Hail is a severe weather condition that can cause significant damage to your property, tearing up the sidings of houses, destroying roofs, shattering windows, damaging cars, and, on some occasions, claiming lives. What makes it dangerous is its size. Hailstones that form when updrafts inside thunderstorm clouds become so large that some can even be the size of a baseball. Hail isn’t just dangerous but also costly. Damages from hailstorms in the United States reached USD$722.8 million in 2018. A particular area in the US where the three states, Nebraska, Colorado, and Wyoming, meet is called ‘hail alley.’ Hailstorms visit this area, with an average of nine hail days per year.
The majority of hailstorms happen during the spring, summer, or fall. One way to prepare for them is to stay on top of weather alerts. If your home is damaged by hail, here are some house repair tips that can help:
1. Inspect Your Roof And Yard
After a storm has passed, you need to assess your roof to see if there are any missing shingles, torn and blown away parts, and hail impact on gutters, downspouts, roof vents, and roof flashings. Neglecting to check vital areas of your property may lead to additional problems. Even a minor issue on your roof can cause water damage to your ceiling, walls, and floors.
Here are some signs of hail damage on the roof:
- Dented gutter screens, gutters, or downspouts – Gutters may have small or large dents.
- Dented windowsills or sidings – Besides checking if windowsills or sidings were hit by hailstones, search for any exposed metal surfaces, such as metal fascia on the roof eaves.
- Broken air-conditioners – Even air-conditioners may get damaged by hail. Other things that may be impacted include the patio, shed, porch, or deck.
Before going up to check your roof, ensure that you’re wearing the proper personal protective equipment, so you can avoid injuring yourself. In addition, you should check your yard in case missing shingles or broken siding panels are lying around. This is actually the easiest and safest way to determine roof damage. Once you’ve concluded that there’s roof damage, you can hire a roofing contractor like Johnson Exteriors – local home repairs. You can trust professionals to repair or replace your roof.
2. Check For Structural Damage
Large hailstones can break windows, and strong winds can topple trees and carry objects to the top of your house. Moreover, uprooted tree trunks that rested on the side of your house can potentially damage your walls and sidings. Take note of the damage you see as you go around your home after a hailstorm.
3. Inspect Damages Inside Your House
Check for water stains on your ceiling, as this is a tell-tale sign that something leaked from the roof. If there are some water stains, you need to have them addressed as soon as possible. Contact a roofer, so they can locate the leak and fix the problem immediately. You should also look for any paint damage, which is another sign of a water leak issue.
4. Seek The Advice Of A Trusted Contractor
To ensure that you haven’t skipped critical areas, avail of services of an experienced contractor who can conduct a thorough inspection. They may be able to spot unseen damage that you might have overlooked. Some insurance companies, however, have their own list of contractors, so check with your insurance provider first to avoid spending more than what’s necessary.
5. Contact Your Insurance Agent
After having a list of damage verified by an accredited contractor, contact your insurance agent to review your policy and determine your deductibles. Your agent will help you review your policy and determine if your home is covered by wind and hail damage. If you live in a hailstorm-prone area, it will be best to upgrade your premium to cover possible hail damage in the future. Work with your agent to figure out if the damage was substantial enough to file a claim. Because if the amount of the damage is less than the insurance deductible, it won’t really make much sense to file a claim. In that case, you might want to pay for the repair out of your own pocket.
6. File Your Claim Promptly
There’s a time limit for filing any claims. Most standard policies would require you to file within one year of the occurrence, so be mindful of the time frame. It will also help to keep all receipts for any immediate repairs you’ll need for your home.
Natural disasters are bound to happen, and even if you’re prepared for them, there’s no telling how bad the damage will be. However, it’s still important to make preparations and develop contingency plans, so your family can live safely.