For many of us, our homes are our sanctuary, and we will do anything we can to preserve and protect them. However, some things are out of our control, such as extreme weather conditions. Hail can be a real torment for the structure of our roofs, causing deep damage to the entire structure of our homes. As such, we often require the help of a local roofer to ensure that our homes can cope with external circumstances. To discuss this further, we will explore how hail can damage your roof and how you fix these common issues with the help of a reputable roofing repair service.
What Is the Extent of Hail Damage?
Hail is a type of solid precipitation, which occurs when rainwater drifts upwards and freezes. These pellets then fall down to the ground in the form of small stones. Hail is an extremely common weather occurrence and usually comes and goes without many issues. Yet, when these stones reach a certain size, they can cause long-term damage to our property. The Hail Damage Chart was designed to rank the damage caused by these stones in relation to their size.
- 1 inch: Minimal damage to roofs. May harm some plants or other forms of foliage.
- 1.25 inches: Can cause minor damage such as cracks.
- 1.5 inches: Prominent dents in the roof’s exterior.
- 1.75 inches: Harms the exterior of our roofs and can cause possible breaks.
- 2.5 inches: Severe damage to homes and has the ability to cause personal harm.
Types of Roof Damage
Roofs are usually composed of a variety of different parts, making them extremely difficult to fix without the guidance of a roofing contractor. Listed below are just some of the most common types of ways that hail can damage your roof.
Roofs are fitted with a prominent seal that helps to protect your home from any outside damage such as rainwater or other kinds of pollutants. When under the stress of hail, this seal can diminish, which can cause a knock-on effect for the rest of your roof. When this seal is broken, shingles often become weak and less sturdy. As such, your home is more likely to experience worrying effects such as dampness and leaks.
Hail can also interfere with your roof’s fiberglass mat, which is commonly used to reinforce its structure. Though these mats are considered to be very durable and long-lasting, they can experience a lot of issues when consistently attacked by hail. These ice pellets can sometimes cause holes to form in the mat’s surface, leading to leaks and other unsightly damages. Some of the best roofing contractors will resolve this issue by applying a thin coat of resin over the damage, giving the structure a new lease of life.
Shingles are flat rectangular tiles that are usually overlapped and placed on top of the roof itself. Though they are often used as a source of decoration, these tiles also work to protect the internal structure of your house and help rainwater slide off with ease. Hail can cause significant damage to these shingles, leaving your roof exposed to other means of damage. To avoid this, roofing companies often rely on asphalt shingles as they are reinforced with fiberglass for a stronger finish.
Many roofing businesses will apply granules to the roof shingles in order to give them a texture that is similar to sandpaper. This rough exterior helps to give your home an added layer of protection. Over time, these granules will begin to diminish and will sometimes fall into the gutters below your roof. Although this deterioration is very common, it can leave your roof vulnerable to heavy hail storms. Therefore, if you notice hail damage on your roof after a storm, it may be time to research some local roofing repair services.
How to Search for Hail Damage on Your Roof
Start From the Bottom
When assessing your property for hail damage, it may be better to work your way from the ground up. Start by observing your garden and checking to see if there is any damage to your lawn or patio area. Then, move up to the walls and identify any potential dents or cracks that were not there previously. Finally, analyze the condition of your roof and make a detailed note of the issues. Some roofers use a small piece of chalk to mark these issues, making it easier for them to rate the level of damage. If you do not feel comfortable climbing onto your roof, try contacting a local roof installation company for more advice.
Don’t Forget the Gutters
Gutters are thin troughs that work to collect rain water and other debris that has slid down from your roof. These structures are key to assessing the damage to your roof as they can often harvest large pieces of hail after an immense storm. By observing the shape and size of these stones, you will have a better idea of the type of issues your roof may have. In turn, you now have the chance to collect a wealth of useful information, which you can then pass on to your local roofer.
Check the Interior of Your Home
If you have noticed a leak or water damage in your home after a hail storm, your roof may have experienced some extensive damage. It is also important that you assess hidden places within your home such as inside wardrobes or near any skirting boards. These areas can be home to harmful amounts of moisture buildup, which is commonly caused by damage to your roof.
