How to Protect Your Home Against Hail Damage
Disaster can strike your home at any time, leaving you with expensive repairs and a lot of stress. This is why we take precautions like opening up insurance policies, using fire-resistant materials, and more. Homeowners take steps to prepare for fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes. But we so often forget about another damage-inducing natural disaster: hail.
Hail damage can affect roofing, windows, siding, and more. The extent of the damage depends on the size of the hail—as hail can range from the size of pea to the size of a baseball. Hail damage can also depend on the materials used on your home, as different materials will react differently when struck.
Protect Your Home and Wallet
While your homeowners insurance policy may cover hail damage, you may still have to cover a co-payment or a deductible before anything can be fixed. If you want to minimize the amount of hail damage to your home and save money on future repairs, you may want to consider new roofing.
Your roof is most vulnerable to hail damage than any other part of your home. Because of this, your best option for protection is impact-resistant roofing. Most building codes don’t require impact-resistant roofing, so it’s your responsibility to check on this. Consider Class 4 asphalt shingles, as these tend to hold up well against hail. Other options include synthetic roofing and tile roofing, but their performances tend to vary by product. As an extra bonus, many insurance companies provide a discount on your insurance premium if you have installed hail-resistant shingles. These discounts can range from 5‒20% per calendar year.
How to Recover From Hail Damage
After a hail storm, you’ll want to check for any hail damage right away. If you are filing an insurance claim, you may only have a limited window of time to take action after a storm. Your insurance company will likely require an assessment by an insurance adjuster before they will sign off on any work being performed.
This is why you should have your property inspected by a licensed and reputable contractor as soon as possible. Keep in mind that even though you don’t see obvious signs of damage, it doesn’t mean there is no damage.
Hail damage may include damage to your roof, siding, windows, or any outside appliances (like an HVAC unit). While damage to your windows may be easy to see, it may be more difficult to identify and repair hail damage to your roof or siding. Signs of damage may include leaks, corrosion, holes, or dents. Pay attention to any trees in your yard as well. If you notice a loss of leaves, it could mean that there is more damage elsewhere.
While you could look for and repair any damage yourself, it may still be in your best interest to have your home inspected and repaired by a professional. For one, climbing on ladders and walking on the roof can be extremely dangerous—especially after a storm. Additionally, if you do have a warranty on any housing materials or a homeowners insurance policy, doing the work yourself could void either of these. A primary benefit of having a contractor, like ours at Roof Time, Inc., inspect for damage is that they have the experience to determine what may be covered by your insurance company.