Understanding Hail Damage & Necessary Repairs
One of the worst things to deal with as a homeowner is hail damage. In recent years, we have seen more damage from hail in Hanover, PA and northern Maryland areas than ever before. Large hail storms can result in hundreds of hail damage claims in a single area and be overwhelming to insurance companies, adjusters, and local contractors. Here a few things to look for after hail strikes your area.
Immediate steps to take
- Log the date and time of the storm. You will need this to file a claim.
- Take photos of all damage. Check your siding, gutters, and downspouts. Take pictures of your yard showing the freshly deposited hail.
- Lay a tape measure beside a few hailstones showing their size and take a photo. Remember, ice melts! Take photos as soon as the storm leaves your area.
- Inspect your roof for damage. Look specifically for torn or missing shingles. Use binoculars if getting onto the roof is not a safe option.
- Inspect your outside air conditioning unit. Cooling fins are easily damaged with hail.
Call a roofing and siding contractor
Some homeowners think that if they do not have a leaking roof, hail did not cause any damage. This is far from the truth. Don’t wait for a leak to appear to have your roof inspected. Call a trusted local Hanover, PA roofing contractor who has experience determining if a roof has been damaged.
Too many homeowners make the same mistakes. A hailstorm rolls through the area. They do a quick look over their roof and siding, determining there is no significant damage. They never reach out to a contractor, and a few months later, a leak develops. This may make it difficult to file a claim even though your damage is a result of the storm that happened months ago.
What to expect
These inspections of both roofs and siding are free. Roofing and siding contractors consider this inspection a cost of doing business. A reputable local contractor will only proceed with work if they can prove to an insurance adjuster that the damage is indeed done. Most will even work directly with your insurance company adjuster to see that you qualify for coverage.
Ensure the contractor you select is factory-certified (the most common are GAF Master Elite and CertainTeed Premier). You can also check with the Better Business Bureau or review sites online to verify the roofing contractor you choose is reputable.
Schedule the inspection for a time when you can be home. Point out to the contractor any areas of damage you found during your inspection. During this inspection, the contractor will estimate how extensive the damage is, if any. Your contractor will also determine if you are eligible for a complete roofing replacement. Many insurance companies will pay to cover an entire re-roof rather than risk interior damage occurring from a leak down the road.
Siding damage is handled much the same. Hail will most times cause tiny dents. On all forms of siding – wood, vinyl, or aluminum – the impact will puncture the surface.
Following this simple guide will ensure you are covered in the event of a hailstorm and get the proper help from your chosen contractor.