Hail storms can do a lot of damage, even to a previously sturdy roof. If you've experienced a hail storm, you know that it can cause great damage to roofs, gutters, landscaping, windows, siding and even your car. One of the best ways to ensure you are prepared, especially if you live in a hailstorm-prone area, is to be armed with knowledge to both prevent excessive damage and react in a timely manner if your home is damaged. This article highlights two major areas related to hailstorm damage.
1. What can I do if my roof has hail damage?
You can always tell whether your roof may have sustained damage by inspecting other parts of the house – windows, gutters, landscaping etc. Getting on the roof for an inspection may be dangerous, especially if you aren't handy in the home.
If you suspect damage, the best thing to do is to speak to your insurance company so that they can guide you. Usually, they will send an appraiser to carry out an inspection and give you a scope of damage and estimated repair costs. This will cover all parts of the home that have been damaged along with the roof. Do not agree to anything with the insurer until an appraiser has made a physical visit.
Once you're armed with this report, it's much easier to speak with roofing contractors to compare costs and services. Your insurer may need you to send three quotations from different contractors. Again, they should have given the cost-repair estimate before requiring you to send your quotations.
You should leave all repairs to professionals to ensure that all damaged areas are properly fixed. You should also accompany the appraiser as well as roofing contractors' representatives as they assess your roof. During the inspection, be sure to take pictures as proof of damage.
2. How can I prevent hail damage?
You may not be able to completely prevent hail damage, given that some storms hit harder than others. However, there are ways you can improve your property in order improve chances of surviving a hail storm damage-free. These include:
Roof inspection – ensure your roof has been inspected by professionals prior to and after every storm season (if you had no damage). Inspections can identify weak areas that would not survive a hail storm. In the long-term, this can be more cost-effective than major repairs after storms hit.
Roof replacement – if you live in storm-prone areas, consider replacing your roof and investing in impact-resistant roofing. Speak to your insurer, as some insurers may have credit points for this investment. Storm shutters can also protect doors and windows from damage.