Hailstorms can wreak havoc on your home, particularly your roof. Even seemingly small hailstones can cause significant damage over time. That’s why inspections right after a storm are crucial to ensuring the structural integrity of your roof.
In this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential tips and techniques for conducting a thorough hail roof inspection checklist as a Homeowner.
Table of Contents
Understanding Hail Damage
Before diving into the inspection process, it’s essential to understand how hail can affect your roof. Hail damage isn’t always immediately apparent. Small dents and granule loss might seem insignificant at first, but they can lead to more extensive problems over time, including leaks and weakened structural integrity.
Hail damage can significantly impact roof shingles in various ways:
Bruising or Denting: Hailstones can create dents or bruises on shingles, which might not be immediately visible. Over time, these weakened areas can lead to further deterioration.
Granule Loss: The impact of hail can dislodge the granules from the surface of the shingles. These granules protect the asphalt layer underneath from sunlight and weathering. Loss of granules can accelerate the aging of the shingles.
Cracking: Large or high-velocity hailstones can crack shingles, leading to immediate and obvious damage. Cracked shingles can allow water to seep through, leading to leaks and water damage.
Loosening of Shingles: The impact of hail can loosen or displace shingles, compromising the roof’s integrity and making it more susceptible to wind damage and leaks.
Compromised Waterproofing: Any damage to the shingles can potentially compromise the waterproofing effectiveness of the roof, leading to water infiltration and associated problems.
Timing is crucial when it comes to hail roof inspections. Ideally, you should perform an inspection after every significant hailstorm. However, if you’re unable to do so immediately, it’s never too late to check for damage.
We do not advise any of our homeowners to get up on the roof to perform an inspection. Leave that to our trained professionals at HHH Roofing & Construction.
When is Hail Season in Texas?
Hail season in Texas typically occurs during the spring and early summer months, with the highest likelihood of hailstorms from March to June. This is when warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico can collide with cooler air masses, creating the conditions necessary for severe thunderstorms and hail formation.
Keep in mind that Texas is a large state, and the timing and intensity of hailstorms can vary depending on the specific region within the state. It’s always a good idea to stay informed about weather conditions and to be prepared for severe weather events, especially during the spring and early summer months.
Step-by-Step Inspection Process
In order to file an insurance claim for hail damage, you’ll need a professional evaluation from a licensed roofing company. For the sake of safety, it isn’t recommended to climb on your roof – especially if it may be compromised by a serious weather event. However, you may be able to spot hail damaged without having to fetch a ladder.
1. Safety First
Always prioritize safety. Before inspecting for hail damage, ensure that it’s safe to do so. Wait until the storm has completely passed and it’s safe to be outside.
2. Check Exterior Surfaces
Roof: Start by examining your roof. Look for signs of damage on shingles, especially along the ridges and edges. Look for dents on metals, vents, & chimneys. You might notice even large enough hail will crack skylights.
Siding: Check the siding of your home for dents, cracks, or holes. Hail can cause visible damage to all types of siding materials (vinyl, James Hardie, or metal). It can be simple as a dent or even extreme to completely going through the material.
Windows: Especially second story windows that have screens will be the most visible for identifying hail damage: Screens will be damaged and have holes through them. Also, check for dents or dings in the window frames.
3. Gutters and Downspouts
Hailstones can cause dents and damage to gutters and downspouts. Look for obvious signs of impact.
4. Outdoor Equipment and Fixtures
Air Conditioning Units: Check your outdoor HVAC unit for signs of dents or damage from hail. It will mostly damaged the condenser coils.
Fences, Decks, and Porches: Examine these outdoor structures for any signs of hail damage, such as dents, cracks, or splintered wood. It usually will take at least 2″ hail or bigger at high winds to damage these structures.
5. Vehicles and Personal Property
If your car was outdoors during the hailstorm, check it for dents, cracks in the windshield, and other signs of hail damage. Similarly, inspect any other personal property that might have been exposed to the storm.
6. Document the Damage
- Take clear photographs or videos of any hail damage you find. These images can be useful for insurance claims and repair assessments.
- Make detailed notes about the extent of the damage. This can help when communicating with insurance adjusters and contractors
7. Contact your Insurance Company
If you find significant hail damage, contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage and start the claims process. Provide them with the documentation you gathered.
8. Seek Professional Assessment
Consider hiring a professional contractor or a roofing expert to conduct a thorough inspection. They can provide a more detailed assessment of the damage and offer repair or replacement recommendations.
Remember that it’s important to address hail damage promptly to prevent further deterioration and potential leaks. Always consult with professionals if you have any doubts about the extent of the damage or the necessary repairs.
Regular hail roof inspections are essential for maintaining the integrity of your home. By following these tips and techniques, you can identify and address hail damage promptly, preventing further issues down the line. Remember, safety should always be your top priority, so exercise caution when inspecting your roof. If in doubt, seek professional assistance to ensure the longevity of your roof and the safety of your home.