Guide to Hail Damage to Your Home: Signs, Preventatives and What To Do If You Have It
When most people think of hail damage, they think of a car. However, hail can also do significant damage to your home’s roof. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), about 25 percent of all hailstorm-related insurance claims come from homeowners who experienced roof damage.
Whether you live in an area prone to hail or not, it’s essential to understand what can happen if your roof is hit by falling ice chunks and how you can protect your home from that damage. Read on for everything you need to know about hail damage and your home’s roof.
If you suspect you might have sustained hail dame to your home in Newnan, Ga, call us at Nutt Roofing & Siding (470) 686-7887, and we will come out and inspect your home's roof.
What is Hail Damage?
Hail damage is any damage to your home caused by hail. This can include dents, fractures, and even holes in your roof. While hail isn’t usually strong enough to tear the roof of your house, it can easily crack or fracture roofing materials. When hail hits your roof, it can cause visible defects, like dents and cracks, or it can cause hidden problems, like roofing materials being broken or weakened.
Hail happens when warm moisture in the atmosphere comes into contact with an excellent surface, like a hailstone. As the warm water evaporates and freezes, it forms ice crystals super-cooled by the cold surface. The hailstone picks up speed as it descends from the atmosphere, creating massive amounts of friction that heats the ice crystals. As they heat up, they melt a bit and expand. This is why hail is generally more prominent than normal raindrops. A single hailstone can grow as big as a tennis ball before it finally hits the ground.
Since it’s made of ice, hail can do real damage when it strikes your home. It is second to wind damage in terms of damaging your roof.
Hail: Know the Risks
The most significant risk with hail is that it will damage your roof, which is generally made of metal or shingles. Rain sometimes melts as it strikes the ground, so examining your roof for signs of melted or discolored metal is essential. Areas that are shaded are most at risk for damage, so explore the undersides of your roof and the lower parts of your house.
Hail can also break windows, and it can do significant damage to landscaping and trees. But the real danger lies in your roof. If hail damages your roof, it can cause problems that get worse with time. Minor hail dents can cause leaks and water damage inside your house. The best way to protect your home from hail damage is to ensure your roof is in good shape. Regular roof inspections are a great way to catch problems before they become expensive damage.
Detecting Hail Damage to Your Home
Hail can cause several types of damage to your roof, so it’s important to note what damage you’re looking for.
Dents in your roof may not be visible from the ground. Go up on the roof and walk around. - Breaks and holes: Examine your shingles for cracks or holes. If you see any, it could mean that hail has damaged them.
Discoloration: Hailstones can melt as they come in contact with your roof. This can result in discoloration.
Sagging: If hail has damaged your roof, it can put extra stress on the rest of your roof.
Repairs You Can Make Yourself
If hail has dented your roof but hasn’t broken any shingles, you can make minor repairs to your roof yourself. If your roof is made of metal, you use a cold chisel to pop out the dents. Then, use a hammer to tap the dents flat. If hail has dented your shingles, you can use a putty knife to remove the dent.
Be careful not to remove too much shingle; you don’t want to lift the shingles out from the roof. If hail has created a small hole in your roof, you can plug the hole with roofing cement. Make sure to follow the directions on the package.
Repairs You’ll Need to Hire a Pro For
If hail has broken your shingles, there’s a good chance that your roof is waterlogged. This is a serious problem; you should call a repair professional immediately. If hail has broken several shingles, you can use a caulking gun to plug the break. However, hail often breaks more shingles than you can plug. When this happens, your best bet is to call a professional.
A roofing company can replace broken shingles and ensure that your roof doesn’t leak. If hail has broken through your ceiling and caused damage to your house, you’ll need to hire a contractor to fix the problem. If the hail has broken through the roof but hasn’t caused any damage, you can sometimes seal the break yourself.
Final Words: Takeaway
Hail damage can be severe, but it doesn’t have to be a costly problem. If you take the time to examine your roof for wear after a hailstorm, you can often repair the damage yourself and save money on repairs and roof replacements. If you’re worried about hail damage, talk to your insurance company. Depending on your coverage, hail damage can be covered by your homeowner's or renter's insurance.