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Recognizing Hail Damage On or Around Your Home and What to Do About It

If you are asking yourself “What the hail??” then chances are you just experienced a storm and there has been some hail damage on your property. It does not happen often but when it does, things sure get interesting.
The easiest way to tell if there is hail damage on your property is of course by walking around the home and doing an informal survey of the premises. Once you determine that there is indeed damage as a result of a storm you can then approach your insurance company to find out what types of coverage your policy offers. What kinds of things should you look for while going through the exterior of your property?
Roof Damage
Granules blown off from a damaged roof
Indentations on metal
Pockmarks on shingles
Lots of granules in your gutter or concrete
Dings and Dents on the Property’s Exterior
Pockmarks on your siding, eaves trough or garage doors
Areas where paint has come off from heavy hail
Deck surfaces, railings and benches with large marks
Window Damage
Torn screens
Chips on window frames
Other Outdoor Fixtures
Indentation marks on hot tub covers
Damaged metal awnings
Regardless of what you find, it may be a good idea to contact your insurance company and request an adjuster to come out and survey your property formally. Not only will they be able to determine the extent of damage, they will be able to report it if it is significant enough to warrant insurance coverage.
Myths and Facts About Hail Damage
(Source: hubpages.com, author: RDHayes)
Myth: I looked at my roof and didn’t see any problems, or my roofer inspected it and there are no problems.
Fact: Someone with training and experience must physically inspect roofing systems to determine where there is actual hail damage. Insurance companies send their adjusters to special training so they can properly identify hail damage to property. Unfortunately there is not much ongoing training for the roofing or home inspection industries.
Myth: I’m not missing any shingles so I must not have damage.
Fact: Missing shingles are related to wind damage claims and can happen during a hailstorm if the winds are high enough. However hail damage is insidious in nature and may not physically cause leakage for years after a hailstorm.
Myth: I only have 1 year to file my insurance claim.
Fact: Many insurance companies do have a one-year time limit and some even less, however due to the nature of hail damage they may pay claims past the deadline. This usually happens if a hailstorm is widespread geographically.
Myth: My roof is new so it is covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, the homebuilder or contractor.
Fact: Manufacturer’s specifically name hail an exclusion to their product warranty. So do home builders and roofing contractors. Newer roofs can actually be more susceptible to hail damage versus older roofs due to the time it takes a new roof to cure from exposure to the elements.
Myth: I was told my roof has minimal or very little damage and therefore I don’t need to file a claim.
Fact: If your roof has any damage whatsoever you have a valid insurance claim and should file with your insurance company. Damage might not cause your roof to leak for years. This is why it’s important to have a qualified person inspect your roof.
Myth: My insurance company will cancel my policy if I file a claim.
Fact: Most states prohibit insurance companies from cancelling policies for filing claims arising from severe weather related events. Check your state’s policy and your policy language as well.
Myth: If I don’t file my claim, my insurance company won’t raise my rates.
Fact: After a disaster, insurance companies may raise everyone’s rates. By not filing your claim, your personal rate increase is paying for every one else’s damage except yours.
If you are unsure, it is still a good idea to contact your agent since there are likely areas that you may not have considered that might have been damaged. One thing to look out for is inflated quotes from companies looking to make a quick buck through your ordeal. Roofing and siding companies might inundate you with offers to repair your home.
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If you’d like more information on this or other things concerning your property or if you are in the market to buy, sell or invest – contact me today!

3 Responses to Recognizing Hail Damage On or Around Your Home and What to Do About It

  • The tricky thing about telling hail damage to your roof from any other is looking for your gutters and noticing where they are bent and out of shape. It will hit the side and dent it in a angle, but hail can also damage the shingles. Shingle damage will appear by showing chipping and decaying, along with flaps coming up or staying in a odd fashion.

    -Adam Ahmed
    Roofing Brooklyn

  • Mariam says:

    Hailstorm damages are visibly noticeable whenever you check your house for them. Thank you for posting all the “need to know” facts about hail damages. I also want to thank you for informing people that just because your roof or house looks fine, doesn't mean it didn't sustain any damage. Having a professional check for such is a good decision since they are trained to spot even the slightest piece of defect and work on it right away.

    Mariam Freame

  • Thanks for sharing this hail damage facts. It can be a big help for everyone to be aware of what kind of damages your home can get from the hail stones. And I must agree with Mariam, having a professional roofer to check on you roof can be a good idea if you think your roof needs some fixings.

    Karen Burgess