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Identifying Hail Damage to Your Home
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Hail is something we all dread having to deal with. We've all seen cars that have hail damage and we know that the costs to repair the multiple dings in the body or shattered glass are going to be considerable. But hail also damages roofs, crops, and pretty much anything that is in its path. One solid hail storm can severely compromise the roof of a home, easily shortening its life by a decade or more. Hail can also damage the siding on your home if it is driven by enough wind and this sort of damage may require even more immediate attention than your roof. It is important to learn how to identify hail damage before making any insurance company calls.
Hail Damage to Siding
There are all kinds of siding so the damage inflicted may look different from case to case. Vinyl siding is usually quite resistant to denting, which is good, but if the siding is hammered strongly enough, it may lose some of its pliability. Hail may also crack the siding, especially on older constructs. Cracks will usually be very visible and normally located near the bottom of the home since the eaves of the house tend to protect the upper areas from strikes by hailstones. With enough force, the hail may actually knock holes in the siding.
With metal or wood siding you may have dents occur; the size of the dent will depend on the size of the hail and angle of impact. Again, with enough wind driving them, the dents may look round, like a hammer strike; if they hit at an angle on the way down, the dent will be more of an oval shape. Wood and metal will be similarly affected by dents; on wood the paint may crack more rapidly than on metal.
Hail Damages to the Roof
Of course, the roof is still a major target for hail and not one that may be avoided. Once the hail is above a half inch in diameter, you're in for some considerable damage. You should look for damaged or missing shingles, cracked flaps, or missing granules. The first thing to look for is dents to the roof, and dents may be easily masked by the granules on the shingles themselves, so look closely.
For newer roofs, it may take more than one good hailstorm to cause damage that is readily apparent, as it takes time for the granules to be loosened and knocked away before the dents really become visible.
In any case of hail damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Do your best to identify the problem before calling out the adjusters, as this will help you to challenge the insurance company if they try to deny part or all of your claim.
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