Roof damage from hail storms
Large hail can cause considerable damage to a roof and its shingles. (Photo courtesy of Lyons Roofing)
After a hailstorm, check your gutters for signs of potential roof damage. If you have large dents or cracks on your gutters, you should schedule an inspection with a roofing contractor. Theresa Skrobanek, vice president of the San Antonio roofing company Action Roofing and Remodeling says, "When large hail hits your roof, the granules on the shingles can become loose or fall off, and many times the hail can break the shingle itself." Damaged granules often become disconnected from the shingles and will collect in your gutter downspouts.
Older roofs are much more susceptible to hailstorm damage. "Over time, the base of the roof becomes exposed, causing deterioration, thus reducing the life and integrity of the roof," Skrobanek says. The damage may not be visible at first, but eventually it becomes apparent. So if you have an older roof, you should check your gutters and look for signs of damage immediately after a hail storm.
Some daring homeowners may be tempted to climb onto the roof and look for signs of damage, such as missing shingles, dimpled shingles or cracks in the shingles themselves. Skrobanek says you should resist the urge to conduct the inspection yourself, as it can be dangerous. Typically, only a professional roofer or insurance adjuster can tell if you have enough hail damage to justify a new roof.
However, if you suspect your home has been damaged after a hailstorm, contact your insurance company immediately. Skrobanek says that when a homeowner waits to report a hail claim, or does not know there was a hail storm because they were out of town, the time lapse between the storm and the report can cause insurance companies to deny a claim. Not to mention that if you do have hail damage, it could develop into leaks, which can cause severe damage to the interior of your home.
Finally, Skrobanek warns homeowners to be aware of storm chasers, especially after hailstorm. "They are out of town individuals, groups, or companies that prey on homeowners by using high pressure and deceptive sales practices." Despite what any solicitor tells you, you always have options with regards to making repairs and replacements to your roof.