10 Signs That Your Home Experienced Wind/ Hail Damage
Ultimate Wind & Hail Damage Guide For Homeowners: Signs That You Have Experienced Wind or Hail Damage
In our 51 years of operation we have had many cases when a homeowner calls us with a roof leak, and after the inspection we discover that the roof leak was caused by damage from a hail storm that might have happened 2-3 years ago.
The homeowner usually doesn’t recall a hail storm, but a hail storm that might have lasted only 15 minutes can cause significant damage over time. Your roof should be inspected – especially after a wind and/or hail storm – because even minor damage made to your roof may lead to a much bigger problem in the future.
The reason why hail damage is bad for your roof is because granules are the protective layer of the shingles, and over a period of time rain will wash off the granules that were loosened by the hail storm and expose the asphalt underneath. Exposed asphalt will make the shingles deteriorate much faster than normal, causing the roof to leak.
Tip: It may be necessary to inspect your roof multiple times if there is no apparent damage on the first inspection. In some cases the granules will not come off the roof right after a hail storm, giving the appearance that there is no damage (it might take a couple of rains for loosened granules to come off).
10 Signs of Hail Damage:
If you were home when the hail storm occurred, these are the sure signs that your home has experienced hail damage:
- Large(quarter size or larger) hail in the area.
- Heavy winds(50+ MPH).
- Damage (dings, dents) to cars.
- A lot of leaves and debris in your yard and throughout your neighborhood.
These are the signs to look for if you were not home:
Neighbors discussing that their homes were hit by hail damage.
- Reports on the news.
- Multiple contractor signs in the yard.
- Door knocking (contractors knocking on your door).
- Telemarketing (contractors calling your home, trying to set an appointment).
- Direct Mail pieces.
If any of these signs are present, your roof should be inspected (see Chapter 6 on how to inspect the roof yourself and Chapter 5 on how to hire a good roofing contractor to do it for you).
It may not seem like your home got hit by hail damage – it takes a trained eye to recognize hail damage on the roof, gutters, and siding. Unless the hail was softball size, you cannot see the hail damage to roof and gutters from the ground. In fact, in some circumstances the hail damage will not appear on the roof until a month or two after the storm.
Hiring the Right Contractor
Your roof is worth roughly 10%-15% of your home’s value; it covers 90% of your assets and itis the main source of protection for your family. And although it is important to start the restoration process sooner rather later- it’s also very important to take your time and find a Qualified Local Contractor (QLC) to inspect your roof so that together you can decide whether there is enough damage to file a claim or not.
In some circumstances it may be harmful to file a claim while in others it may be harmful not to file a claim. An out-of-state Storm Chaser will almost always urge you to file a claim and get a new roof even if your roof is in a good condition. (To read more about filing an insurance claim click here or here: Filling Your Insurance Claim (To File or Not To File)).
The right contractor will provide you with high quality product that conforms to local building codes and manufacturer specifications, will be your advocate and make the complicated insurance process easy and stress-free, and will be there for you to provide warranty support years after the project is completed. The wrong contractor will take your money and might turn a complex storm restoration project into a disaster (due to inexperience or lack of ethics) with a lot of stress and confusion. They will leave town when the insurance related work starts to slow down in your area or a bigger storm comes along in another part of the country (many times leaving homeowners with partial work completed or no work done at all, and the need to hire another contractor to complete/redo the work).
Finding the right contractor (QLC) will take some work on your part but it will potentially save you a lot of time, money and headaches. To learn how to recognize a bad contractor and how to hire a good one download my free eBook here.
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