Is Hail Damage a Roofing Emergency?

hail damage on a tile roof

Is hail damage an emergency?

That almost seems like a silly question, and if it is your car or home, it is more of an emergency to you than others maybe. Regardless, you want to treat it as an emergency and expect others to do the same, especially when it comes to hail damage roof repair.  

Here in Texas, we’re in tornado alley and with tornados comes hail, so hail damage and roof repairs are commonplace for us. Most homeowners know to watch for the scammers and fly-by-night contractors and ask for certifications, insurance, and license from a roofing contractor, or any contractor. 

Yet, there are those homeowners that haven’t lived through and understand the seriousness of hail damage, roof repair, and all the other things that come with Texas weather. Those are the people that we are going to focus on answering basic questions about hail damage roof repair and what hail damage looks like. 

What is hail damage?

You have probably seen hail during your life, but didn’t understand the impact or severity, especially if you were a child. Hailstones vary in shape and size and how hard the stone. Basically, the larger the hailstone, the fewer there are and the further they apart they fall. 

Most hailstones are smooth and almost spherical, sometimes they are elliptically shaped and jagged too. The harder a hailstone, the more likely your home will need hail damage roof repair.

Hailstone damage is usually from the wind as it blows these hard, elliptically, or spherically shaped stones down to earth. Any surfaces left uncovered from a hailstorm will like be blasted with random patterns made by the hailstones. Imagine if your house didn’t have a roof! 

What does hail damage look like on roof?

Each year, hail and high winds can cause billions of dollars in damages in this country alone, accounting for forty percent of insurance claims. It isn’t the obvious tree limb on the roof that costs the most hail damage though. It is the small and unnoticeable damage that can’t be seen by the untrained eye that knows the signs of hail damage 

A professional hail damage roof inspection will know what to look for and find damage you won’t even realize you have. They will discuss the damage with you and what hail damage roof repair is needed. After you’ve been through this once, you’ll become more informed and what common forms of hail damage roof repairs look like and the signs of hail damage after a hailstorm. 

If you notice any of the following, you need to call your homeowner’s insurance company and a roofing contractor that can give you a professional estimate: 

Granules missing

  • The granules on your roof come from the shingles and is a sandpaper-like material that coats the shingles and protects your roof from the elements. When the granules are gone, the aging of the roof is accelerated, and your roof becomes compromised. Check the downspouts and gutters for excessive amount of granules after a hailstorm and if you see what appears to be an excessive amount, call your roofing contractor and homeowner’s insurance company.

Cracked shingles

  • The impact of hard hail and high winds will grab a loose corner of a shingle and bend it, crack it, or totally remove it from the roof. This creates an exposure to your roof, creating bare spots and compromise your roof’s integrity.  

Fiberglass matt exposed

  • When hail impacts a roof, it shatters the surface of the shingles and causes it to break of the fiberglass mat, exposing the underneath to the elements.

Fiberglass mat fractured

  • A fractured fiberglass is hard to detect, which is why you want an experienced and trained contractor to inspect the roof in addition to the insurance company’s inspection. A fractured fiberglass mat will result in crack and tears from the sharp edges of a hailstone.  

Self-seal strip weakens

  • Hail and high winds will weaken the seal on the shingles, compromising the integrity of the roof when the shingles are ripped off and blown away. A bent or cracked shingle has lost all integrity and is not providing your home any protection. A hail damage roof repair or replacement is needed in order to protect your home.  

Is hail damage worth fixing?

This is your home, the largest and most valuable investment you’ll ever make. The roof is a protecting line of defense for that investment and your family against the climate and elements. As the homeowner, you will want to do what needs to be to continue that protection. So, yes, if there is any telltale indication or marks that your roof has suffered hail damage, roof repair should be a priority. 

Does insurance cover old hail damage to roof?

This is a question that doesn’t have a blanket answer.  Every homeowner’s insurance policy is different, every company handles every policy different.  Most homeowner’s insurance policies will cover roof damage that is caused by fire, vandalism, and “acts of God,” like hurricanes and tornadoes. The questionable part that you’ll want to verify with your  insurance agent is if they pay for any roof or other damage to your home from hail, rain, or wind. 

If your roof is ten years old or older and has hail damage, roof repair is not going to be sufficient for an insurance company to be satisfied. They will approve your claim for a roof replacement in most cases of a roof that old However, you may have an estimate for a roof replacement for $30,000 and the insurance company approves the claim for only $10,000.  These are things you want to verify before you need to file a claim. 

hail on roofing system

How long do you have to make an insurance claim for hail damage?

Again, this is something you need to verify within your homeowner’s insurance policy, but in most cases, a standard homeowner’s policy will require a claim for hail damage roof repair be filed with 12 months of the incident. Some policies may have a 90 day limit. You should verify this with your agent or insurance company before you have the need to file a claim or as soon as you realize you have a claim.  

Homeowners everywhere will tell you yes, but does hail damage claim increase home insurance? However, this is not the case every time.  Because hail damage roof repair isn’t a homeowner’s negligence, most insurance companies will not increase rates because of claims file. 

Where rate increases come into action is if you have three claims within three years, and a hail damage roof repair claim is one of those, you could see a slight increase in your rate. So, if the hail damage roof repair is minimal and you can do the work yourself or pay out of pocket to have it done by a professional, you could save yourself some claim issue on your homeowners.

The other factor that can cause homeowner’s insurance rates to increase in areas where homes are prone to hail damage. The rate increase by the insurance company will go across the board to all homes in that vicinity, not just one or two homeowners, even if a homeowner hasn’t filed any hail damage roof repair claims. Call (832) 766-9994 today for hail roof damage in Kingwood, TX.