We’ve all been there: a storm rolls in out of nowhere, and hail falls from the sky, causing severe damage. It’s scary to witness firsthand and even worse afterward when you assess the damage. You may see the glass windows shatter, your car gets dented beyond recognition, and your home takes a pounding from mother nature.
Hail impact occurs quickly. Often, without warning, what starts as small, penny-sized hail nuggets grow as they move up and down through the clouds until something resembling a golf ball hits your roof. Hail can cause severe damage to property, which is why those in Boulder, Denver, and throughout Colorado should educate themselves on what to do when it happens to their home.
Identifying Hail Damage on Your Roof
Hailstorms can cause significant damage to roofs, both in terms of appearance and functionality. If you suspect that your roof has been damaged by hail, it is important to inspect it promptly to assess the extent of the damage and take steps to repair it.
How Hailstorms Can Impact a Roof
When a hailstorm occurs, small drops of rain fall from high up in the sky, but they don’t reach the ground. Instead, the wind pulls the rain back into the clouds, freezing it slightly before making its way toward the earth again.
This happens repeatedly until the hail is heavy enough to resist the wind and finally hit the ground. You can’t predict where exactly hail will strike, and that’s where homeowners get dinged during a sudden hailstorm.
Hail can range in size. While most of it is pellet-sized and the most it does is make noise as it rains down on your home, larger-sized hail can hit your roof repeatedly, causing dents, damage, and destruction. You may see the dents on your roof and think everything is okay until a leak occurs, or you start noticing a draft where one wasn’t before.
Signs of Hail Damage
Detecting hail damage isn’t always obvious; sometimes it can be challenging to distinguish between regular wear and tear and hail-induced damage.
If you suspect that your roof has been damaged by hail, there are a few signs that you can look for: dents and cracks in shingles, missing shingles, torn flashing, leaks, water stains on ceilings or walls, discoloration of shingles, loose or damaged roof vents, and damage to roof gutters and downspouts. If you see any of these signs, it is important to have your roof inspected by a qualified roofing contractor as soon as possible.
Prompt Inspection after Hailstorms
It is important to inspect your roof as soon as possible after a hailstorm. This is because the sooner you identify hail damage, the sooner you can take steps to repair it. If hail damage is left untreated, it can lead to further damage to your roof, as well as water leaks and mold growth.
If you are unable to inspect your roof yourself, you can hire a qualified roofing contractor to do it for you. A roofing contractor will be able to assess the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action for repairs.
Conducting a Hail Damage Roof Inspection
After every hailstorm – no matter how big or small – you should visually inspect your roof.
Do not, under any circumstance, climb onto your roof after a hailstorm, especially if you suspect damage. You could injure yourself, others, or your property. This is where a roofing company like Axe can ensure your and your home’s safety.
Step-by-Step Inspection Guide
Here’s what to do to visually inspect your roof after a hailstorm:
- Assess your windows and gutters. These will be one of the quickest ways to know if the damage extends beyond your roof. Do not attempt to pull down your gutters – call Axe Roofing. If your windows are cracked or broken, safely get them boarded up with wood before you schedule window repair or replacement.
- Check the landscaping and the entire yard around your house. You may find missing shingles or debris blown off the roof from the storm.
- Check your roof to ensure the damage is more than granule loss or everyday weathering. Look for dents, debris, missing shingles, or other roof parts that look out of place.
- Check for any water spots, leaks, or other water damage in the home, including ceilings and the attic. If you have a chimney or vents, check around that area in the home for leaks – these will be the most common leak culprits from roof damage. Leaks may begin days, or even weeks after, a hailstorm. Be vigilant.
Seeking Professional Help for a Hail Damage Roof Inspection
If you are not comfortable inspecting your roof yourself, or if you find significant hail damage, you should hire a qualified roofing contractor to inspect your roof and recommend repairs. A roofing contractor will have the experience and expertise to identify and assess hail damage, and they will be able to recommend the best course of action for repairs.
When hiring a roofing contractor, it is important to choose one who is reputable and experienced in hail damage repairs. You should also get multiple estimates before making a decision, including from us!
Advantages of Professional Inspection
There are several advantages to hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof for hail damage. These advantages include:
- Expertise: A roofing contractor will have the experience and expertise to identify and assess hail damage. They will be able to tell you the extent of the damage and recommend the best course of action for repairs.
- Safety: A roofing contractor is trained to safely inspect roofs. They will have the proper equipment and training to get on your roof without putting themselves or you at risk.
- Documentation: A roofing contractor will document the hail damage they find. This documentation will be helpful in making a claim with your insurance company.
- Peace of mind: Hiring a professional roofing contractor to inspect your roof will give you peace of mind knowing that your roof is in good hands. You can be confident that the damage will be properly identified and repaired.
