The roof of your home is the first line of defense against the elements. After a major storm, you need to inspect your roof to ensure it wasn’t damaged. How do you perform such an inspection? How do you know if your roof has hail damage? Let’s find out.
How to Spot Hail Damage
After any hail storm, you can find damage to your roof by looking at four places. Before you ever get on the roof, you can find most of these signs by looking at the gutters, siding, air conditioner, and ground.
Damage to your gutters is a good indicator that you have hail damage. Hail that can dent the gutters can also cause damage to the roof, so check the gutters themselves and the downspouts (which are easy to see from the ground). In addition to denting, you want to look for debris in the gutters or near the downspout. When shingles are damaged, they often shed asphalt, which will collect in the gutters and downspout.
Siding, AC, and Ground
The siding and window sills outside of your house can show signs of hail damage. If hail can dent or damage these parts of your house, the hail can also harm the roof. While you’re checking the ground for signs of trouble, you can also inspect your AC unit. If it’s banged up, that’s a bad sign. Any wood decking, stone paving, or other ground areas that show you how hard the hail hit can help you determine the risk to your roof.
Eventually, you want to get on the roof (or have a professional do this) and inspect for damage. Roofs are made out of different materials, and each shows damage in different ways. However, some things are universal to all roofs. They all have vents and protrusions, regardless of the material. Check your vents to see if they are dented or more overtly damaged. Skylights and chimneys are also great indicators.
Shingles are one of the tricker roofing materials to inspect. Asphalt often masks signs of damage. What you are looking for are spots where there are gaps or signs of wear in the asphalt. Anywhere that is missing the rocky covering on the shingle is a potential leak risk. Of course, major dents are a big issue, and missing shingles are obviously a problem. But more often, you’ll need to keep an eye out for the subtler signs of damage.
For a metal roof, you’re looking for any sign of denting or deformation. Metal is strong, so the hail has to hit pretty hard to cause problems, and this makes metal one of the easier materials for spotting hail damage. If the metal is damaged, it can lead to leaks. Hail can also damage the outer layers of some metal roofing, leading to water damage or rust in the metal itself.
Clay or tile roofs are plenty common. While they are strong, they are not impervious to hail. Finding problems in clay can be tricky. Mostly, you’re looking for cracks or gouges. While clay is strong, it is brittle, so any damage should appear as cracks or chips. Any of these can represent a leak risk, so always take them seriously.
Dealing With Hail Damage
OK, you spotted hail damage. Now what? Obviously, it needs to be fixed, but what is the best way to go about it? Will the insurance company cover it? Who should fix it? Let’s go over these issues.
The first thing you want to consider is roofing warranties. If your roof is more than five years old, any warranty coverage is likely to be reduced. But if you have a fresh roof, you want to pursue warranty coverage first. It’s the easiest and fastest.
If the warranty path doesn’t bear fruit, the next step is to work with your insurance. Going through an insurance claim can feel like an ordeal, but you should be able to work with a representative or adjuster who can get you through the process.
Insurance companies will want to see signs of damage, so take pictures. They also might want a professional roof inspection and a quote for repair. The key to working with the insurance company is to remember that they are trying to save money. The goal is to convince them that repairing or replacing the roof will be cheaper for them than leaving it alone.
You’re going to need access to expert roofers. That is where Bert Roofing Inc. can help you. We do roof inspections, repairs, and replacements across the Dallas area, and we’d be happy to come and look at your roof. Call us today at 214-307-8142 or reach us online.