Hailstorms can cause incredible damage to crops, homes and vehicles. In 2019, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, more than 5,000 major hailstorms occurred in the United States. In 2010, the largest hailstone ever recorded in the U.S. fell on Vivian, S.D. It weighed nearly two pounds and measured eight inches in diameter.
Your home’s roof is the first line of defense against hailstorms and other weather events. A hailstone doesn’t have to be a record-setter like that South Dakota cannon ball to cause damage. Here are some handy tips from Valiant Roofing to help you assess and deal with possible roof damage from a hailstorm.
What Size Hail Will Damage a Roof?
It doesn’t take hailstones the size of softballs to do serious damage to a roof. Because hail comes down from the sky at speeds up to 90 miles an hour, even smaller hailstones can cause severe damage. Experts say damage typically results from hailstones one inch or more in diameter.
What Does Hailstorm Damage Look Like on a Roof?
Sometimes you can pick up warning signs of hail damage to your roof even when you are standing on the ground. If your gutters, downspouts, air conditioner or other items outside have been damaged in a storm, it’s a good bet your roof has been damaged too.
On the roof, damaged vents, skylights, chimneys and shingles are key indicators of hail damage. Working at heights can be extremely dangerous, and while hail damage to shingles can be obvious sometimes, that’s not always the case. It’s wise to ask a professional to come in to get up on your roof to assess the situation. This will be safer for you and also give you a professional opinion on hailstorm damage. Many roofing contractors offer free, no-obligation roof inspections.
How Much Hail Damage Before You Need to Replace Your Roof?
Sometimes hailstorm damage to a roof is considered merely cosmetic, affecting the look of your roof, rather than functional, where your roof’s life and protection have been structurally damaged by a storm. Insurance companies may be reluctant to pay for repairs for cosmetic damage.
It’s wise to work with a trustworthy, local roofing contractor that has former insurance adjusters on its staff. These professionals can inspect the damage, assess it and handle all the insurance paperwork necessary for your claim. Expert inspectors can help you get the coverage you have paid your insurance company for. In many cases, homeowner insurance companies will pay for repairs or replacement, minus your deductible.