Finishing Your Basement

Frequently Asked Questions About Roof Hail Damage

Hail can be damaging to many parts of your home, including your roof. However, many homeowners are unaware of how hail can damage a roof, what the signs are that a roof has been damaged and what needs to be done to fix the problem. If you are a new homeowner, have never lived in an area with hail before, or simply don't know much about hail and your roof, here are a few frequently asked questions you may have about hail damage and roofs.

What are the Signs of Hail Damage to a Roof?

Unfortunately, there is not a tell-tale sign that your roof has been damaged by hail. Hail damage can look like wear and tear on a roof, or it can look like a small ball has hit the roof. If you have asphalt shingles, hail can leave behind a black indent on the shingle, removing the asphalt granules where it hit. It can also soften the shingle, making it feel like a rotten apple. If you have wood shingles, hail damage can split the shingle or leave behind dents. If you have metal or rubber roofing, dents can be left behind. The coating on the metal roof may also be affected. And if you have a tile roof, your tiles can crack and dents may be visible.

Can the Average Homeowner Detect Hail Damage to a Roof?

The average homeowner may be able to tell that there are visible dents on their roof after a hail storm. However, there are many other signs of hail damage that are not visible. Trained home owners insurance adjusters and roofing contractors know what to look for and can find this damage. As such, if you notice dents in your roofing following a hail storm, it's likely you have hail damage. But, if you don't notice any dents, that doesn't mean there isn't damage. You should contact a roofing inspector following major hailstorms to ensure your roof is not damaged.

Does Roof Hail Damage Need to Be Repaired?

If there is damage to your roof after a hail storm, it is important that the damage be repaired. Hail damage can weaken the exterior layer of your roof, such as your asphalt shingles or tiles. Even a small crack can allow water to enter, which can damage the internal layers of your roof, such as the decking. If the problem is still not corrected, your decking can begin to rot, and a leak can happen. This can cause extensive damage to your home. Hail damage can also reduce the lifespan of your roof. Removing the damaged tiles or shingles and replacing them allows your roof to last as long as it is designed to, which helps prevent you from prematurely having to replace your roof.

Can a Homeowner's Insurance Claim Be Filed for Hail Damage?

If your roof has been damaged by hail, you may be wondering if the damage is covered. Most warranties that you have through your roofing material manufacturer or roof installers will not cover acts of God, such as hail damage or damage caused by strong wind gusts. However, a homeowner's insurance claim can be filed for hail damage to a roof. The homeowner's insurance company may send their own adjuster out to examine your roof. Hail damage can mimic old or worn roofing materials, so the insurance company will want to ensure that hail really is the cause of the issue. Additionally, your roof may not be entirely covered. Some policies take the value of the roof into account and the age of the roof. They then use depreciation factors to determine how much money they will pay to make repairs, much like what is done when totaling out a car versus fixing it. Read your policy to find out whether this will be a factor for you when filing a claim.

If you don't know much about roofs and hail damage, you will want to get answers to the questions you have. This will help you understand how hail can damage your roof, what the signs of damage are, if the roof needs to be repaired and who pays for the damage. For more information, talk with a roofer, such as those at Rocky Mountain Roofers & Gutters.