorm from Mike Reedy, roofing expert and owner of Quality Built Exteriors in Chesapeake, Virginia.
How can you prepare your roof for a hailstorm
Reedy says that the best tools to prepare for severe weather and combat hail damage to your roof are impact shingles. They’re high-end shingles made with asphalt, and synthetic rubber (SBS) blended into them. The shingles are less prone to cracking and sustaining damage from the elements, and they have a bit of bounce, which helps them resist impact damage from hail or other objects.
A downside to impact shingles is the cost. They’re about 10% to 25% more expensive than standard roofing shingles. They’re also tough to install after the fact but are an excellent option to consider if it’s time to replace your roof. But their durability can make the investment worth it if hailstorms are common in your area. Material and labor costs, the height of your home, the type and pitch of your roof are factors that contribute to the cost of replacing a roof.
How to tell if your roof has hail damage
To check your roof for hail damage, you’ll need to climb up to look more closely. Reedy says, “Hail damage typically appears as if someone took a hammer and smacked the shingles with a hard pop, over and over.” If you aren’t well-versed in how to tell if you have hail damage on your roof, he recommends hiring a professional to inspect it. They’ll be able to properly assess the damage to determine if it would warrant a homeowners insurance claim.
Is there anything you can do to fix your roof after hailstorm damage?
Luckily, many home insurance policies will cover repair costs if there’s been hail damage to your house. Reedy encourages homeowners to read the fine print to ensure their homeowners policy covers storm damage. If your homeowners insurance policy covers storm damage, you can file a claim when the damage to the roof seems to be significant. Submit photos to prove the roof has hail damage, pay your deductible, and your insurance policy should cover the remaining costs to repair or replace the roof if the claim is approved.
What to do after a hailstorm
Even if your insurance policy covers hail, you may wonder what to do after a hailstorm when the damage is minimal. If the repair costs are less than your deductible, filing a homeowners insurance claim may not be worth it. Instead, you may need to replace a few damaged shingles. If you have experience with home DIY, you may be able to tackle the project yourself. Otherwise, an experienced contractor will have the tools and knowledge to get the job done quickly.