Did you know that during a hail storm its not only your car that is in danger? Many other things are also at risk, like the roof of your house. Think about all those years that you’ve spent dreaming and planning your dream house. You’ve spent months thinking about what exact material that you wanted to use for each and every part of your dream house.
Only to find out that because of a hail storm that happened, your house sustained long term damage, including water damage that has seeped on to, the inside of your roofing system. It may sound incredulous, but yes small pockmarks on your roofing created by a hail storm could potentially cost you, the owner thousands of dollars in repair.
According to Home Advisor, the average cost of repairs for damage caused by hail storms is $8,402. That amount can play around the range of $2,311 to $14,493 depending on the actual damage. In the unfortunate event that your roof gets hit with a hail storm, severe or not, you might want to skip the DIY repairs and trust it to the professionals instead. The roofing cost repair alone on the average is around $700, and that includes the costs of other individual roof fixture repairs.
Some small details about the problem that you may not have noticed probably may have made all the difference between a minor repair and a major overhaul of your roofing system. So, how do you make sure that your roof sustains its intended life of service? Of course by doing the necessary inspection right after the storm. You can do it yourself (provided you know what to look for), or you can have a professional take care of it for you.
How Can Hail Damage your Roof?
Roofing damage may not only mean some shingles might have been torn off, or a few holes here and there. But it could also mean damaged gutters, fixtures, and even ceilings. If you have been using asphalt shingles, it contains granules that directly block the sun’s UV rays.
Simultaneously, this granule layer protects the weathering grade asphalt layer right underneath it. Depending on the size of the hailstones that hit it, it can knock off the granules which will expose the shingle to an opening where damage can occur. Even a small amount of hail can create obscure damages that will take some experience and maybe a trained eye to correctly identify.
You might think since it wasn’t much of a storm that your house escaped unscathed. A few pock marks may be small and innocuous, it still can create long term damage on your roof, which may cost you even more money in the long run.
What Does It Look Like?
It looks like a small bruise or a black spot. The thing is, sometimes its hardly noticeable. It can also look like a dent which means the loss of granules. On a really bad hit, the fiberglass may already be exposed.
Here are some details, other that may help you initially identify damage, according to the type of shingles:
Asphalt and Combined Shingles
- You may see random damage with no recognizable patterns.
- Exposed felt with chipped granule layers
- Black holes
- Shiny Asphalt or exposed mat
- Soft to the touch hail hits.
- Wood Shingles Damage
- A crack or split in the shingles that look brown or even orange in color
- Random damage with no recognizable pattern.
- A split in the shingle that has sharp edges.
- Some noticeable deterioration at the edges.
- Dents and hit marks along the splits.
Can I See the Damage from the Ground?
It becomes tricky to try to inspect from the ground if it was only a light hail. More often than not, the damage is not obvious. You will only be able to confirm upon actual roof inspection.
Long Term Damage
It may take a whole for any palpable damage to show itself resulting from light to moderate hail. What appears to be damage that is only on the surface may become minor leaks which can cause total dilapidation of the structure.
Some owners would rather not have some repairs done to avoid having to claim insurance since it may potentially cause their premiums to rise.
The Day After the Storm
After the roof is hit you will see big and small dents depending on the size of the hailstones. Granules from shingles wash away with the water falling into the gutter. The remaining parts of the shingles are now loose and exposed to the elements. Over time, it begins to deteriorate layer after layer.
The shingles become more brittle as it is continually exposed to sunlight and other elements. Alternating heat and cold causes it to expand and contract weakening the structure of the shingle.
Months and Years Pass
Visible cracks are created due to cold weather as water begins to leak through these holes and leaks right into the roof system. Shingles curl at the edges causing more leaks and air to come into the house. Some of it is blown off by strong winds.
Years later, as more shingles flake off, water begins to flow into the attic, in between walls, storage areas, and even electrical wirings. A myriad of problems can occur not mention wood that may already be rotting. As the owner, you will have to spend more on tearing them down and rebuilding them. Not the kind of situation that you would like to be in.
Who Do I Contact First When a Hailstorm Just Hit My House?
There is that question of who to contact first, your insurance company, or your roofer? If you think your roof is damaged, we recommend that you contact your trusted roofer first. This is due to the possibility that if the insurance makes a less than accurate assessment, the result would be a miss filed claim which may then lead to an increase in your premium.
Whenever you’re ready, your roofer can give you a free consultation on call.
As the homeowner, you are also responsible for protecting your property and avoid further problems by getting yourself a contractor that you can trust. You might want to get referrals before giving anyone a call. Once you are able to hook up with a reputable company your insurance will likely be more receptive to working with people that they can trust too.
The technician will arrive at your property and go up to the roof to make a visual inspection of your roofing system. He then will provide you with an assessment that can help you decide whether you need to file a claim or not. When your roofer technician confirms damage, it’s time to contact your insurance company.
Most insurances will cover the expenses incurred, these are subject to conditions covered in the contract. Ideally, you will want to have your roofing contractor present when the insurance guys make their visit. This is so that everyone is in agreement about coverage and projected expenses.
It is a relief when the insurance accepts coverage of the damages. In some states, hail damage insurance is mandatory, and some keep it as an option as coverage is usually based on the frequency of hailstorms in your area. Keep in mind, any kind of repair that may be done to your roof evaluates your property depending on the extent of the repair.
