Identifying Roof Hail Damage

by Rachel Laurendeau on June 12, 2013

roofing IllinoisThere was a doozy of a hailstorm that hit here yesterday. We were lucky enough that our neighborhood wasn’t hit hard but some areas not too far away weren’t so lucky. I just got off the phone with a friend of mine whose property and home took a beating: her garden was destroyed by golf-ball sized lumps of ice, the roof of her car is dented and she has a call in to her insurance company about the possible hail damage done to the roof of her house.

How can you tell if your roof has been damaged by hail?
Hail damage is generally not all that obvious to the untrained eye, particular from the ground. In fact, it can take years before the damage becomes evident when you start having leakage.

Since this isn’t something that most home improvement DIYers can determine you’ll have to call in the pros. In order to file an insurance claim for hail damage, you will either need a signed assessment from a roofing contractor who has gone up on the roof to inspect it or your insurance company may send an adjuster who has special training and can identify different types of roof damage.

According to Russel Hayes’ article in Helium, if you do decide to go up onto your asphalt roof to look for damage yourself:

What we’re looking for are areas that are bruised, the bruise will have exposed the underlying asphalt and removed the granules from the surface. A very important factor in identifying hail damage is to rule out other factors that may appear to be damage but are not. This includes damage caused by the those who installed the roof, foot traffic damaged caused by any one who may have been on your roof, and possible material defects.

Although you might be able to spot some damage yourself, the bottom line is that it really does take knowledge and training to pick out hail damage and your insurance company won’t just take your word for it. Talk to an experienced roofer who can truly assess the damage for you and find out what you need to do next.

Source: Helium
Related article: How To Choose a Roofing Contractor

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