How to Spot Hail Damage on Your Roof & Siding (and how much does it cost)
Midwesterners know all too well the dangers that come with a supercell thunderstorm. High winds, large hail and strong tornadoes are all born out of these massive storms. Once the sirens stop and the storm passes, it’s time to take stock of what’s been damaged. Most homeowners think about their cars first, then turn their attention to the mess that’s left in the yard from trees and shrubs that have been eviscerated by the wind, heavy rain and hail.
However, it’s important to also take stock of what’s happened to the roof and siding of your home. And remember – hail doesn’t have to be very large to cause significant damage to your roof and siding, so don’t think just because it wasn’t a supercell that visited your neighborhood that you don’t need to inspect your roof and siding.
Allstate Insurance estimates that storms with hail cause an estimated billion in damages to crops and property every year. When you consider that hail falls from 30,000 feet and can hit speeds of 120 miles per hour, it’s easy to see how devastating hailstorms can actually be. While the large hailstorms can shatter windows and leave obvious signs of damage to your roof and siding, not all hail storms will leave those obvious pock marks. In fact, hail less than an inch in circumference can leave damage that’s difficult to spot, but it’s there.
How to identify hail damage to your roof and siding
Hailstorms that involve 2-inch hailstones can actually be less damaging than a hailstorm with 1-inch hailstones with more punishing winds, so it’s not always about size. Regardless of how large the hail was that recently hit your home, you need to closely examine your roof and siding for the following, and this means inspecting it from the roof itself because looking from the ground is not thorough enough. A trained professional will look for the following:
Signs of hail damage on the roof
- Small dents in your metal flashing, valleys and roof vents. The metal components of the roofing system are just as important as the shingles in keeping your home dry.
- Look for missing pieces of asphalt or cracks on your shingles. These are the most obvious signs that immediate repair or replacement is required.
- Not all dimples are easy to spot, so use your hand and feel your shingles for cracks and dimples. A qualified professional will do this and figure out exactly where problem areas exist.
- Inspect the ridge cap for dents as this area often takes the brunt of the damage. The ridge cap covers all roof ridges, which must be expertly installed if they’re going to keep water out, but when damaged, they need to be replaced immediately.
- If you see black substrate in your shingles, that means the protective granules have been knocked off and the shingles need replaced. Shingles are made with a base material, generally fiberglass or organic felt, an asphalt body and granules on the surface. Many will also have a self-sealing strip for better protection. All components must be in working order to protect your home.
- If you find dimples in your shingles, push on them to feel if they offer any give. If so, this means the shingle has been compromised and needs replaced.
Repair hail damage on your home siding
- Light hailstorms that leave a roof unscathed can be quite damaging to siding, particularly aluminum siding. With high winds, small hail can be detrimental to siding.
- Oxidation marks are often what is left on aluminum siding after a damaging storm. While many homeowners will seek out solutions washing off the oxidation, others will paint over it. However, oxidized siding is a warning sign that it could be close to its end and needs replaced.
- To test for oxidation, run your hand along the siding and look for a chalky residue left on your hand. If you also feel small dimples, this is a sign that it has taken a hit and is not going to protect your home for much longer.
- Use a high-powered spotlight to look for denting that might be hard to see otherwise. Look in between the siding and see if there are any significant gaps or unequal gapping across several layers of siding.
- Look for any buckling or warping, which is common in vinyl siding that has been damaged. Buckled and warped siding is significantly less efficient than siding that hasn’t been damaged.
VIS Exterior is a company that knows how to find damage, even if it is minor and seemingly harmless. We are roofing and siding experts with years of experience assisting clients in fixing or replacing roofing and siding. Our professional installers work with the best siding and roofing products on the market. Contact us today at (630) 230-8533 for a free inspection.
Ignoring hail damage? How it can progress
Some might question the level of concern one needs to have if the damage is so light that it’s difficult to see. However, even if it’s difficult to see, the damage is there and needs to be addressed. Your roof and siding are important exterior layers of your home that protect everything under it. The greatest threat is moisture slowly getting under these layers, causing mold, rot, and destruction of anything it comes into contact with inside your home.
A damaged roof will allow warm air to escape in the winter. Damaged siding can do the same, which is why ignoring hail damage is a big mistake. You’ll soon discover drafts in many areas of the home as cool air replaces the warm air. Another reason you can’t ignore the damage is that it will only get worse. The longer you wait, the more moisture will find its way into areas that will cause an increasingly bigger problem, including rot, mold and mildew. Pests will also invite themselves into damaged areas.
What to do after a hail storm: call a roofer or the insurance company for inspection first?
After a punishing storm, many homeowners will have two competing thoughts in their head about whom to contact first, but many will lean toward calling their insurance agent to report the possibility of damage. Don’t do this because a misfiled claim with no actual damage can lead to an increase in your premium.
The right move is to call a roofer for a free consultation. A professional will come to your property, inspect the entire roofing system for any damage and will help you decide whether or not you should open a claim. Due diligence is required here because you want to be able to fully trust your contractor, so shop around and get referrals before making that call. Furthermore, when you are paired with a trusted professional, you insurance company will also appreciate it and be more likely to work in tandem with someone they also respect.
Meeting your roofing contract during the initial inspection is actually a great opportunity to get to know them and determine if they are the type of professional you trust to manage your repairs or replacement. But, as we said earlier, only request an inspection from one that has received high marks from former clients and from the Better Business Bureau.
