Hail damage is nothing to mess with. Destruction caused by hail can result in premature shingle aging, fiberglass mat exposure, fiberglass mat fracturing, and cracks in the roof surface. Hail doesn’t have to be large to damage your roof. Even pea-sized hail can be just as detrimental to your roof as hail that is the size of a golf ball. Here we will identify and discuss three major questions that you need answers to if you are wondering about hail damage to your roof.
QUESTION 1: DO I HAVE HAIL DAMAGE?
You may not be a roofing expert, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find proof of hail damage on your own. Before calling a roofing expert, look for these five signs to see if your home might have hail damage.
1.Gutters: Gutters and downspouts can take a beating when a significant hail storm passes through. Look for both large dents and small impact areas.
2. Windows: Check your window screens! One surefire sign of hail damage can be found in the marks or tears on your window screens. Be sure to check your window sills, window castings, and sliding doors for damage as well. Also check any other exposed metal surfaces around your house.
3. Air Conditioner : Air conditioners can also deteriorate due to hail damage. On an exterior AC unit look specifically at the radiator fins and vents for dents and dings. Be sure to keep in mind that a damaged air conditioner could qualify for an insurance replacement.
4. Painted Surfaces: As you walk around, pay special attention to any painted surfaces around your home and look for chipping. Your deck is one of the most important painted areas to check.
5. Property: Be sure to check your entire property for any signs of roofing shingles or other roofing materials that have blown off. Check the ground, eave line (edge of the roof), and downspout areas (pipe carrying rainwater from the gutter) for excessive roof granular (pieces of roofing).
Obviously, your roof will take the brunt of any hail damage your home suffers. **we do not recommend that you get on your roof to look around.** A professional and honest roofing contractor (should you require one) will provide pictorial evidence of any hail damage your roof has sustained.
Keep in mind that the extent of hail damage may not be noticeable immediately after a storm. Sometimes the severity of the damage does not become evident until months or even years after a severe hail storm. If you feel that your home has sustained hail damage, continue reading for your next steps. . .
QUESTION 2: WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FILING AN INSURANCE CLAIM?
Before you ever file an insurance claim you need to be well-informed. Read through your policy and talk with your insurance agent to understand what is covered and what your deductibles are. Research local roofers, get references and recommendations, and know the answers to the following four questions.
- Do roofers work for the insurance company?
No. They work for the homeowner. An honest local roofing contractor will be on your side and do whatever it takes to help you get your claim processed for a fair settlement amount.They will also ensure that the reroofing process goes smoothly.
- If a roofer is involved in the inspection for the claim, do you have to use that roofer for the job?
No. An inspection is not a contract and an honest roofer will never treat it as one. An honest inspection gives the homeowner (you) proof of any damage done to the house so that an accurate claim can be filed. When the roofing contractor comes out to verify the damage, ask them the following:
- How bad is the damage?
- What is the approximate cost to repair?
- Can you please take pictures?
- If you are told that you have hail damage, how many estimates do you need before getting insurance involved?
None. You do not need an estimate to make a claim for insurance. All you need is a professional to verify that you have hail damage. The insurance company will come out and observe the damage themselves, then they will write you an estimate. You should use this estimate to negotiate with a roofing contractor to do the job.
- Do all roofing contractors have experience dealing with insurance companies?
Not necessarily. As a customer, you should prioritize finding a good local roofing contractor who has experience dealing with claims and insurance companies. This professional roofing contractor will also have the right equipment, skills, knowledge, and experience to properly identify and assess any damage on your roof. This roofing contractor can work with you to help you achieve the best possible settlement for the claim.
QUESTION 3: WHO SHOULD I HIRE?
Many roofers will tell you that you have hail damage, but this assessment can often be inaccurate. A longstanding local roofer with solid references will be more honest with you regarding the accurate status of your roof. You should be provided with evidence (pictures) of the current state of your roof and any damage that has been done.
STAY AWAY FROM STORM CHASERS!
Just like their name states, storm chasers come into an area after major storms pass through. When a bad storm hits they will be there to make you a “too-good-to-refuse” offer and take advantage of you in any way they can. Some of their favorite prey are those who are uninformed and the elderly. Know this: Never pay cash upfront. Before hiring anyone, be sure to thoroughly check references as well as the company’s address, phone number, and website. If anything leads you to believe that the company is not local, they probably aren’t! No matter the company you are working with, be sure to ask them two things:
- How long have they been in the area?
- What percentage of their business is hail claims?
As a longstanding local roofing company we are certified, experienced, and ready to help you with your home’s hail damage. We have a vast knowledge of insurance claims and solutions to hail damage. We also offer free inspections for both residential and commercial properties to verify whether or not your roof has sustained hail damage.