A hail storm can have devastating effects on your home. Each year, the effects of hail damage cost Americans around $1 billion dollars. Throughout your home’s exterior, hail damage manifests itself in different ways. Here’s what to look for:
Roofing: When hail hits your roof, it can cause the granules on your shingles to loosen. One of the main purposes of the granules is to safeguard your roof from the sun & precipitation. Granule loss will accelerate the deterioration of your roof as it is no longer protected from nature’s elements. In some cases, this can mean a leaky roof. A quick way to verify whether your shingles have been damaged is to look at your gutter’s downspouts. If you notice a significant amount of roofing granules collecting, it’s a sign that your roof may have been damaged in a hailstorm. Your roof vents and flashing will often show indentations if hail has occurred. Even without seeing this, it is a good idea to work with a reputable professional to evaluate whether your roof has been compromised. Some effects of hail are not immediately evident; a roof can be weakened by hail, but not fail for a year or two. Hail can void your roofing manufacturer’s warranty, another reason it’s important to have your roof evaluated if you suspect hail damage.
Siding: Because siding can be fabricated from different materials, the way that hail damages it can vary. Vinyl siding holds up quite well to denting, however, if hit hard enough its pliability may be compromised and breaks, cracks or holes can occur. Wood and metal siding can dent from hail; the amount is determined by the size of the hail, angle that it falls at and how fast it is traveling when it makes contact. The best time to inspect your siding for damage is early in the morning or at dusk. This will make indentations easier to see. The winds that often occur during hailstorms can also cause your siding to pull away from your home.
Windows: Hail can damage windows. Signs that your windows have been affected by hail are: a damaged window frame, broken glass, holes and cracks. Denting of your window sashes, wraps and frames is not always easily detectable. A trick is to run your hand along these areas to see if you feel any indentations. However, when in doubt, consult a professional.
Gutters: Gutters are placed close to your roof line and are susceptible to damage. If you find that you have hail damage on your roof, it’s likely that your gutters were damaged as well, though it may be tricky for you to tell standing on the ground. Be sure to have them evaluated by a professional who will be able to detect indentations caused by the storm.