5 Best Steps to Hail Damage Control for HomeownersRooferken
5 Best Steps to Hail Damage Control for Homeowners
Earthquakes, fires, floods, tornados…all God’s way of reminding us that we live on an Earth that’s alive and dynamic. But for us homeowners, natural disasters can be (at the minimum) severe on our finances. This is why we always need to be aware of our surroundings, protect as much as we can, and follow the best process of damage control in case things do happen.
While any natural occurance can be costly, there’s perhaps none more destructive than hail damage. It’s estimated that property damage through hail in 2007 exceeded $10 billion in the United States alone.
Here are 5 steps you can take after-the-fact to deal with hail damage:
1. Assess the damage
Instead of getting up on the roof (you don’t want to cause more damage to yourself or the roof by walking on it), look around at the foliage in the yard (trees, shrubs, etc.). Have they been damaged? This can be a good, soft indicator of what happened on the roof. Another source are your vehicles. Any damage there? If you have frame damage on your car, then you’ll probably find damage on the roof as well.
2. Limit any further damage.
There are two waves of damage through hail. The first is the frame damage where the hail has punctured shingles, glass, etc. The second wave of damage is through water making it’s way through the damage and reaking further havoc. Seal up damaged areas where water might penetrate. This includes shingles, sky lights, etc. Also, this is a good time to document the damage through pictures. Take some shots (most cell phones have cameras in them now) so that you can provide them to the insurance company.
3. Call your insurance agent and file the claim.
Insurance companies are fully aware of potential hail damage and practically all homeowners policies cover the possibility, either full or in part. (You really need to review your policy once a year nonetheless to make sure you’re properly covered.) Don’t wait on the issue…notify your agent immediately and provide a written explanation along with pictures of the damage.
4. Select a reputable roofing company.
Finding a good roofing company can be a challenging task. Most are honest, but there are some (known as storm chasers) who are really more interested in the money than a job well done.) I recommend you go with someone who has experience and a base of happy customers. At the minimum, you need to make sure they have workers compensation and liability insurance. If not, you may be held liable if one of their workers is injured or if they damage a neighbor’s property.
5. Choose hail resistant roofing materials.
Thankfully, we live in a time of high-technology and plenty of options. roofing manufacturers produce hail resistant materials as a standard offering that are attractive and affordable. They are rated based on the hail damage potential from 1 (offering least resistance) to 4 (most). Discuss the best option with your insurance agent.
Following these steps is a good way of not only limiting the damage (as gracefully as possible), but limiting the effects should there be another hail storm in the future…and true me, there will be.