What Does Hail Roof Damage Look Like?
Each year, hail damages cost homeowners and insurance companies millions of dollars. Hailstorm is one of the leading causes of roof damage. The damage may be caused by strong, high-speed winds that keep changing direction, and hailstones – both big and small – that hit the roof.
Depending on the extent of the damage and the type of roofing, some damages may be outright while others might be undetectable. Below are hail damage signs to look out for in the various roof types and materials:
- Asphalt shingles: Cracks, knocked off granules and the areas that have been hit by hail feel soft to touch.
- Wood: Dents, splitting, wood decay, mold, moss, and algae manifestation.
- Flat roof: Patches, cracks, and wrinkles.
- Metallic roof: Dents.
- Clay tiles: Cracks and gorges.
- Cement: Crumbling.
- TPO roof damage is characterized by circular or star-shaped fractures on the top layer of the membrane.
- Slate roof damage is evidenced by hail-shaped holes on the slate, and broken corners and edges.
Will Insurance Pay for Hail Roof Damage?
Hail roof damage is covered under home insurance policies. Insurance companies categorize hail roof damages into two: cosmetic and functional damage.
Functional damage is defined as the destruction that compromises the roof’s ability to offer shade or any damage that reduces the roof’s lifetime. On the other hand, cosmetic damage only affects the aesthetics of the roof with minimal impact on the roof’s functionality.
Most insurance companies cover functional damages. However, reimbursement for cosmetic damages depends on the terms of the specific insurance contract. In some states, the law requires that insurance companies compensate homeowners for cosmetic hail roof damage.
Insurance companies may pay for cosmetic hail roof damage if the damage causes financial loss. Damage is considered to cause loss if it diminishes the home’s overall value.
The age of the roof is also a key determining factor in deciding how much will be reimbursed for hail roof damage. In most cases, if the roof is under 10 years, it is eligible for full reimbursement. Otherwise, if it is beyond 10 years, homeowners may receive either full or partial refund depending on the state laws and terms of the cover.
It is best to report a hail roof damage immediately after it occurs. Many insurance companies provide a statute of limitation that makes hail-related claims valid within a given timeframe. Claims made after the stipulated deadline has lapsed are not eligible for compensation.
Once you have filed for a claim, the insurance company will send a contractor to inspect the damages. It is essential for the homeowner to hire a licensed contractor to be present during the inspection to ascertain that all damages have been filed in the claim report.
How Is Hail Roof Damage Repaired?
The extent of hail roof damage will depend on how strong the hailstorm was, the type of roofing installed, and the location of the house. Homes that are surrounded by taller buildings and trees suffer less damage as these structures serve as barriers that reduce the impact of the hailstorm.
Homeowners should inspect their homes immediately after a hailstorm for any damage and repair them as soon as possible. When left unattended, hail roof damage can significantly reduce the lifetime of the roof. It could also progress to causing roof leaks, or in the worst case scenario the entire roof coming down.
All damages are not treated the same. Extensive damages may call for replacement of the entire roof or the damaged parts. In other cases, repairing only the affected area will suffice. Hail damage to flat roofs requires immediate attention as if left unattended it could cause the whole roof to disintegrate.
Look out for storm chasers who offer quick and cheap repair and replacement services after a hailstorm. Most do shoddy jobs which do not fix the problem or make it worse. It is best to first contact the insurance company who will commission for repairs with a reputable roofing company.
Best Roof to Withstand Hailstorm Damage
This section of the article will explore the ability of different roofing types to withstand hailstorm.
1. Hail Damage to Flat Roofs
Flat roofs are prone to extensive hail damage. The high impact from the hailstorm or wind can cause the membrane (wooden, concrete or metallic) to disfigure. If not attended in time after the hailstorm, the roof may begin to leak within a few months of the initial hail damage. Hail damage to the flat roof can be difficult to detect hence a thorough inspection by a qualified contractor is essential. Look out for cracks and repair them immediately as they can lead to moisture accumulation that could necessitate replacement of the whole roof.
2. Hail Damage to TPO Roofs
TPO is highly resistant to punctures and tears from high impact. TPO roofs with a thicker layer (at least 60 mm) and fleece backing withstand the impact of hailstorm well, while a thinner layer may be more susceptible to hail damage.
3. Hail Damage to Slate Roofs
Slate roofing is one of the most durable roof types that can withstand adverse weather conditions. To ensure their durability, they should be installed by professional contractors and regularly maintained.
4. Hail Damage to Metal Roofs
Metal roofs are made from two to three layers of metal. In most cases, the extent of hail damage to metal roof is evidenced by dents and damage to the joints. In comparison to asphalt roofing, metals roofs are more susceptible to hail damage. Metal roofs made of steel are more durable than those made from other metallic materials.
5. Hail Damage to Tile Roofs
Roof tiles are made from different materials. Concrete tiles withstand hailstorm better than clay and porcelain roof tiles. A key to ensuring the durability of roof tiles against weather-related damages is to ensure it is installed by a reputable roof contractor who adheres to weight restrictions. The base layer should be inspected regularly and replaced after every 10 years.
The best way to prevent or minimize hail roof damage is by having a properly installed high-quality roof. In the instance of a hail roof damage, thorough inspection by a licensed and reputable roofing contractor will detect those damages. If the homeowner has a home cover, the insurance company will partially or wholly compensate for the losses depending on the terms of the policy. Be sure that the insurance inspection is done in the presence of a professional roofing contractor.
Do You Suspect You Have Hail Damage to Your Roof?
Call us today to schedule a consultation and a comprehensive hail damage roof inspection. In addition to diagnosing the problem, we will offer you an affordable and long-lasting solution that will ensure your home is safe and dry for years to come.