How to Handle Hail Damage
A hailstorm is one of the most destructive natural forces you can encounter. Depending on the size of the hailstone, some experts estimate that hail could fall with speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. This means that your home can suffer a great deal of damage in a single storm.
The roof is likely to bear most of the damage caused by a hailstorm. Even if the damage will be covered by your insurance company, you should know how to handle things to make the process as smooth as possible.
Step 1: Assess the Damage
You should check the condition of your roof after every single hail event. Remember that this is just a cursory inspection to identify if there was any damage. If you notice dings on metallic parts such as air conditioner units, roof vents, and gutters, this means your roof is also likely to have suffered some damage. You should also remember that certain materials are more susceptible to hail damage.
Step 2: Document the Damage
When you make an insurance claim, the insurance company will want evidence of the damage along with the time and date when the evidence was collected. Therefore, it's a good idea to take videos and photos of areas where there's visible hail damage. If possible, take a photo of the actual hail too.
Step 3: Hire a Professional to Do an Inspection
Before you go ahead and file an insurance claim, hire a professional contractor to carry out a roofing inspection. You should look for a reputable storm restoration service that's local and licensed by the state.
A professional contractor will be able to do a proper evaluation and determine the extent of the damage and how much it will cost to fix. Ensure that you make it clear that you just need an inspection done not repairs.
Step 4: File a Claim
If your roof is insured, this is when you should file an insurance claim. Ensure you attach all the necessary documents including the contractor's inspection report and the photos taken earlier.
Mistakes to Avoid
While handling hail damage, some of the mistakes you'll want to avoid include:
Hiring a storm chaser: These are roof inspectors who'll come to neighborhoods following a hail event asking to inspect your roof. Unfortunately, they don't stick around after the job is done.
Filing a claim right away: Always wait until a professional inspection is done to make the claim worth it.