What To Do When A Hail Storm Damages Your Roof
A hail storm can be very damaging to your property, especially your asphalt roof since it is fully exposed to the wind and hail. The first thing you should do after the storm has passed and it's safe to go outside is to take pictures and videos of your house and roof. Be sure to take photos of the hail if there are pieces still on the ground. The pictures and videos can be used as evidence for your insurance claim. Here are a few tips for dealing with a hail damaged roof.
Get A Roof Inspection
Call a roofer for an inspection as soon as possible after the storm. The inspection will probably be free since the roofer will need to inspect it to give you an estimate for the repairs. If the hail storm was bad and your roof was old, your insurance company may pay for a new roof. If the damage is confined to one area, the insurance company may only pay for repairs. There is also a chance your insurance company won't pay for repairs at all. That's why you need an independent inspection from a roofer who can advise you on the best way to make the repairs even if you have to pay for it out of pocket.
Your insurance company will want to inspect the roof as well. Hail leaves behind distinctive marks on asphalt, so an inspector is able to tell the difference between recent hail damage and damage from normal aging and past storms. There will be pockmarks from where the hail hit, and the impact will shear off large amounts of granules. If the only problem is the loss of granules, this may be classified as latent damage, meaning your roof will wear out quicker, but it is not at risk of leaking due to the storm.
Large hail stones can actually crack the asphalt shingles. They could also cause a shingle to crack in half and rip off. This type of damage is an immediate threat and requires quick repairs to keep your roof from leaking. Once the insurance inspector has assessed the damage and filed it with the claims adjuster, you'll find out how much money you'll get from your insurance company for roof repairs, or if your insurance will pay for a total roof replacement.
Repair The Hail Damage
You'll want the roofer to repair the damaged shingles as soon as possible so rain doesn't leak into your attic. If many roofs were damaged in the storm, you may need to place a roof tarp over the damaged area to keep rain out until the roofer can schedule you for repairs.
Repairing damaged asphalt shingles involves pulling out the broken shingles and replacing them with new ones. This is a good option if your roof is still fairly new and in good shape otherwise. If there are only a few cracks, the roofer may seal the cracks rather than replace the shingles. However, when there is widespread damage because your roof is old and in bad shape to begin with, it may be more cost effective to just put on a new roof rather than keep sinking money into repairs.
For additional information, contact a roofing contractor in your area.