Denial of Insurance Claims
What you wouldn’t want to happen is that your insurance company might deny your claim, because they have concluded that you may have addressed the problem too late. They can point out that, you as the policyholder did not adhere to the window period where you can legitimately claim damages. Instead, you opted to not do it until the damage is already great. It may sound unfortunate, but that’s how it works in the insurance business.
You will also need to be aware of people who are called “storm chasers”. They are from out of town contractors that go from place to place that has been hit by hail storm and have their services offered door to door. While to some extent they may actually have some knowledge as to making repairs, it would always be wise to stay on the side of caution since there is no warranty to the job that they will be doing.
They can be long gone before you realize that a poor job has been done. Stick to the in-town contractor that has a good reputation, and they will give you the best service to keep your business and have you come back.
How To Choose A Reputable Roofing Repair Contractor
Assuming that you couldn’t get any referrals, a professional roofer will always be able to assess the entire condition of your roofing other than the damages. This is to ensure the proper lifetime service of your roofing system. It is just one of the benefits of getting a pro.
You could also potentially save thousands of dollars for subsequent repairs that you will need to do due to incomplete or improperly diagnosed roofing problems. Choose a contractor that has these offerings, or if not most, of the offerings stated below.
A licensed contractor is committed to abiding by ethical and quality standards so that they will be able to provide satisfactory, if not excellent service. Choose a contractor that is licensed so you can rest assured that your roof is in good hands.
Look for a contractor that provides a warranty for their work. Most of them would give 2 years coverage, and that’s a lot better than a potential back job that no one will take care of unless you’re willing to pay again.
A professional contractor carries bond protection for you the owner, just in case the job for any reason, is not completed. Some of them even carry insurance in favor of the homeowner to cover for accidental damage to the house in the course of repair activity. Your roofer is also covered in case he himself gets into an accident.
Other Qualities of a Good Roofing Company:
They must know exactly what they advertise.
Rating & Feedback
Check their website to see customer testimonials and see some of the jobs they have done before.
Years of Experience
Note how long the company has already been operating. If it has been less than two years, be sure to check if they have insurance and warranty coverage. Other than that, years in the business don’t necessarily guarantee quality. So, check the other qualities of the company as well.
Depending on the type of roof that you have, some roofers have certain skills for special types of roofs that need specialized service. Seek out these contractors that can do the job, so you will have peace of mind that your roof is being taken care of, the right way.
What is the Cost?
Your contractor will declare the damage as well as an estimate. After that, the insurance adjuster will declare their own estimate too, this is assuming that the contractor has already weighed in their costing. Once an agreement from both sides is reached, all the owner has to do is wait for the estimate letter and the check to come out. This is when work on the roof can begin.
What Are the Factors Involved in Roofing Repair?
- Costing factors:
- Size of the roof
- Pitch or angle of the roof (the steeper the angle of the roof, the more time and materials needed)
- Building code requirements
- Number of layers
- Application type
- Obstacles like pipes, chimneys, etc.
Working around obstacles and the number of slopes entails more work from roofers. The steeper and the more slopes there are, the more difficult the job is. This inevitably drives the labor costs, higher which makes sense considering the risk and level of difficulty involved. That actually sounds better than fly by night roofers who will likely skip the difficult parts, simply because they are not trained or equipped for it.
The most common material used for shingles is asphalt. Apart from being durable, they are relatively cheap compared to other types of shingles. Wood is another option that is equally durable but expensive. Wood also needs to be treated so that it will be resistant to fire. This process, however, also drives the price up.
For economic reasons, your contractor might recommend repairs on-demand only depending on the damage. But sometimes because of extensive damage and leaking in multiple areas, and added to that, due to the age of the roof as well. The roof may already be 20 years old or more so that just making repairs rather than replacing the whole thing may potentially cost more or could even be dangerous.
All things considered, if your roof is relatively new and still sturdy with none too many damages, an on-spot repair is still a viable option. On the other hand, if you are a homeowner looking to increase your house curb appeal. You can invest in a new roof to increase the overall market value of your house.
If you do this, by estimates you can get back at least 50% of what you have spent in replacement. Your new roof, assuming that is has better material and looks better from a street point of view, will add to the overall value of the curb appeal of your house.
Costs of Actual Roofing Repairs
More often than not, insurance takes care of the costs that are incurred due to a natural event like hail. The process involves an inspector who comes, climbs onto your roof, and makes his assessment. It would be best to hire a roofing contractor to accurately assess the actual cost of the damage or at least a base opinion from a reputable source.
Your trusted contractor can put a number on the actual extent of the damage. They can point out what can be saved and what needs to be repaired. They can provide you with a detailed and even more accurate estimate.
- Sample Costing for Roofing Damage
- According to Home Advisor:
- Material Average Cost
- Asphalt Shingles$710
- Wood Shake$750
- Foam, Single-Ply, Flat$400
There are many more types of roofing styles that may consist of either one or two combinations of the materials mentioned above. Both styles and materials that are used usually drive the cost of the repair. Generally, shingle roofs are easier to repair than tile roofs and subsequently cheaper too.
Overall, this article just gave you an overview of what you needed to know and do in the event that a hail storm hits your area. If you feel the need to look for yourself first, by all means, please do so. But if you need professionals to make a thorough assessment, do not hesitate.
We at Roofing Experts St. Paul, are committed to keeping your house safe and sound from natural elements by making sure your roofing system is in tip-top shape. Call us today and get a free quote. We are happy to serve you.