Hail is considered one of the most damaging weather elements that is also very expensive. As a matter of fact, hailstorms that fell upon Sydney suburbs in April 1999 are still on record as one of the most costly natural disasters that have ever happened in Australia resulting in a whopping $4.3 billion in damages. (source: Wikipedia).
Generally, hail can cause serious damage to a property, leaving your home in need of massive repairs. The extent of damage to your roof and your personal property will greatly vary based on several factors.
Whether small or large, hailstorms do cause severe and expensive damage to your roof. But, the newer and well maintained roofs are less prone to damage when compared to the hoary or weathered roofs, hence it is important to maintain your roof so as to avoid incurring costly repairs.
Even though hail can be highly destructive, the extent of damage inflicted on your property varies greatly. The extent and type of damage highly depend on the following factors.
Building materials: How tough your roofing materials are is a significant factor in determining the extent of damage. Hoarier roofs and poor quality roofing materials are highly prone to damage.
Wind: The severity and area of hail impact depends heavily on the direction and wind velocity, which vary during a hailstorm. Generally, the speed of wind will have an effect on the intensity of a hailstone’s impact.
Size and density: Despite the fact that both the small and large hailstones can damage your property, the size of the hail greatly determines the degree of damage. Hail size varies from as tiny as a pea to as big as a golf ball size, or even the size of a softball.
Barriers: Some barriers minimise the hail’s ability to cause eve damage to roof or property. Such barriers include tree covers and the strategic positioning of structures in the neighbourhood. The exposure and susceptibility of your property to hail damage determines the extent of the damage.
How to Check For Hail Damage On Your Roof
Identifying hail damage on your home’s roof can be a challenge. The level at which your roof will withstand the impact of hail will highly depend on the quality roofing materials used and the condition and age of the roof.
At this point, it’s important to truly understand the different effects of hail damage so as to properly determine whether or not your roof has been damaged by hail.
Check for damage to the roof’s metal –begin the process by checking the roof’s ridge cap for dents that are more susceptible to damage. In addition, inspect the vents, flashing and metal valleys for any dent.
Inspect the shingles – if your roof is installed using roof tiles, be sure to thoroughly inspect the edges and the rest of the tiles for cracks or any other sign of damage.
Check for any bruising, hailstone hits mostly black in colour, or tiny dimples by passing your palm over the surface. Additionally, don’t forget to check for missing asphalt in the roof.
Always keep in mind that for your insurer to approve your claim and pay for hail damage repairs, an accurate assessment of the damage must be carried out.
While making DIY checks can help you determine whether or not roof repairs are needed, you may have to seek the services of a qualified roofing contractor to help with the assessment to avoid having issues with your insurer.
How to Protect Your Roof
To reduce the extent of damage to your roof during a hailstorm event, you must take precautions. Safeguarding your home and contents requires you to prepare to take care of it, including the roof—a critical component of your home.
Find out the possible hail risks in your locality in order to take proper precautions.
Use this hail guide for more information:
- Choose quality roofing materials that withstand the hail risk.
- Seek the advice of roofing experts in relation to the best materials and available options to suit your unique needs.
- Be sure that installation of your roof and gutters is professionally done and are well maintained.
- Let a fully qualified roofing specialist thoroughly inspect your roof regularly and perform repairs immediately.
- Clear debris from down-pipes and gutters more regularly.
Keep in mind that a very worn out or severely damaged roof cannot protect you and your assets, or withstand the extreme weather conditions such as hail.
As such, to safeguard your property’s value, it is vital that you understand the potential risks and take relevant precautions before your roof becomes damaged beyond repair.
The information contained in this article is of a general nature only. It does not take your specific needs, objectives or circumstances into consideration, and is not financial advice, legal advice or otherwise a recommendation to purchase any financial product or insurance policy. You should seek your own independent financial advice from a qualified financial and insurance adviser before making any financial decisions, and seek your own independent legal advice from a qualified solicitor before making any decisions of a legal nature.