What to Do if You Have Hail Damage on Your Roof
See if Your Insurance Covers Storm Damage
If you live in an area where hail storms are fairly common, your insurance policy probably has a clause that protects you against storm damage. However, if this is an uncommon experience in your hometown, it may be time to find a new insurance policy. Regardless of your situation, it is good practice to inform your insurance company of any damage so that they can provide you with the right support and contacts.
Choose the Correct Roof Service
Roofing is a very diverse and bustling industry, providing services to a wealth of lucrative sectors. In turn, it is paramount that you select the correct roof services for your property. If damage has occurred to your personal home, it is best to recruit a roof service that specializes in residential properties such as houses and garages. Thus, these individuals are likely to have more experience in repairing hail damage and can create a secure foundation for your home.
Repair vs Replacement
A majority of hail damage can be fixed with a simple repair, allowing you to get on with your life after the storm has passed. However, if your roof has suffered a great deal of damage, you may have to decide whether you need to replace the roof entirely. This can be a costly expenditure for many homeowners but can also be a great way to add value to your house. Therefore, you may have to conduct a bit of research into the extent of your damage and assess whether it would be more cost-effective to rebuild the whole foundation of your roof.
Tips for Hiring a Local Roofing Contractor
Make Sure They Have a License
Many reputable roofing businesses will require a license to work on certain projects, especially those that are worth more than $25,000. Although these documents are not compulsory in all US states, it is beneficial to always work with a credited and experienced roofer. Be sure to ask about this license when contacting roofing repair services in your area.
Ensure You Create a Legitimate Contract
A contract is an excellent way to establish boundaries and expectations between two parties, making it a useful document when working with roofing companies. This document should be approved by both sides before any work takes place on your property. A roofing contract should include a wealth of key details including:
- Your full name.
- Current address.
- Detailed plan of workload.
- Insurance information.
- Pricing structure.
- Project deadline.
Hire a Specialist
Every roofing project will require a unique set of skills, making this a very versatile and challenging trade. If you own a particularly off-beat property such as a historical home or an unusually-shaped house, it is good practice to hire a roofer who has experience in these types of projects. This ensures that your property maintains its nuances and style whilst still upholding a secure foundation.
Establish a Price Beforehand
When researching the best roofing contractors for your budget, it is important that you work alongside professionals who provide an accurate price estimate before the project begins. An experienced and trustworthy roofer will likely provide this information during an initial phone call, giving you time to assess or reconsider your budget. Make sure this price is reinstated in your contract so that you have a secure way to confirm this information.
Read Reviews of Your Chosen Roofing Company
In the age of the internet, many of us can read through an abundance of verified reviews in minutes. This is especially valid when looking for a local roofer as these reviews can give us a better idea of their performance and demeanor. Look out for recurring negative claims and decide whether you are willing to take the risk in your own home. Similarly, search for positive anecdotes and assess whether these traits are suitable for your own roofing project.
How to Protect Your Home From Future Hail Damage
Conduct Regular Maintenance
Whether it’s assessing the quality of your roof or checking for damp spots in your home, owners should plan out consistent maintenance checks to ensure that everything is safe and secure. If you notice any issues during these checks, be sure to contact a professional for further advice and guidance.
Secure Outdoor Furniture
Though outdoor garden furniture is useful during the warmer months, these pieces have the potential to cause a lot of damage during stormier seasons. As soon as you notice the weather beginning to turn, make sure that you secure any outdoor garden furniture or store it in a safe place. This ensures that your items are protected against hail storms and also makes sure that they cannot be swept up by strong winds.
Weatherproof Your Windows
Windows are exceptionally vulnerable to hail damage and can also affect the overall structure of your home. By adding a selection of preventative measures such as protective window films and sturdy storm shutters, your windows are more likely to remain intact during hail storms. As such, this reduces the risk of broken glass entering your home and harming someone.
Maintain Trees and Bushes
If you are lucky enough to have a large tree or bush in your garden, it is a good idea to keep it at a reasonable height. Even the smallest piece of hail can damage this foliage, leaving your exterior looking unkempt and messy. Large trees are also at risk of falling down during storms, potentially causing more damage to your home. To reduce this risk, hire a valued professional to keep your trees safe and stable.
When searching for a local roofing repairs service, it can be difficult to find a professional who is right for you and your budget. Using the information and guidance listed in this article, you will have all the tips and tricks needed to protect your roof from any extensive hail damage.