Almost everyone has experienced a hailstorm before. As a child, they were fun and exciting; as an adult and a homeowner, they’re the complete opposite. Nearly all thunderstorms produce hail, but most of it melts before it can reach the ground. Hailstones are formed when raindrops are carried into the atmosphere by updrafts, where they freeze before falling. In the United States alone, anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000 hailstorms will occur each year. They’re most common between February and July, and usually occur with little to no warning. These storms can cause a tremendous amount of property damage. They can knock the limbs off trees, destroy the plants in your garden, break outdoor furniture, and wreak havoc on your roof.
It can be hard to predict where and when a hailstorm will occur, and you can’t exactly will them not to happen. This means that you have little control over when a hailstorm arrives and the extent of damage it will do to your property. You can, however, take certain precautions to protect your home in the event of a hailstorm and prepare yourself to deal with the aftermath. In this guide to protecting your home from hail damage, we’ll explain some measures you can take to minimize property damage and what you should do once the storm subsides.
Before the Storm
To minimize the amount of damage to your property in the event of a hailstorm, there are a few, simple precautions you can take. They include:
Getting Hail Damage Insurance
Most homeowner insurance policies will cover hail damage, but some won’t. It’s important to check whether your current homeowner insurance policy covers hail damage, and, if not, find out how you can get your home insured. Investing in hail damage insurance will ensure that most of the repair costs resulting from a hailstorm will be covered.
Closing the Drapes
Hail can hit the glass panes of your windows and break them. The best way to prevent hail damage to windows is to keep them covered. If you have shutters, close them before the storm arrives. Inside, make sure to close any blinds, shades, and curtains. These coverings will prevent broken glass and other debris from entering your home if the windows shatter. The thicker the drapes, the more efficient they’ll be at keeping debris out.
Repairing Roof Damage
Hail can damage your roof, but existing roof damage can exacerbate the problem. Having your roof inspected and any damage repaired before the next storm hits can save you a lot of trouble further down the line. Even minor problems such as a broken shingle can make your roof more vulnerable in the event of a hailstorm. Not only can hail make existing cracks, dents, and other forms of damage worse, but the rainwater that often accompanies hailstorms can get past cracks or other entry points in your roof and cause leaking.
Hail can break off branches and cause them to fall or be blown about. These loose limbs can dirty your yard, scratch your car, crash into a window, or land on your roof. A smaller branch might only cause a few scrapes, but a bigger branch—or even an entire tree—can cause a colossal amount of damage. Removing weak, dying, or infested trees and trimming the healthy ones will reduce the likelihood of your home being damaged. Make sure to regularly inspect the trees surrounding your property for rot, insect infestations, or other damage that could make them more likely to fall. When in doubt, it’s better to cut it down. You should also trim any branches that are overhanging onto your roof or your driveway.
Securing Your Outdoor Furniture
If you have outdoor furniture, it’s important to cover it, secure it, or store it in an enclosed space before the storm. Hailstones can damage all types of furniture, but furniture made from delicate materials such as glass is at higher risk. If the storm is accompanied by strong wind, unsecured outdoor furniture can be picked up and tossed around your yard. This can result in severe damage to your home’s exterior and any vehicles in your driveway.
After the Storm
Now that we’ve covered what to do before the storm in this guide to protecting your home from hail damage, let’s go over what to do afterward.
In the wake of the storm, you’ll want to examine the exterior of your home for damage and plan to have the necessary repairs made. The process of doing so can be stressful and time-consuming, but thankfully, it’s also straightforward. If you don’t have hail damage insurance, you might have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If you do have insurance, you’ll want to take these steps to ensure the cost of the repairs is covered.
If you’re planning on filing an insurance claim, you’ll need to document the damage that was caused by the hailstorm. You can document the damage using a camera. Make sure to capture pictures of every part of the home that was affected. At this stage, you might also want to call in a professional roofing contractor. They can give you an estimate on repair costs, which will help you calculate an accurate cost for overall damage.
Notify Your Insurance Agent
Once you’ve documented the damage, contact your insurance agent and follow the insurance company’s procedure for filing a claim. Do this as soon as you’re able to; the longer you wait, the harder it will become to prove that the damage was caused by the hailstorm.
Keep the Receipts
Once you’ve contacted a professional roof repair company to handle the damage, make sure to keep any receipts that you’re given. You’ll need to show these to the insurance company as proof of damage costs. It’s best to keep them in a secure place, such as in a folder or drawer, so you don’t accidentally lose them or throw them out.
If you’re searching for reliable, knowledgeable
hail damage roofing contractors who can repair your roof after a devastating hailstorm, turn to Viking Contractors. We’ll inspect your roof and make sure any damage is quickly and efficiently repaired. With insurance, you won’t need to worry about the cost. Your insurance company will handle the claim, and we’ll handle the repair work. Contact us today for a free inspection and quote!