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9/5/2012 - Five frequent questions about hailstorms

Hail storms may require major repairs.

Hailstones can cause a significant amount of damage to a business, home or car. However, because hailstorms are less common than rain or snow, some people may not be as well versed on these types of storms.

Below, we've answered some of the most common questions home repair experts get from homeowners about hailstorms.

1. We recently received a hailstorm. How do I know if my roof has been damaged?

The roof generally is the main portion of a home that sustains damage during a hail event. Though the markings left behind can be small, it can be tough to tell from the ground if the roof has been adversely affected. As a result, homeowners may need to examine the roof from an upstairs window or by climbing up to the roof on a ladder to see if there are any signs that suggest it needs repair.

2. My roof has been damaged by hail. What are my options?

Usually the first thing that's recommended is getting in touch with one's homeowners insurance provider. Insurers will send out an adjuster, who will be able to examine the roof more closely. A professional roofer may also help, as they can offer a second opinion. If there are any differences in the professionals' assessment of how much damage has been done, a re-inspection may be in order so the insurer and roofer can come to a consensus.

3. What can happen if a roof is damaged by hail?

A roof is designed to protect homes from these elements. However, when it's been damaged by hail, its physical makeup can be compromised, leading to acceleration of granule loss, which line asphalt shingles. This loss can increase the pace at which a roof decays, making it necessary to have the roof replaced earlier than expected.

4. How quickly should my roof be fixed or replaced after a hailstorm?

Fortunately, hail damage is usually not so extreme that it requires the roof to be replaced immediately because its structural integrity is threatened. That said, insurers may place a window of time during which the expense to have it replaced will be covered. Homeowners may want to check with their provider to ask if there is a timeline on their claim.

5. What do hail marks look like?

Dark spots with slight divots in them are the typical marks that hailstones leave in their wake. Additionally, these spots may have a luster to them, as the damage that a hailstone causes can wear away the asphalt that lines shingles.

Homeowners who need some additional guidance on what to do after a hailstorm may want to get in touch with their Selective agent, as they can serve as a guide for the claim process and may be able to offer recommendations on reputable roof repair companies.

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