What is Hail Damage to a Roof?

hail damage on a roof

What size hail will damage a roof?

Texas is in the infamous “tornado alley” and with that kind of weather comes hard winds and huge hail stones. So filing hail damage roof insurance claims should be second nature for homeowners. Yet, as many homes that are destroyed by that weather, there are many that have not ever had to deal with that process, or first-time homeowners may not have any idea how to handle a hail damage roof claim. 

The first question would be, is hail damage to roof covered by insurance? The answer is a yes and a no, it all depends, and what any roofing contractor or insurance agent will advise is to review your policy. The next would be to document the damage, pictures, and videos. 

 You need to confirm your homeowner’s insurance covers natural causes and perils. This would include fire, wind, or hail damage roof. Some homeowner’s insurance policies have exclusion for hail and wind, meaning, repair or replacement won’t be covered. 

Over 4,600 hailstorms were registered by the NOAA in the United States. Not all hailstorms hit tornado alley. In 2019 Colorado was in the midst of a storm cluster and plummeted by a hailstorm. The largest hailstone on record hit Bethune Colorado with a hailstone almost 5 inches in diameter. Is it any wonder that property damage runs in the billions with hail damage roof and other types of damage every year?  

The studies and surveys of hail damage roof and are endless with the sizes of hail stones. The impact of these ice stones on different roof types noted in field observations found that a one inch hail stone can damage an asphalt roof to the point of roof replacement in most cases. Size comparisons for the mind:  

  • Pea  = 1/4-inch diameter hailstone
  • Marble = 1/2-inch diameter hailstone
  • Dime or penny = 3/4-inch diameter hailstone 
  • Nickel = 7/8-inch hailstone
  • Quarter = 1 inch hailstone
  • Golf Ball = 1½  inches hailstone
  • Tennis Ball = 2½ inches hailstone
  • Baseball = 2¾ inches hailstone
  • Teacup = 3 inches hailstone
  • Softball = 4 inches hailstone

What hail damage on a roof looks like?

If after a hailstorm you have broken, cracked windows, damage to siding, gutters dented, etc., then you probably have hail damage roof too. As you can guess, by the size comparison we provided, it doesn’t take a large piece of hail to create hail damage roofs. 

Common hail damage roofs with asphalt, clay, or concrete shingles, hail can crack these, even shatter the clay or concrete shingles. So, yes, that is damage you can’t miss, but what the untrained eye can’t see with hail damage are the following: 

  • Black Dots
  • Granule Loss
  • Bruised Shingles
  • Impacts Dent and Marks
  • Shingle Splits and Tears 

What do you do if your roof has hail damage?

The process will take time, patience is a virtue when dealing with insurance claims. Your first step after a hailstorm, do your own visual inspection as you walk around your home. Take pictures or a video, make notes of what you can see in hail damage roof, siding, windows, etc., then follow these steps:

  1. Then call a roofing contractor for a  hail damage roof inspection. Most will offer a free inspection for hail roof damage, but if they do charge, that cost is deducted from any work they do once you file your insurance claim. 
  2. Make sure you get a bonded, insured, and licensed roofing contractor. This will be substantial help if you have to file a hail damage roof claim with your insurance company. Schedule the appointment when you’re at home so they can show you what they find and discuss what is needed. They should furnish you a written estimate that will include the following information: Materials needed, Labor charges, Work to be specified, Time to complete job, Payment options, Building permits, Warranty and conditions.
  3. Do not sign any contract at this time. Signing an inspection report for contingency you’ll use this roofing company will negate your ability to get other bids and it could release any insurance payment directly to the roofer. 
  4. Next, call your insurance company and file a claim if the inspection found substantial hail damage roof repair or replacement is needed. If the roofing contractor’s inspection indicates the scope of loss isn’t as much as your deductible, but repairs are needed, you’ll be better off paying for that out of pocket. 
  5. With your hail damage roof claim filed, the insurance company’s claims adjuster will contact you and schedule an appointment to do their own inspection. Offer to send them the pictures and videos you have as well as a copy of your notes and the roofing contractor’s estimate. 
  6. Schedule your roofing contractor to meet with the insurance adjuster at your home. Remember, the roofing contractor is on your side and wants the job. The insurance company adjuster is on the insurance company’s side and is going to try to save them money. 
  7. The insurance claims adjuster will create a report with their inspection and findings, and either prepare an estimate for repairs or replacement, or recommend your claim be denied.  

What should you not say to an insurance adjuster?

First, you want to review your policy thoroughly before the insurance adjuster arrives so that you know your rights and what is covered. Never argue with what they may point out, but don’t miss the opportunity to point out what you and your roofing contractor found in damage either. 

If there was any previous damage to siding, like the kid’s football hit the house last week, don’t point it out. Let the insurance adjuster make that assessment. Same with any broken or cracked windows. Let your roofing contractor do the talking when it comes to the hail damage roof and other areas of your property.

How long do you have to claim hail damage on roof?

Again, we can’t repeat this enough, review your homeowner’s insurance policy on a regular basis. Each policy can vary on this particular topic and every insurance company has their own guidelines. Typically, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies require any hail damage roof claim, or damage of other parts of your property, be file within 12 months of the damage. 

chalk circles on roof

Should I replace roof after hail damage?

After a hailstorm, if the roof is leaking, that is a no-brainer. At the very least, roof repair is needed, and likely with a leak, replacement is probably required. However, because hail damage roofs isn’t always obvious to the untrained eye, you’ll need a reliable roofing contractor to advise you.  

Do not go with a storm-chasing contractor. Choose a local, reliable roofing contractor with a reputation and can provide documents they are bonded and insured. They will advise you if repairs are sufficient, if you should replace the roof, or if there isn’t any hail damage. Yes, it is possible to go through a hailstorm and not have any hail damage roof issues. 

So you don’t have to worry with hail damage roof claims again, what type of roof is best for hail? This may seem funny if you aren’t aware there is such a roofing product, but a rubber roof is the best solution to minimizing hail damage rooftops. 

A rubber roof has a tremendous impact resistance because it absorbs the impact and disperses it back into nature, much like a UV resistant roof reflects the sun’s rays back out. Once the hailstones hit a rubber roof, it will return to its original shape. 

However, if the hailstones are large enough and hit hard enough, the rubber roof will sustain the impact, but the decking under it may not. It is recommended to still have a professional roofing inspection done after a hailstorm to inspect the decking and all components related to roofing. Call (940) 441-4544 today for your hail roof damage in Justin & Fort Worth, TX.