Hail Damage Assessment

The weather in the Midwest can be undeniably unpredictable. The swings in temperature and severe weather can take a toll on your home’s exterior. In 2020 the Cedar Rapids area alone had 32 hail reports. The largest report of hail in that area was 2.75 inches. In 2018 there were 4,611 hailstorms across the US – 185 of them in Iowa.

With PLENTY of hailstorms moving through the area we’ve compiled basic information to when assessing damage homeowners should know. The main point we want to note is that the exterior of your home is more than vibrant siding and fancy shingles – it protects your home and everything in it.

How to Identify Hail Damage

Identifying heal damage can be tricky because the majority of the damage occurs on the roof. Young Construction offers free inspection and estimates for hail damage. If you want to check your roof on your own make sure to have a steady ladder, someone to spot you, a camera to take picture of potential spots, and safe roof shoes.

The first place to look for hail damage is on ridge caps which are overlapping shingles at the point where your roof meets. The peak of your roof is susceptible to damage, taking direct impact of the blows. Also, check your roof vents, chimneys, and skylights for signs of damage.

Different Types of Roof Damage

Hail damage to roofs looks like divots, indentations, and fractures on the surface of the shingle. Since hail falls in a random pattern, the damage is not uniform. When you see the asphalt granules clustering together, there’s a good chance the shingle is damaged.

1. Loss of asphalt granules where hail hits the shingles is the most common issue. An asphalt shingle is covered with small mineral granules that allow water to flow down and away from the roof, and the granules protect the asphalt coating, which is how the roof is protected from water seepage. When hail hits the shingle, it causes an indentation that removes some of the granules. If the granules are missing, the asphalt coating becomes exposed to the elements, and this means your roof has lost some of its waterproofing.

2. Visible cracks in the granules on the surface of the asphalt shingle is another type. The granules on the surface of the shingle may show a cracked pattern that radiates out from the point of impact. It is more common to see cracks if the hail storm also included high winds. High winds can bend the shingles back, causing the cracks.

3. Separation from the self-sealing strip can happen as well. This is when the asphalt shingles have a self-sealing strip that is applied to the roof surface during the roof installation process. Hail damage can cause this strip to separate from the shingle, and when the wind comes, the shingle can detach from the roof and blow away.

4. Hail can also take a toll on gutters, downspouts, siding, and windows.

What To Do If You Find Hail Damage

If you spot any sign of damage mentioned above, you’ll want to call an experienced professional to help determine if the damage is able to be claimed. Many insurance companies put a limit on how long after hail damage occurs that a homeowner can file a claim, so don’t wait until your roof starts leaking to find out.

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