According to NOAA Severe Weather Database, the US suffered 5,601 large hail storms last year. The largest hail storm to hit land was in Texas with larger than softball sized hailstones measuring up to 4.5 inches in diameter. Meanwhile, Colorado ranks as the second highest number of hail claims from the years 2013 to 2015 with a total of 182,591.
The Most Common Hail Damage
The severity of roof damage caused by hail storms depends on several factors, such as:
• the quality of roof construction
• roofing materials
• age of the roofs
• roof slopes
• hails size and density
• shape (how big the hailstones)
• velocity (how fast it hits land-roof)
The materials, age, and the size of the hailstones plays a very big role on the damage that your roof may go through. Also important to take note is that insurance companies categorize hail damage either ‘cosmetic’ or ‘functional’ in nature.
Functional Vs Cosmetic Damage
In ‘Functional’ hail damage, it refers to the destruction of durability and integrity of the roof. While ‘Cosmetic’ hail damage pertains to the damage that does not affect the purpose of the roof. A couple years back, the American Association of Insurance Services added the “Cosmetic Damage Exclusion” in 2013. The exclusion allows insurers to label a functional damage as a cosmetically hail storm damage. But don’t fret, a fully qualified, well-experienced roof inspector will know how to distinguish between the two and they can assist homeowners in filing insurance claims. Bear Paw Construction & Roofing can help you solve this problem. We have the experience in helping out homeowners in filing their insurance claims.
It is a well known fact that hailstones vary in sizes. An average 1” in diameter of hailstones is enough to cause roof damage. Here is a list of objects that the NOAA used as a comparison of object-to-size of hailstone sizes for their hail storm reports.
• Marble or moth ball = .50”
• Penny = .75”
• Nickel = .88”
• Quarter = 1”
• Half Dollar = 1.25”
• Walnut or Ping Pong = 1.50”
• Golf Ball = 1.75”
• Chicken Egg = 2”
• Tennis Ball = 2.50”
• Baseball = 2.75”
• Tea cup = 3”
• Softball = 4”
• Grapefruit = 4.50”
Initial Signs of Damage
While waiting for a contractor to check how extensive the storm damage to your roof, you can do several things. If you see one or more of these signs, it may indicate that you need a full roof replacement instead of a minimal roof repair.
1. Look for damage or scratches in painted wood surfaces
A hailstone may chip the paint on your roof or surfaces surrounding your home. Decks and other exposed area are more likely to suffer from hail storms.
2. Check for any dents in your downspouts, gutters, even in gutter screens
In some cases, if a roof suffered severe hail damage, the gutters will be badly beaten as well. While on the ground check your gutters for some dents or impact damage that hailstones might cause.
3. Inspect for any break in your windowsills and sidings
Check for dents or any signs of impact in your sidings, windowsills or other exposed metal surfaces. In severe hailstorms, the angle of the hailstones varies and may hit land in all direction. If your roof suffered severe damage, one good sign is to look for these places.
4. Look for any damage in your air conditioners, metal vents, and other outdoor items
It is important to check the surroundings of your home; a damaged air conditioner may qualify for an insurance replacement. Take note of every damage that hail storms might have caused including shed, porch, decks, and patio cover.
5. Once on the roof, check for any dents and scratched surface
It takes a very well trained eye to spot any hail damage on your roof unless it’s metal. But while you are up there trying to assess the extent of the damage tries to look for any dents or any uneven surface on your roof. This assessment will help you claiming your insurance as you can easily detail the damage to your agent.
It is important to always check the damage but do not pass the idea of contacting a contractor in properly assessing your home.