Hail Damage To Your Roof

One of the most dramatic weather events in the United States is large thunderstorms, which often produce heavy rain, heavy winds and in some cases damaging hail.  Many people are not aware that hail can severely damage the roof on their home, depending to the size of the hailstones, as well as the velocity that it impacts the roof.  One way to look at the impact that hail has on a roof is to consider how hail can cause dings and dents in a car made of steel.  Imaging what that is doing to an asphalt or fiberglass roof shingle! 

A qualified roofing contractor that is licensed and insured can perform a roofing inspection immediately after a hail event, to determine if the roof has been damaged by hail.  The experienced inspector will be able to immediately determine if there is roof hail damage or if there is just normal wear and tear occurring on the roof. 

One of the things they will be looking for is dings and dents in the shingle.  Sometimes the force of the hail hitting the roof can also crack the shingle as well.  Another clue they will be looking for is areas where granules are missing on the shingle exposing the surface of the shingle.  If the damage is a result of a recent hailstorm, the area will show up easily.  In normal wear and tear, the areas where granules are missing will not be as visible, because the sun has bleached out these areas and they tend to blend into the adjacent areas, indicating normal wear and tear. 

In the event that the roof has been damaged by hail, the inspector will provide the homeowner with the necessary information to file an insurance claim for a full roof replacement, which can be done promptly to protect the interior of the home from water damage.

Homeowner’s Insurance and Roof Damage

If the roof on your home has suffered hail damage, storm damage, or been damaged by fire or other cause, your homeowner’s policy may provide coverage for some or most of the cost of repairing the damage.  You should contact your insurance company to find out exactly what is covered.  The extent of coverage depends on many factors including the nature of the damage and the specifics of your policy.

Once you have reported the storm damage or roof hail damage, your insurance carrier will usually send an adjuster out to your home to assess the extent of the damage.  It is a good idea to have a good local roofing contractor make an independent inspection to verify the adjuster’s findings or to identify any damage that may have been missed.

Most policies will cover damage to the roof from hail, wind, storms, fire and other unpreventable causes.  Damage due to age or normal wear and tear is not covered. Some policies will only provide pro-rated coverage.  This type of coverage takes into account the age of the roof and reduces the covered amount for an older roof.

Other policies provide full coverage no matter how old the roof is.  If you have a policy that provides pro-rated coverage, it may provide full coverage for some period such as 5 or 10 year, then switch to pro-rated coverage for the remaining life of the roof.

Water damage directly related to the storm damage is usually covered, but a homeowner is expected to take steps such as tarping the roof to minimize such damage.  Contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible after the roof has been damaged for guidance on mitigating the damage.  On the other hand, water damage from normal wear and tear or a leaky aging roof is probably not covered.