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  • What is Hail Damage?

    written by on November 6, 2014
    Blog Colorado Hail Roofing

    What are adjusters looking for? What does a hail impact look like? I am going to answer these questions based on my experience over the last ten years as a roofing contractor. I must disclose that over the last ten years insurance companies have changed their guidelines many times.

     

     

     

    Old hail damage that has deteriorated over time causing a hole in the shingle.

    What are adjusters looking for? What does a hail impact look like? I am going to answer these questions based on my experience over the last ten years as a roofing contractor. I must disclose that over the last ten years insurance companies have changed their guidelines many times. In fact, they are usually changed at least once a year by at least a few insurance companies. The complexities of these guidelines vary drastically from company to company.  So, please do not hold me to these exact standards. However, this is a very good rule of thumb when assessing rather your roof requires a full replacement or a repair.

    What does a hail strike look like?

    Let me first describe what a hail hit or hail strike looks like. A hail hit bruises the shingle which breaks the underlayment and releases the granules. A fresh hail hit will be dark black and generally round or oval in shape. The granules protect the shingle from damaging Ultra Violet rays. With the absence of the granules the shingles underlayment eventually breaks down, dries up, and washes away. Moisture will eventually enter the structure and secondary damage will begin. The extent of the damage will vary depending on the location of the leak. It could rot a piece decking which is a minor issue if repaired in a timely manner. Or, it could be an acute leak that floods the structure. An acute leak is rare, but in not necessarily the greater of two evils. If moisture slowly wicks into the decking, and is unnoticed for an extended amount of time; it could cause damage to trusses, insulation, drywall, etc.

    Severe hail damage to vinyl siding.

    In general, when inspecting an asphalt shingle insurance adjusters are looking for ten hail hits per 100 square foot area per side of your roof. So, when an adjuster inspects your roof for storm damage or hail; they measure a box that is ten feet by 10 feet. They mark the corners of the box with chalk. Then, they begin the search for hail hits. When they find a hit they circle it with chalk and take pictures to document their findings. If ten hits per square (one square equals ten feet by 10 feet) are found on each side of your roof, then more than likely need a full roof replacement. Please keep in mind that these are very general requirements. It is simply astounding, in my opinion, as to the wide array of inspection guidelines from insurance company to insurance company.

    Test square on Northern Facet of the roof with the hail impacts marked with chalk. Hail impact marked with chalk.

    What Can I Do As A Homeowner?

    You can make this process smooth and easy by having a local, reputable roofing contractor inspect your property before you call your insurance company. A good roofing contractor will not waste your time or the insurance adjuster’s time. While hail damage is subjective to some degree; it is either there or it is not. In the end the field adjuster cannot approve or deny your roof replacement or the repair of your other property damage. In reality, the decision comes from further up the chain of command.  However, if your contractor and the claims adjuster can meet on site you can be certain that you will benefit.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This is an example of an adjuster meeting with an Avalanche Roofing project manager taking the photo. This is severe hail damage. This is the second time Avalanche Roofing has installed this particular roof! This is severe hail damage including a hole in an exhaust vent from a hail impact. This is severe hail damage with large hail impact marks that have damaged the shinlge to point of being considered an imminent leak risk.

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