Qualities of a Reputable Roofing Inspector
When hiring a roofing contractor to inspect your roof for hail damage, it is important to choose one who is reputable and experienced. Here are some qualities to look for in a reputable roofing contractor:
- Licensed and insured: Make sure the roofing contractor is licensed and insured. This will protect you in case something goes wrong during the inspection or repairs.
- Experienced in hail damage: Look for a roofing contractor who has experience in inspecting and repairing roofs damaged by hail.
- Reliable: Get references from past clients and make sure the roofing contractor has a good reputation.
- Competitive pricing: Get multiple estimates from different roofing contractors before making a decision.
Insurance Companies and Roof Inspections
If you have homeowners insurance, you may be able to file a claim for hail damage to your roof. However, most insurance companies require that you have a professional inspection done before they will approve a claim. This is because insurance companies want to make sure that the damage is actually caused by hail and not by something else, such as wear and tear.
When you file a claim with your insurance company, you will need to provide them with the name and contact information of the roofing contractor who inspected your roof. The insurance company will then contact the roofing contractor to get their report on the damage.
The claims process for hail damage can be complicated. Here are a few tips for navigating the claims process:
- File your claim promptly. The sooner you file your claim, the sooner the insurance company can start the process of approving or denying it.
- Provide clear and concise documentation. Make sure to provide the insurance company with clear and concise documentation of the damage, such as photos, a copy of the roofing contractor’s report, and any other relevant documents.
- Be patient. The claims process can take some time, so be patient and don’t give up.
Preventing Future Hail Damage: Roof Maintenance Tips
There are a few things you can do to prevent future hail damage to your roof. These tips include the following.
Regular roof maintenance
This can help to identify and repair any potential problems before they cause damage. This includes things like inspecting your roof for damage, cleaning your gutters and downspouts, and repairing any loose or damaged shingles.
Use impact-resistant roofing materials
Impact-resistant roofing materials are designed to withstand the impact of hailstones. These materials are typically more expensive than traditional roofing materials, but they can save you money in the long run by preventing hail damage. We talk more about this later on.
Trim trees and shrubs
Trees and shrubs that overhang your roof can be a major hazard during hailstorms. The branches of these trees and shrubs can be damaged by hailstones and fall onto your roof, causing further damage. It is important to trim trees and shrubs that overhang your roof so that they do not pose a hazard.
Install storm shutters
Storm shutters can help to protect your roof from hail damage. Storm shutters are typically made of metal or wood and they can be installed over your windows and doors to protect them from hailstones.
Have your roof inspected by a professional
If you live in an area that is prone to hailstorms, it is a good idea to have your roof inspected by a professional roofer every few years. This will help to identify any potential problems and make sure that your roof is in good condition to withstand hail damage.
DIY vs Professional Roof Inspections: Making an Informed Choice
There are pros and cons to both DIY and professional roof inspections. Here is a closer look at each option:
DIY Roof Inspection
- It is more affordable than hiring a professional roofer.
- You can do it yourself at your own convenience.
- You can learn more about your roof and how to maintain it.
- You may not have the necessary skills or experience to properly inspect your roof.
- You may miss important signs of damage.
- You may not be able to get accurate estimates for repairs.
Professional Roof Inspection
- A professional roofer will have the skills and experience to properly inspect your roof.
- They will be able to identify any signs of damage, even small ones.
- They will be able to get accurate estimates for repairs.
- It is more expensive than doing a DIY inspection.
- You may have to wait for the roofer to come to your home.
- You may not be able to learn as much about your roof as you would if you did a DIY inspection.
Ultimately, the best option for you will depend on your individual circumstances and preferences. If you are comfortable doing a DIY inspection and you are confident that you can do it properly, then it may be a good option for you. However, if you are not comfortable doing a DIY inspection or you are concerned about missing important signs of damage, then it is a good idea to hire a professional roofer.
Impact-Resistant Roofing Options
There are a number of impact-resistant roofing materials available on the market. These materials are designed to withstand the impact of hailstones without sustaining damage. Some of the most popular impact-resistant roofing materials include:
Asphalt shingles with impact-resistant granules
Asphalt shingles with impact-resistant granules are made with a special type of granule that is designed to absorb the impact of hailstones. These shingles are typically more expensive than standard asphalt shingles, but they can provide peace of mind for homeowners who live in areas that are prone to hailstorms.
Metal roofs are naturally impact-resistant. They are made with strong materials, such as steel or aluminum, that can withstand the impact of hailstones without sustaining damage. Metal roofs are also very durable and can last for many years.
Concrete tiles are another option for impact-resistant roofing. They are made with a strong material that can withstand the impact of hailstones. Concrete tiles are also very durable and can last for many years.
A hailstorm and the subsequent hail damage roof inspection can be scary for a homeowner. You don’t know what to expect or how much it’ll cost. Our team of experts at Axe Roofing is here to help. We can repair or replace damaged shingles or roofs quickly and efficiently, so the storm damage quickly becomes a distant memory. Contact us today to schedule a hail damage roof inspection.