When hail impacts a roof, the granules are knocked loose, leading to exposed asphalt. The manufacturers apply granules to the roof shingles as the primary protection for the asphalt. When the asphalt remains exposed to the elements and the UV rays of the sun, it will erode, eventually leading to a leak. Similar to an asphalt street deteriorating over time until it leads to a pothole, the same can happen to a roof shingle, which is substantially thinner.
Haag defines “damage” as affecting the water-shedding capabilities of the shingle or reducing its expected long-term service life. Hail impacts cause damage by fracturing the fiberglass strands. In some cases, the only way to confirm this is to de-saturate the shingles to show their fiberglass strands. This makes it easier to look for fractures. Most insurance companies do not intend to inspect this detail, so they tend to rely on touching and feeling for a bruise or a soft spot in the impacted region.
There are a lot of hail-damaged homes that are never repaired primarily due to the reason that the damage cannot be seen from the ground by the homeowner, or the home is inspected by someone without the proper training. Many homeowners feel they might be taking advantage of their insurance company by not filing a claim. The fact is that the insurance companies monitor these storms and, in many cases, are not calling their clients to have their properties inspected, which is where we come in. This is why a free evaluation of your home following a powerful storm is prudent and a good protective measure to ensure damage does not go unnoticed.
Sometimes, the damage that wind causes remains on the home and does not manifest into a missing shingle or exposed plywood. Many times, this damage is debris that was blown into the home, causing damage, or shingles that were creased from flapping in the wind. Shingle damage is identified as creased, torn, or missing. Ultimately, it refers to any damage that diminishes the water-shedding capabilities of the roofing system. The same thing can be said about siding. Sometimes, dents in aluminum siding are hard to see until the sun hits the home at the right angle, creating a shadow in the dented area, or there is a break in the vinyl siding but not a hole. Our experienced inspectors will look for any damage that may have occurred and will take pictures and bring that to your attention as part of our free evaluation.
Often, the insurance company’s initial reaction is to provide a repair scope of work. Many times, this may not be accurate due to the ever-changing world of building materials. Roof shingles may have changed in width and height, or the color may no longer be available, making a repair impossible to do. Discontinued building materials can be a mitigating factor as well. Similarly with siding, the interlock of the panels, the wood grain, size of the panel, color, etc., can all affect whether the siding can be repaired or not. This is where the expertise of North Star Contracting comes in. We are experts on building materials and will provide research into their availability for you and your insurance company so a repair is not conducted with materials that are not designed to be patched into other materials.
During a storm, “storm chaser” contractors will come into our area from all over the country to get as much work as they can. Once the work slows down or another large event occurs, they pick up and leave. The problem is you have no more warranty when they are gone. You want to make sure you are working with a local contractor who is properly licensed in their respective field. North Star Contracting is a local contractor licensed as a Class A contractor with an RBC classification. We hold $1 million insurance coverage, and our primary business is centered on storm damage restoration.
Before you contact your insurance company and open up a claim, you will want to have your home inspected first by a professional. North Star Contracting provides free inspections and will conduct a thorough inspection of your home. Our focus is on you and your home. If we determine you have damage, we will let you know what we found and where so you can make the best decision on whether a claim should be filed or not. Once a claim is filed, we will meet with your adjuster as your contractor to discuss the extent of the damage and what the necessary repairs need to be. This will begin the process.
In short, absolutely. Home inspectors are trained to look for hail damage to roofing. They are aware these storms occur and that many homes are not repaired from the events. They are actively looking for issues to the home to write in their report, which then provides the potential buyer ammunition to negotiate a lower price. Take this away from the potential buyer, and you can demand a higher price for your home.
Damage to your roof may not manifest as interior damage until years later. The interior damage is the intrusion of water into your attic and home. If you were involved in a hit-and-run with your car, would you fix that damage? In this case, the storm hit your home and took off, which is why we have insurance. Get the repairs done and receive material and workmanship warranties. This is the best peace of mind you can have.
Hail damage to roofing materials cannot be seen from the ground. This requires a visual and tactile inspection of the shingles to determine if the hail caused a bruise to the shingle. Since the quantity of damage matters, it is important that this inspection is done with diligence and not rushed. Most insurance companies are looking for 8-10 confirmed hail damage impacts within a 100-square-foot test square to declare your roof as a total loss.