We are heading into that time of year again where the phrase “a chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms” will be used frequently in the daily forecasts.  While most of these storms are widely scattered and pass through relatively quickly producing only a brisk downpour, some are capable of producing strong winds and hail like residents in Chatham, Orange and Cumberland counties saw last week.  While we can’t protect our homes from these storms, we all need to know how to spot hail damage to our property and what to expect when a hail storm affects our area.

Hail can range in size from the size of a bb ( .177 inches in diameter) to larger than a softball (3.8 inches in diameter).  Hail typically causes damage to building materials once it reaches marble size, but homeowners shouldn’t expect to have their roofs replaced just because marble sized hail or larger falls into their yards.  Other factors such as wind, duration of the storm and the type of building material can greatly influence the amount of damage your property could incur.  Roofs with a higher pitch (steeper roofs) tend to see less damage from direct impact than flater roofs; and older roofing shingles are more susceptible to hail damage than newer roofs (depending on the size of the hail) because they are often more brittle.

It is also important to note that your insurance company may not replace your whole roof if hail damage is detected.  It is not uncommon for hail damage to be found on one side of the roof.  Most policies will replace only the side that has been damaged.  Also, a detection of a large amount of grit from your shingles does not mean that you have hail damage to the roof.  Shingles are designed to have the grit wash away over time.  Insurance only pays if there is actual physical damage such as dings, bruising and broken shingles.  Some carriers have amended homeowner policies concerning roofs which prevents you from collecting the full replacement cost for damage to our roof based on the age of the roof.  Some carriers have also increased the deductible on individual policies for wind damage.  Check your policy or talk with your agent to see if you are affected in either of these ways.

Roofs aren’t the only building materials that can be damaged by hail.  Siding and windows can also be dented or cracked.

PHC Restoration is available 24 hours a day to respond to any storm damage emergency.