$330 million. That’s how much State Farm had to pay out to Illinois residents last year because of hail damage. Roofs are often hit the worst and hail damage to roofs can be very expensive. That’s why we put together this guide for Rockford, IL residents to know what to do if they’re ever effected.
Irrespective of size, hail damage can never go unnoticed on your roof. It will never pass without leaving a mark. It seems like you can hide virtually everything else from hailstorms but not the roof of your house. The only factor that will determine how destructive it may be is the present condition of your roof.
After all those 2018 hail claims in Rockford Illinois, the State Farm encouraged people to stay away from windows and to keep their cars under shelters or in garages during a hailstorm but for the roof? Well, there’s no hidden place for that!
Why Do You Need to Check Your Roof for Hail Damage?
Hailstorms are extremely dangerous. Imagine those sharp-edged balls of ice with different sizes traveling at high velocity during hailstorms. Upon landing, they can cause disastrous damage to the roofing materials – cracking or displacing shingles, creating leaks and other kinds of damage.
When the hailstorm damages are not managed immediately, it will cause leaks to form. Any roofing contractor know, properties that face hailstorms consistently often have leaks in their roofs. Although you may want to conduct minor repairs for little damages, it is wiser and recommended to call a professional roofing contractor to offer accurate inspections after a storm. You never know what damage is underneath the surface.
Whether you have insurance to protect your home or not, have your roof repaired. The amount you’ll spend repairing your roof is worth little when compared to the devastation your roof might face after the next storm.
(PLEASE NOTE: Inspecting your roof can be dangerous except you’re practicing safety first. Please do not get on your roof unless you have adequate safety gear and applicable construction or roofing experience. If you need the service of a professional roofer to help you determine if your roof has been damaged by hail or not, the best option is a reputable, local roofing company that will give you a detailed inspection on hail damaged roof – contact Cross Country Construction to check your roof for hail damage.)
When Should You Repair Your Hail Damaged Roof?
When should you fix your storm or hail damaged roof? Immediately!
It is strongly recommended you call a professional service as soon as a strong hailstorm hits your property. Call a professional roof contractor immediately after a single hailstorm.
If you work with a roofing contractor like Cross Country Construction, they’ll often even be able to help you make a successful insurance claim on your roof hail damage so you don’t have to pay for everything (or possibly anything) yourself.
(Wondering exactly what a Residential Roofing Contractor does? Read our article here.)
The Factors That Cause Roof Damage During Hail Storms
Let’s look at the top 5 factors that determine how badly your roof will be affected in a hail storm.
Wind: There are variations in the intensity, speed, and direction of the wind during hailstorms. This can affect the location and severity of the hailstones tremendously.
Density and Shape: Some hailstones can be heavier than others, depending on the atmospheric conditions that surround their formation. They also do not all have smooth edges, which is a factor in the level of destruction caused to your roof, gutters, siding, and other parts of your property.
Size of the Hailstones: The size of each hailstone will determine the degree of damage done to your property. But, bear in mind that hailstones can be small like a pea, large like a softball or anything in between.
Types of Building Materials Used: Every type of building material responds and absorbs hailstone’s impact differently. For example, hail can crack cedar wood shake roofing and vinyl siding or cause dents or dings in aluminum siding, asphalt shingles, or gutters. Also, an older or weaker roof can be punctured by large, strong and heavy hailstones. The degree of damages caused by the hailstorm is determined by the age, materials and condition of the roof.
Physical Barriers: Natural barriers like tree cover and landscaping or neighboring structures like adjacent buildings, fences and barriers located around your property all may protect against the impact from hailstorms.
Effects of Hail Damage on Your Roof
Do you know what actually happens when hail clashes against your roof? There’s a lot more happening there than you might think – from the minute granules of the roof getting hit to ultraviolet light weakening the shingles.
Below is a list of detailed explanation on the progress of hail damage to your roof:
- When hail hits the shingles, the bond with the granules up to the asphalt layer is loosened. The loosened granules mostly end up where your gutters drain because you can’t see it from the ground level. If you observed a large accumulation of granules after the hailstorm, then make sure you inspect your roof.
- When the granules fall off from the damaged areas of the shingles, the ultraviolet light from the sun can weaken the open spots, making them brittle. During the winter season, the shingle expands, contracts and also curl and crack because of the weakness caused by the hail. Areas that are exposed are then vulnerable to wind damage and leaks.
- As each season passes by, there are varied characteristics in the damages caused by storm and weather. Hence, a professional inspector will be able to tell you if the damage is new or old. The time taken to claim insurance may vary but there’s a typical time period when homeowners can make claim after the occurrence of the hail damage. Cross Country Construction can help you determine when the damage happened and to what extent.
- The occurrence of leaks can mean extensive damage as a result of potential damage from electrical issues, mold, wall and ceiling damage from water, and possibly personal property losses. Also, the damage may come quickly and in most cases, may not be detected at the beginning.
Insurance Claims and Roof Hail Damage
In most cases, homeowners need to replace the entire roof damaged by hailstorm. That’s the bad news. The good news is, some insurance companies cover the replacement of a full roof. However, the replacement is done only if the property owner has evidence to show for the grave roof damage.
Although insurance providers consider proof of visible damages, they may need you to point out additional hidden damages if you’re going to maximize your policy benefits. Potentially, you could even get a full-roofing replacement and underlayment repairs.
The process is as follows:
1. Conduct a thorough roofing inspection using professional roofers: This is where Cross Country Construction comes in, giving you additional evidence to the visible damage recording already possessed. We’ll help you by conducting moisture and leak tests. You’ll also get the estimate on your roof’s lifespan – an excellent argument to use with your insurance adjuster.
2. Allow your contractor to represent you: Giving your roofing contractor the contact information of your insurance adjusters can help your contractor to represent you effectively to the adjuster. All you need to do is allow your professional contractor to deal with your insurer on your behalf.
3. Two contractors are better than one: Insurance adjusters have their own respective contractors which can be a big problem for insurance holders. Without professional advice by the side of the homeowner, the contractor of the adjuster will not work to maximize the insurance benefits. It’s actually their job to do the opposite.
With your trusted contractor, you’ll get the full benefits of your insurance and you also have two contractors working together to compare data and reports.
Having said it all, it is very important to repair hailstorms’ damage on your roof before it gets out of hand and, in the process, you’ll want a trusted and reliable roofing contractor.
We at Cross Country Construction offer expert service to Rockford and much of Northern Illinois and Chicagoland. We can advocate for you with your insurance adjuster and also help you replace your roof professionally.