The Truth About Hail Damage
Hail storms are an unfortunate but common part of life in areas of high elevation. And in spite of the aid of meteorological advancements in predicting the types of thunderstorms that produce these “snow bullets from the sky”, they are still known for their often devastating effects to structures of all kinds. These irregular balls of ice can vary greatly in both size and shape. But perhaps the most difficult part of diagnosing hail damage is realizing that there is more than meets the eye. Whether you have metal roofing, tile roofing or a concrete roof, hail can cause damage that is undetectable to the untrained observer. The following is a list of the most common misconceptions that homeowners face and some helpful information about how best to deal with roof repairs after the storm.
Don’t try to assess your roof alone.
Training is everything when it comes to spotting hail damage. Once your roof has been physically inspected by someone who has the training and experience to determine the extent of the hail damage, it is easier to decide your plan of action. Often, the effects of hail cannot be easily noticed right away. Insurance company adjusters attend special training so they can properly identify hail damage to a property; unfortunately there is not much ongoing training for the roofing or home inspection industries.
Missing shingles aren’t everything.
Wind damage is the most common culprit of missing shingles. High winds during a hail storm can often cause this damage. However hail damage is insidious in nature and may not physically cause roof leaks for years after a hailstorm making it important to look for more than just missing shingles.
Find the timeline of filing.
Filing and insurance claim in a timely manner is important. Many insurance companies do have a one-year time limit and some even less. However, in the case of hailstorms that are widespread on a geographical level, often companies pay past the deadline. New roofs aren’t always covered. Typically, roofing manufacturers create exclusions in their product warranties for hail damage. Very often this is also the case with home builders and roofing contractors. Newer roofs can actually be more susceptible to hail damage than older roofs due to the time it takes a new roof to cure from exposure to the elements.
Minimal damage shouldn’t be ignored.
Just because your roof isn’t majorly damaged in a storm doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look into filing a small claim. It is vital to file a claim with your insurance company if your roof has any damage what-so-ever. Damage done now, might not cause your roof to leak for years. This is why it’s important to have a qualified person inspect your roof and to be proactive about protecting your investment.
Filing a claim shouldn’t cancel your policy.
Many people are worried about filing claims as they feel it could lead to policy cancellation. Most states prohibit insurance companies from cancelling policies for filing claims arising from severe weather related events. We recommend researching state and local laws as well as examining your policy language.
Filing a claim shouldn’t affect your insurance rates.
After a disaster, it is common practice for insurance companies may raise all their clients’ rates. By not filing a valid claim, your personal rate increase is paying for everyone else’s damage and excluding your own.
As stated on the NRCA’s website, they are “One of the construction industry’s most respected trade associations and the voice and leading authority in the roofing industry for information, education, technology and advocacy.”
As a member, Peak to Peak Roofing & Exteriors is holding itself to higher standards and credibility. The National Roofing Contractors Association provides us with ongoing industry education which includes:
-material types and applications
-changes in the industry and new innovations
Their website can be accessed by both consumers and members.