What Every Homeowner Needs To Know About Hail Damage & Protecting Their Property

Posted on: 8 May 2018

A hail storm can cause a massive amount of damage. In fact, Colorado had an enormous hail storm that initially resulted in 1.4 billion dollars in damages to homes and vehicles, but a year later the estimates were closer to 2.3 billion. This is because, sometimes, damage from hail isn't readily seen immediately after a hail storm. If you live in an area that has had a hail storm or is prone to hail storms, it's important that you understand the types of damage hail can cause to roofing and siding. Here's what can happen and what you can do.

Regions That Are More Susceptible to Hail 

There are certain regions in the United States that are more prone to hail storms. The most severe hail storms can be found in a triangular-shaped area from west Texas upwards to the western Dakotas and eastward to northwest Missouri. Severe hail is defined by hail stones that are almost the size of a penny or larger. Larger hail can be bigger than the size of a golf ball, which is more likely to occur in Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas. There are also smaller regions that are susceptible to hail. These regions are in the East around the Chesapeake and Potomac and along the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia. 

Damage That Occurs to Roofing & Siding 

The damage a hail storm can pose to the exterior of your home can lead to severe water leaks if left unrepaired. When hail stones hit these surfaces, they cause a bullseye-like depression of cracks, particularly in the underlayment of roofing materials. The cracks allow water to seep into the materials, which soaks up the water like a sponge. When the building materials are too full of water, the water finally starts dripping out of the materials, causing water marks and leaks on your home's ceilings and walls. Also, the affected wood in the structure of your home begins to rot, which can significantly decrease the structural integrity of the wood. 

Another thing that happens when water is being absorbed into the building materials is the growth of mold. Mold growth can lead to health problems for you and others who reside in your home. Some people are more susceptible to mold than others, especially people who have allergies to mold. Sometimes, the growth of mold can begin before water seeps out of the building materials. Therefore, if you notice mold growth and/or water leaks and remember a previous hail storm, you should have the exterior of your home inspected for hail damage. 

Prevention and Homeowner's Insurance

For people who live in areas that are prone to hail storms, their homeowner's insurance coverage should definitely include hail damage. However, this may mean higher insurance premiums. One way to combat the higher insurance premiums is to install hail-resistant roofing and siding materials. Also, install storm shutters which can be closed when needed to protect windows against hail stones. Protecting your home from hail damage will not only reduce your risks of water leaks and mold growth, but taking the precautions may lower your insurance premiums if your insurance offers a discount for doing so. 

If you do have current damage, contact your homeowner's insurance agent for advice on how to go about getting the necessary repairs done and paid for by the insurance company. However, keep in mind that sometimes insurance policies limit the number of claims you can file within a specified time period or they could cancel your policy, so you'll want to be sure to check your policy to determine whether or not it's worthwhile to file a claim or to pay for the repairs out of pocket to save your ability to file a claim for the possibility of more expensive repairs in the future in case of other natural disasters, such as damage from a tornado or from a fire.

To learn about repairing exterior storm damage, contact a company like Select Exteriors.