Hail Damage from Hail Storms in Reston, VA
If you live in Reston, Virginia, you’re probably used to cleaning up after a rain or wind storm blows through. And while you may feel comfortable dealing with this kind of storm damage, the type of damage hail stones leave behind can be a lot more confusing. This is why it’s important to make sure you have a qualified local contractor you can trust to help you maintain your roof.
Hail Damage and Other Storm Damage
Most of the time, you can tell right away if the storm that passed through your town has left any major damage behind. Downed tree limbs or pieces of siding torn off your roof are common signs that a big wind storm has blown through, for example. Hail storms are different, though. They may leave behind some evidence in the form of dents in your car or on your patio furniture, but they may not leave behind much evidence that they have damaged your roof. This is part of what’s so confusing; if the hail stones were landing hard enough to dent a car, wouldn’t they have also damaged the shingles?
The answer is usually yes, but instead of leaving behind major dents or cracks that you can see, the hail may have left behind more subtle damage. Just because you can’t see it right away, however, doesn’t mean that it isn’t a big problem.
When a hail stone strikes your roof, it may bruise the mat of the shingle, damaging it below the surface. Hail stones also tend to loosen the protective layer of granules that covers the top of your shingles. When those granules are loosened, they can be washed away in the next rain storm, leaving your shingle exposed. Deterioration may now set in at an increased rate, which means that water may soon be entering your home. This in turn leads to problems like black mold and wood rot that are far more invasive and difficult to fix than the initial damage was.
This is why it’s so important to get your roof inspected by a qualified local contractor after a hail storm. Your contractor can see the signs of damage even when you cannot. He can also advise you as to whether or not you should be filing an insurance claim, and can even assist in the process from making the claim to being on hand when the adjuster checks your roof for damage. All of this can save you a lot of time and money, as well as the headaches involved with trying to figure out if damage has even occurred.
Filing an Insurance Claim
After figuring out whether you have hail damage or not, the next most confusing thing for most homeowners is figuring out if you should file a claim or not. Most of this confusion stems from a misconception that if you file, your premiums will go up, or your insurance company will drop you.
Both of these are untrue. First, your claim will only go up if a lot of people in your area make a claim at once – even if you do not. Second, hail storms and damage are considered an “Act of God”, which means your insurance company cannot drop you if you file.
Therefore, if your contractor thinks you have enough damage to make a good case by filing a claim, it is more than likely in your best interests to do so.
Beware the Storm Chaser
Unfortunately, the contractor you end up hiring after a major storm may not be local or qualified. Storm chasers are contractors who travel the country following major storms to try to cash in on the insurance money. A storm chaser may leave you hanging for months waiting for work to begin while your roof deteriorates. Or they offer only “tail light” warranties, good only as long as you can see their tail lights. Worst of all, they may skip out on your job to go after another one, potentially leaving you with an unfinished roof and a lien on your property from an unpaid supplier.
Therefore, it’s in your best interests to make sure that every contractor you hire is a qualified local contractor. You can do this by asking the following questions of every contractor you speak to:
- Do you have a local driver’s license and license plate?
- Do you have relevant state insurance and licenses?
- What is your warranty – do you offer extended manufacturer’s warranties, and can I follow up with the manufacturer to make sure you’re qualified to offer them?
- What is your rating at the Better Business Bureau?
- Do you have at least three, recent, local references I can call?
If your contractor is unable to answer your questions to your satisfaction, it’s time to get a new one.
Call for a Free Estimate
Northern Virginia Roofing has been working in the Reston area for more than 50 years. We’ve dealt with more than 2,000 hail damage repair jobs and know our way around the insurance industry. We offer one of the best warranties in the industry – 25+ years.
We have written the book on hail damage storms – The Ultimate Hail Damage Guide for Homeowners: Learn the Storm Damage Industry Secrets and Avoid Getting Ripped Off. Click here to download a free copy of the book.
So give us a call for a free estimate and let us help you get your roof back into great shape.
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