If your roofing inspector does find damage, your next move is to contact your insurance company. Most homeowners’ insurance will cover the expense, leaving you to cover your deductible and peripheral expenses, like rotted-out roof decking. Just make sure that your roofing contractor is there when the insurance adjuster does their inspection so they will be on the “same page” about everything.
How much does it cost to repair hailstorm damage to your house?
While your contractor might have an idea of what it will cost to repair or replace your roof and/or siding, it’s the insurance adjuster who will make an inspection of their own to determine the damage. Sometimes the adjuster will find no damage, or they don’t accurately assess the damage to the roof and siding, which is why it’s important to have your roofing contractor present while the adjuster makes their inspection.
Once the estimate letter and first check from the insurance company are in your possession, the roofing contractor reviewing the insurance estimate will determine if it’s an honest assessment, and if it is, work will begin. Should they find that there is a discrepancy in the estimate, the contractor will send the supplement to the insurance company.
The big question here is: “what’s it going to cost me?” There are many aspects that come into play that will determine how much it will cost, but the big ones are the size and style of your roof determine the price. The same goes for siding. Home Advisor claims that the national average for a new roof cost $7,274. On the low end, roofs can be replaced for $1,200. The sky’s the limit on the high end, but a massive house using costly materials could run up to $30,000, which would be rare. Roof advisor says the following help determine the cost:
- Roof size
- Materials used
- Code requirements (differs per municipality)
- Pitch (steep roofs take more time and materials)
- Type of application
- Obstacles, such as skylights, plumbing pipes, chimneys, etc.
Labor is one of the most expensive parts of a roofing project, which is why obstacles making it more difficult for the roofer to do their job will push the price up. One of the less costly home styles to reroof is a ranch style, which is a simple and straightforward design. Colonials have more slopes, which will up the cost, but it’s still fairly reasonable. Tudor homes, however, have lots of slopes and eaves that make the project difficult, and therefore expensive.
The materials you choose will also determine the cost. Asphalt shingles are the most common type of material because they are durable and cost effective. If you’re looking to gain more curb appeal, wood shake is an excellent option, but it is high-maintenance and prone to fire unless it’s treated. It’s also more expensive – roughly six times more, according the Home Advisor.
Slate is a highly regarded material for its curb appeal, but also for its longevity. Again, slate is a material that’s going to cost even more than wood shake. For example, Home Advisor says a 2,000 square foot home outfitted with a slate roof will run the homeowner between $17,000 and $84,000.
The average repair, according to Home Advisor is around . When homeowners discover a leak in their roof, most are crossing their fingers that it’s just a simple repair that’s needed. However, there are occasions when it becomes a smarter choice to replace the roof. For example, if there is extensive leaking in multiple areas, a repair job is probably not going to do it. If your roof is 20 years or more in age, it has reached the end of its service life and repairs will only get more and more involved, which is why a replacement makes more sense.
Another reason homeowners will replace a roof is when it’s old yet not yet totally worn out, but they want to boost their home’s curb appeal. By some accounts, you can recoup about 50 percent of the cost of a new roof due to the value it adds to the home. Furthermore, if the roof didn’t quite fit the architectural style of the home, making that fix can really boost the curb appeal of the home.
Common questions about hail damage from homeowners
Look at these questions and see how many you’re asking yourself right now. If your question isn’t addressed, contact your trusted local roofing and siding contractor and they should be able to answer your question for you. However, these are the most commonly asked in regard to hail damage:
How does hail damage the roof?
The granules on your shingles (assuming yours are asphalt) help to block UV rays while also protecting the underlying asphalt layer. Hail knocks off the granules, making the shingle susceptible to further damage.
What does hail damage look like?
Generally, damage will look like a bruise, or a dark spot. This is caused by the loss of granules and a depression in the shingle itself. In severe cases, the fiberglass mat will be exposed, making it obvious that the damage is severe.
Can I see hail damage from the ground?
Not usually. Severe storms might leave obvious damage that is viewable from the ground, but light hail with high winds can create damage that is only visible from an inspection upon the roof.
I have damage. Should I replace the roof immediately?
Because there is a statute of limitation regarding when you can make a claim following a storm, it’s smart to get to the bottom of it now instead of waiting. Furthermore, waiting only makes the problems worse.
Will the insurance company replace my roof?
Insurance is there to protect your property. The roof is an important component of your home, and if it’s damaged, everything under it is at risk, which is why it’s in the best interests of insurance companies to pay for these claims.
How long does it take from the time I file my claim to the time my roof is fixed?
That’s a tough one to answer because homes aren’t all the same, nor is the extent of the damage. However, if the adjustors and the contractors aren’t weighted down with other projects, it can take around two to three months from beginning to end. However, the actual roofing job itself is usually a one- or two-day project.
I have a new roof, so it should be covered by a warranty, right?
Wrong. Hail damage isn’t covered under manufacturers warranties.
Got hail or wind? Call VIS Exterior to find out what we can do for you
At VIS Exterior, we’re proud to boast that we’ve not had a single unhappy customer in more than 15 years of service. We let our clients do the bragging for us, so if you want to know where we rank in Chicagoland among other roofing and siding contractors, ask them (or read the reviews).
We have a unique approach to business, which is what makes us unique among the competition – we won’t sign on to a project that we know we can’t finish. We never start a project until we know exactly what our clients want, but we always complete our projects on time. We’re also different in that our team members enjoy what they do and like working with our clients, day in and day out. We only use high quality and cost efficient materials, but we never push the most expensive or popular solutions on our clients – ever, it’s always up to their personal style and budgetary guidelines.