When a roof is installed on a home, it is expected to last twenty years or more. However, weather events and other incidents can cause damage to the roof and require repairs or even a replacement earlier than expected. One of the most common culprits is a hail storm.
How Hail Damages the Roof
Many people worry about hail causing damage to their vehicles. Those ice balls can pack a punch and can sometimes be quite large. Dents, dings, and sometimes window damage to the vehicle are very common during a hail storm. However, that hail can also cause serious damage to the roof. When this occurs, homeowners should probably find local roofing services to inspect the roof for damage.
Hail can cause a variety of damage to a roof. The appearance of that damage can vary depending on the type of roofing material. Asphalt shingles may have round black marks where the hail hit. There may even be soft spots similar to bruises on an apple. Granules may be missing from the shingles, or there may be damaged or missing shingles.
Wood shingles may appear different from the damage. Dents in the shingles may be irregularly shaped. Hail can cause the shingles to crack or split. Some splitting may appear brown or orange. There may even be impact marks along the splits of the shingles. There may even be damage caused by the excessive wind during the storm.
When damage is found on the roof due to a hailstorm, the first step homeowners should take is to contact their insurance company. The insurance company will send an inspector to the property. This inspector will then assess the damage to the roof and provide recommendations for the repairs.
When the claim is approved, the insurance company will issue funds for the repairs. Homeowners will then have to decide on how to proceed with the roof damage. These four options are explained further below.
Ignore the Problem
Homeowners have the option to simply ignore the problem. If the damage is minor, it may not be a big deal. It may even be a more cost-effective option if the home is due a new roof within the next year or two. However, any damage to the shingles or other roofing materials creates vulnerabilities that leave the roof exposed to further damage.
Even minor damage could become serious after the next storm or during the winter. Small vulnerabilities can allow water into the roofing materials that can wreak serious havoc on the entirety of the roof. Before long, that minor hail dent could result in a leaking roof.
Homeowners must also consider the consequences of this option if they made a claim on their homeowner’s insurance. If they did not make the repairs approved by the insurance company, it may pose complications if further damage occurs. The insurance company may deny the claim citing the previous repairs may have prevented the new damage.
Homeowners can choose to make the repairs themselves. Those experienced with the safety and technical aspects of roofing repair could manage this project easily. Replacing damaged shingles is not a complex problem for those with experience. However, those who are inexperienced with being on the roof or making such repairs may want to contact a professional to ensure the work is done safely and properly.
Hire a Roofer
It is often recommended that homeowners hire an experienced roofer to manage these types of repairs. A roofer is trained and skilled in providing proper roof repair. They are also trained to maintain a safe working environment to keep themselves and those around safe during the work.
Another benefit of a professional roofer is homeowners often receive a warranty on their work. If there is a problem with the work or materials, the roofer will often repair the issue at no further cost. DIY repairs do not have this same protection. Professional roof repair also provides detailed receipts that will satisfy the insurance company.
Complete Roof Replacement
Finally, homeowners can choose to replace the entire roof. Complete replacement is not recommended if the roof is relatively new and the damage is minor. However, severe damage may require a roof replacement. In addition, the insurance company may have recommended this work. It may even be a good idea if the roof is going to be replaced soon anyway. Getting a jump start on the work could better protect the home.
Ultimately, all decisions lie with the homeowner. However, they must understand the potential consequences and benefits of each choice. An informed decision will often have better results. In the end, it is all about what is best for the homeowner and their families.