Hopefully you did not see hail the size of your palm but we did experience alot of hail recently. We are all wondering if we have hail damage. If you do, we are here to help you with recovering from the damage.
Hail damage is typically dependent upon the size of the hail, the concentration of falling hail and duration of the hail storm. Generally speaking, hail must be 1 ¼-inches in diameter (half-dollar size) before it causes damage to heavy composite shingles or wood shake shingles. Lightweight composite shingles may show damage after being struck by 1-inch diameter (quarter-size) hail. Only deteriorated composite shingles will show hail damage due to hail less than 1-inch in diameter, and the hail generally must be more than ¾-inch in diameter (dime size). So who goes out and measures the hail during a storm? We have seen hail in our area larger than a golf ball, and there have been many roofs replaced. How about your roof?
The first thing to do if you think your roof may be damaged is to look at your car parked outside, your mailbox, window screens, vinyl siding, air conditioner, gutters, etc. These items are much more prone to hail damage than your roof. If you have damage to these items, it may be prudent to call a reputable roofer for a free roof inspection. Avoid the roofers trolling the area to make a quick sale. Some of these roofers may use the age old practice of closing shop and reopening under a new business name which would then warrant your roof warranty. I recommend going to www.gaf.com. This is the website of a high quality shingle manufacturer. When you enter your zip code, you can read about reputable roofers in your area endorsed by the manufacturer. You want to avoid roof scams because an insurance policy pays one time for the same damage and if you get scammed, it can be costly. Plus you want a high quality roof and not the lowest cost roof because you only pay your deductible so spend time to find a high quality roofer. Once roof damage or other hail damage is determined, contact your insurance agent and advise them of the damaged items and your roof concerns.
Know your deductible. All property insurance which include wind coverage would cover hail damage so your insurance would pay above the deductible for the remainder of the costs.
Once your claim is filed, your insurance company will assign an adjuster to visit your home and inspect the damages. The inspection of your roof will include checking metal structures, such as roof vents, ridge vent, exhaust turbines, etc. These soft metal structures will reveal the severity of the hail downpour. A subsequent inspection of the actual shingles will then take place. There are numerous types of damage (unrelated to hail) that may be found, including, but not limited to, shingle hardening, cupping, cracking, blisters, etc.
I spoke to a local roofing contractor in our area who we have used extensively over the past few years. Together, we have categorized hail damage into three main categories:
1. Hail Splatter - this is described as visible evidence of hail impacting the roof which may leave a slight discoloration but results in no damage to the shingles. No action would be required for this type of hail event.
2. Slight Pitting - this is described as hail impacts with enough force to leave small indentions in the shingles and which result in minor granular loss. Typically, no action would be required for this type of hail event. However, if the damage affects a significant portion of the roof, replacement would be at the discretion of the insurance adjuster.
3. Shingle Damage - this is described as a hail impact with enough force to result in "shingle bruising" significant enough that the granules are dislodged, exposing the asphalt & fiberglass underneath. The inner body of the shingle is damaged/cracked and will require shingle replacement.
Generally, with either Type 2 or Type 3 damage, the insurance company will require that a test square be drawn in the areas directly damaged. The test square measures 10 feet by 10 feet. Within the test square, shingle impacts are circled with chalk. Afterward, pictures are taken to demonstrate the scope of the damage. Significant widespread damage may result in total roof replacement. Otherwise, the insurance company may approve roof repairs to the damaged areas.
I cannot overemphasize the importance of contacting a local, established roofer to review your loss and not the first roofer that knocks on your door. We are here to help you through this process. Please call our office at 281-558-2210 to help you through this process.