How to go About Hailstorm Damage Repairs
Hail Damage Repairs: What You Need to Know
There is nothing worse than listening to the hail pelting down overhead, knowing that there are repair bills in your immediate future. There is little or nothing you can do about it except hope that the storm passes and the damage is minimal. Sometimes you get your wish, but sometimes you do not.
Hail is extremely destructive. A hailstorm feels apocalyptic and less than half a minute of hail can cause hundreds of dollars of damage. Few hailstorms are of such a short duration. Most of them last at least a few minutes.
Anatomy of a Hailstorm
You might have wondered why some storms turn into hailstorms and others do not. It is a logical question. You would expect a hailstorm to look more ominous than a regular storm, although this is not always the case. A benign looking storm can evolve into a devastating hailstorm unexpectedly.
During a hailstorm, upward winds push the water drops into the clouds. The water drops immediately freeze. They begin to fall and are blown back up into the clouds. Several layers of ice form. Once the hailstones become too heavy, they begin to fall to the ground.
If you are lucky, the hailstones are small and slushy. When they are huge and hard, destruction is bound to follow. The largest hailstone ever measured in the United States fell in Vivian, South Dakota in 2010. It had an 8 inch diameter and an 18.6 inch circumference. However, hail does not have to be that big to be regarded as severe. Anything the size of an American quarter or bigger has the potential to cause severe damage.
What Damage can a Hailstorm Cause?
Home damage includes broken and destroyed roof tiles. Tiles are often ripped up during hailstorms, which are usually accompanied by strong winds. Shattered windows are the expected result of a hailstorm.
When the right sized hailstone hits the right spot in a pane of glass at the right speed and the right angle, the glass breaks. The windows in the biggest danger of damage are those that face the direction from which the storm comes.
What Should You do After a Hailstorm?
Inspect your house as soon after the storm as possible, but only if it is safe to do so. Check every window for signs of damage. If you are able, get up onto the roof and walk its entire area. Note any cracked, damaged or missing roof tiles. They will need to be replaced.
Consult your insurance policy to see if you are entitled to claim for hail damage for any of your property. Put in your claim promptly if you are. When there has been a massive storm in a specific area, insurance companies experience a bottleneck in processing the claims. The earlier you claim, the sooner your repairs will be done, but be prepared to wait your turn in line.
DIY Options After a Hailstorm
If you have had experience with glass work, you might wish to replace any broken windows yourself. However, until the glass is replaced, board the affected windows up after you have removed any remaining broken glass.
It will keep the house insulated temporarily. It also prevents loose pieces of glass from causing unnecessary injuries. Always wear thick gloves when you are working with glass to avoid accidents. Dispose of glass shards safely so that no one can be hurt by them.
If the damage to your roof tiles is minor, you could use excess tiles and replace them yourself. Bear in mind that this is not as easy as it looks. An inexpert repair job will not solve your problems.
When roof tiles are damaged, the roof is exposed to leakages during future storms. Leaks weaken the structural integrity of a building and can lead to the build up of dangerous molds.
Knowing When to Call in a Professional
You would not ask a motor mechanic to perform open heart surgery on a loved one, would you? You would insist on the right professional for the job. Home repairs are the same.
If you want the repairs to be done right, you must secure the services of a reputable company to perform the task. The problem is that it is going to cost a pretty penny since these professionals do not offer their services for free.
The cost will vary according to the area you live in and how far the roofer must travel to visit your home. They charge between $45 to $75 per hour. Moderate repairs would include patching some leaks and replacing missing tiles or shingles.
The bill for this alone can run to more than $500 for the average family sized home. Major repairs would involve fixing and replacing a bigger percentage of the tiles. Expect to pay a few thousand dollars for this.
After an extremely damaging hailstorm, some houses might need an entire roof replacement, which is likely to cost between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on the size of the structure and the roofing materials.
Ask neighbors and friends about roof repair experts before you choose one. Check online to see if they have a good reputation in the area.
Do You Have to get it Repaired?
The short answer is yes. Some damage is cosmetic and you can live with it. However, your home is by far your most expensive investment. The value depreciates due to damages that are not repaired.
For example, damp can take hold in the roof and walls of your home if leaks are not repaired very soon after the damage. Structural damage like that is not only dangerous, but it also affects your ability to sell your house for a profit.
Because repairs are expensive, it is best to have building insurance that covers damage caused by hailstorms. Unless you have got a history of frequent claims, your premium rate is unlikely to change if you use your insurance for repairs from a hailstorm. An insurance company cannot label you negligent since a hailstorm is beyond your control.
Make sure you understand the fine print. Some insurers will allow you to go ahead and have repairs done, which they will pay for later. Others insist on paying contractors themselves for repairs. Make sure that none of your actions in the wake of the storm put your ability to claim at risk.