OH, HAIL NO!: Answers To Your Hail-Related Questions

It is amazing how much damage even a little bit of hail can cause to the exterior of your home. Below are questions we receive from customers who have personally experienced damages after a hail storm.

HOW I DO I KNOW IF I HAVE HAIL DAMAGE TO MY ROOF? CAN I TELL FROM THE GROUND?

If you’ve had hail in your area, a close inspection of the shingles has to be made from the roof to determine if the shingles have been damaged. Usually, you cannot tell from the ground.

IF I THINK I HAVE HAIL DAMAGE, WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Call your insurance company and ask for an adjuster to come to inspect your roof for hail damage.
Call a reputable roofing company and ask for the same inspection. If there are any discrepancies between the adjuster’s findings and the roofer’s findings, you may call for a “re-inspection,” where your adjuster meets with the roofer to go over the roof together.
Re-inspections are very common. The insurance company must determine two things when assessing the amount of your loss:

  • Was there sufficient damage to the roof to declare it a total loss? (Usually determined by 10 verified hail hits per 100 square feet.)
  • What is the size of the roof and how many shingles will be needed to replace the roof

WHAT DOES HAIL DO TO A ROOF?

Shingles are designed so that the granules block the UV of the sun and protect the asphalt underlayment. As the shingles age, the granules fall off over time. As the asphalt is exposed the UV, it dries out and the shingle gets a “potato chip” appearance as the corners start to curl up.
A shingle at the extreme end of its life is bubbled in appearance and is brittle to the touch. A 20-year shingle is warranted by the manufacturer to have a useful life, under optimal ventilation conditions, of 20 years. Hail does several of the following things:

  • Accelerates granule loss
  • Accelerates shingle aging.
  • Voids manufacturer’s warranties.
  • Leads to other associated problems.

DO I NEED TO GET MY ROOF REPLACED RIGHT AWAY?

The insidious nature of hail damage is that it may pose no immediate threat to the structural integrity of the roof. However, many insurance companies have a “statute of limitations” of how long a hail claim is viable. If you have experienced hail damage, it is prudent to take care of the problem in a timely manner before it leads to other associated problems.

WHAT DOES HAIL HIT LOOK LIKE?

A hail hit on a shingle looks like a “bruise” or a dark spot where the granules on the shingle have been knocked off. The asphalt underlayment, and sometimes the fiberglass mat, is exposed. New hail hits will have a shiny appearance because the asphalt has been freshly exposed and has not had time to weather to a dull color.

WHY WOULD MY INSURANCE COMPANY REPLACE MY ROOF?

The purpose of homeowner’s insurance is to protect homeowners against losses in their property’s value due to damage that is beyond their control. If you have hail damage, you have experienced a financial loss in that your original investment of a 20-year roof (for example) has now been reduced to a 5 to 10-year useful lifespan. Your insurance company will compensate you for your loss and replace your roof.

WHY DOES THE ESTIMATE READ THAT THERE ARE MORE SHINGLES TO REPLACE THEN THERE ARE TO REMOVE?

The amount of shingles to remove from your roof is the actual amount of square feet that it takes to shingle your roof. However, when putting on shingles, some shingles have to be cut to fit dimensions, ridges, hips and valleys. The insurance company adds 10 percent to regular ridge roofs and 15 percent to hip and ridge roofs to account for the loss of shingles.

WHEN I CALLED A CONTRACTOR, THEY HAD A MINIMUM FEE. WHAT CAN I DO?

“My gutters and siding were damaged and the insurance company paid me for how many linear feet had to be replaced. When I called a contractor they had a minimum fee, which was far in excess of the small amount the insurance company paid me. What can I do?”

Your insurance company understands minimum charges such as these and has set prices they are prepared to pay as minimum charges for all trades. They do not give you the minimum charge up-front because such a large percentage of their customers never call a contractor and just pocket the money. If you call your adjuster and ask for the minimum charge for the work, they will pay it without any hesitation.

IN MY ADJUSTMENT, MY INSURANCE COMPANY DEDUCTED SOME MONEY FOR DEPRECIATION. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?

Different insurance companies call the amount that they hold back different things. Some call it depreciation, while other companies figure it in as a dump and removal fee. What it represents is the amount of money the company will hold back until they receive a signed contract from you and a contractor for the work. When they receive a signed contract, you will receive another check for the amount they have held back.

WHAT DO I DO ABOUT ADJUSTER/ROOFER DAMAGE DISCREPANCY?

“My insurance adjuster said there was no hail damage on his first inspection, so I asked my roofing company estimator to call him and request to walk through a re-inspection with him. On the re-inspection, the adjuster concluded that there was hail damage and “totaled” the roof. Why such a dramatic turn around?”

There are many different reasons that this happens so often.

Sometimes adjusters get to a roof too soon after the actual damage and the hits haven’t had a chance to weather yet. Sometimes the adjusters are inexperienced. Sometimes they were tired after looking at so many roofs that day. Sometimes they just make mistakes.

The best results for the benefit of homeowner seem to be obtained when an experienced roofer walks through the inspection with the insurance adjuster and calls to the adjuster’s attention any damage that he sees.

For any of your hail damage needs, our team of roofing contractors at The Edge Contracting, LLC can help. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment.