A home is designed to withstand normal weather patterns and elements. However, the exterior can be significantly damaged by wind and hail storms. Here are some basic inspection tips for hail damage:
- Check exterior for damage, including checking for dimples or dents in the siding (a common form of hail damage).
- Check for leaks in the attic, and water damage on the ceilings.
- Inspect the ground for pieces of roof shingles. This may mean the roof has sustained damage.
- Visually inspect exterior exhaust fans, ducts, and the area where the siding meets the roof.
- Check gutters for dents, dings, and other signs of impact
- Check inside gutter for shingle granular loss
Additionally, it may be a good idea to check windows for any chips or cracks. The Insurance Information Institute recommends taking photos of any damage, especially before making any temporary repairs (such as boarding up broken windows or covering holes with a tarp) Once an initial assessment is completed, an inspection by a trusted roofing professional may be helpful, especially if interior water damage or missing shingles are noted.
Hail Inspections Need to be done promptly
- A roof is a home’s first line of defense. It protects a home against external elements, such as wind, rain, fire, ice, snow, extreme heat, and hail.
- A damaged roof will likely result in problems within a home. Damaged roofs can cause water damage, mold, and other structural issues, as well as a roof collapse.
Repairing Hail Damage
If the damage is extensive enough to need a contractor’s help, keep these tips in mind when choosing one:
- Find a local contractor: Trust & integrity are only words if the contractor isn’t around to back them up. Hiring an established contractor can have far-reaching benefits i.e. Help with resale value and help to Colorado’s economic development. Additionally, all contractors should be insured. Be sure to ask for a copy of their proof of insurance.
- Ask for references: Professional contractors should be able to provide a list of current references to contact. WARNING: calls to the references continually sent straight to voicemail, are cause to think twice before hiring the contractor.
- Don’t feel pressured into signing a contract: Never feel obligated to sign on the dotted line, especially if something feels off. Stop and read the fine print if a contractor asks for a signature on an estimate, make sure it’s not a binding contract. The Federal Trade Commission notes that a contract should include information like a start and completion date, repair costs, and a list of materials that will be used. Look for this type of information when you’re ready to sign.
- Avoid cash or up-front payments: If a contractor asks for cash payments or full payment up front, that is a warning sign. Instead, the NAHB says a contractor should not ask for cash or any payment until materials are delivered.
- Be wary of “Storm Chasers”: Contractors who offer their services, door-to-door after a storm (sometimes referred to as “storm chasers”) may be offering you false work promises and will likely ask for some type of upfront payment.