Complete Guide to Hail Damage for Florida Homeowners
How to prepare for and recover from hail storms
Read Time: 4 minutes
Sep 10, 2020
Sep 10, 2020
Hail storms can bring a surprising amount of damage to your property. Preparing for one before it happens and having a plan of action for the aftermath of a hail storm can help you keep your property from suffering long-term damage. The Orlando area alone has experienced hail detected by Doppler radars on 161 occasions.
What to do after a hailstormHave you just experienced a hailstorm? Follow these steps to make sure you cover all the bases to get your home back into tip-top condition.
1. Record When the Hailstorm OccurredRecord both when the hailstorm hit your area and when you found the damage it caused. Note the date and time of the hailstorm and the date you discovered the hail damage.
2. Document Any Damage to the PropertyDocument the following via photographs:
- Remaining hail (try to photograph is next to a coin to help with referencing size)
- Damage to outside appliances
- Damage to yard and landscape
- Resulting leaks inside or outside of the home
- Fallen shingles
- Damage to the roof
- Broken windows
- Damage to gutters
3. Get Quick Fixes to Any Imminent ProblemsYou’ll want to contact a contractor to handle any emergency repairs. These include severe leaks, roof damage, or broken windows. If you cannot get a contractor to your home quickly you should try to patch the situation with a temporary solution.
4. Have Your Roof InspectedFind a reputable roofing company and schedule a roof inspection. These should be free. While you may not see any damage to your home, hailstorms can result in hidden damage that affects the integrity of your roof. A roofing professional will be able to spot damage like this through roof inspection.
Signs of hail damageThese are the most common signs of hail damage you should look out for on your property:
Request a Roof Inspection
Functional vs. cosmetic hail damageFunctional hail damage is classified as hail damage that has resulted in a shortened lifespan of the roof with a reduction in its water-shedding capabilities. Cosmetic hail damage does not reduce the lifespan of the roof or its capability to fully function.
How different roof types stand up to hailNo roof is completely damage-proof. There are, however, some roofs that are a bit tougher against damage. Metal roofing tends to dent and dimple, resulting in noticeable cosmetic damage. While tile and shingle roofing may crack under the force of hail, it’s much easier to replace small portions of the roof than metal roofing which is made up of large sheets of metal.
How hail size effects roof damageAny size of hail can cause damage, but the extent of damage will depend on the severity of the storm and the size of hail produced. At a dime-size, hail can tear up older shingles. But other than shingles that have already had the wear and tear of a few years on your roof, new shingles and tile roofing should withstand this size of hail just fine. At quarter-size, hail can speed up the erosion of your roof, potentially break slate or tile roofing, and can result in moderate impact damage. At half-dollar size, hail can cause significant damage to your roof. Hail of this size can damage shingles, break tile, and dent metal. Homeowners can protect themselves by being skeptical of extremely low estimates, doing their homework and extensive research on potential contractors, and reading through reviews to determine the potential roofer’s reputation in the area.
How to prepare your roof for hail stormsStaying prepared is the best way to diminish the effects of a hailstorm on your roof. Unfortunately, there’s no way to eliminate damage entirely. Despite this, these tips will help to save you money (and your roof’s integrity) in the long run.
- Tightly close windows and doors in the event a hailstorm is predicted
- Have regular roof inspections completed on your home
- Maintain trees and keep limbs and shrubs trimmed away from the home
- Regularly clear gutters and drainpipes of leaves and debris
- Secure potential projectiles in your yard