There was a small Hail Storm two years ago that blew threw the hard luck county of Bastrop. I was asked to inspect the roof of a home in a unique golf course community called Tahitian Village. After a brief conversation with the homeowner, I jumped (I actually used a ladder, but like to pretend I can jump that high) up on the roof armed with my camera phone and checked the asphalt shingles for hail and wind damage. I found plenty of hail hits on the roof and came down off the roof to share the pictures I took on my phone with the homeowner.
While I was going over the damage with the homeowner, his neighbor came by to join in the conversation. Surprised by the amount of damage on the roof from hail, the neighbor asked me to check his roof for damages as well. Without hesitation, I again jumped up on the the roof and started inspecting like the “Roof Whisperer” that I am. Searching every tab for damage, I was astonished to find no hail damage – not even one hit! How could hail hit one house and create irreversible damage yet avoid the house across the street?
Although hail doesn’t fall through a funnel and just hit one house. The outskirts of a hailstorm that can cover several acres or even miles will have scattered results. Therefore, the hail can hit both houses but one house could have larger pieces that can fall at a faster rate of speed – in other words, more intense hail that can cause damage. Additionally, various roofing materials can be impacted differently based on thickness and age. In the example above, one roof was a 25 year 3-Tab Shingle that was affected and the other roof was a 30 year Architectural Laminate Shingle that was not damaged.
So what should you do if a hailstorm rolls through your neighborhood
- Check out your gutters, screens, window beading and landscaping – if you see small round circles that have dented these items or leaves stripped from your trees and bushes, you probably have issues on the roof
- Check out the internet – google your city and hail and you can easily find maps that will show the path of the storm
- Ask for a free inspection – check out the reviews of roofers online or on Nextdoor.com and choose a reputable Roofer to come out and do a free inspection of your roof
- Make sure the roofer shows you pictures of the damage and stay outside and watch while the inspection is performed so there is no funny business
What not to do:
- Call your agent – Insurance Agents are experts on all types of insurance products but do they know roofs? Some agents feel that they need to conserve the number of claims that come out of their office and will talk you out of it
- Look at the roof from the ground and guess that it is ok because you can’t see any damage. Hail damage is not visible unless you are on the roof most of the time
- Decide that you are okay because you have no leaks. The leaks from hail damage occur because the hail hits weather over time and thin out the fiberglass which could take 6 months to two years
- Be rushed into a decision by a Roofing Salesman. Because of the reason stated above, you have some time. You don’t have to rush into a decision
The biggest mistake I see from homeowners is figuring they have a fairly new roof and getting advice from people who may have had a roof replaced once before so they think they are ok. Pick up the phone and call a quality Contractor like myself and you will know for sure if you have damage or you are in good shape.
For questions on how to choose a good roofing contractor, see my previous article “How to Choose a Contractor.”
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Kress Childs – Owner