A few short weeks ago in early May, severe rainstorms in Houston brought with them golf ball-sized hail, reaching the size of baseballs in some regions. If you were among the thousands of affected families, it may be time to have a professional inspect your roof and home for damage.
Drastic hail damage, such as smashed windows, is easy to spot and arrange repairs for. However, don’t assume you just got lucky if your home escaped severe damage. Even without knocking a hole in your roof or dislodging shingles, hail can leave subtler problems behind. A professional roof repair company can help you assess the total damage and decide whether a full replacement or a few repairs are necessary.
What is Your Roof Made Of?
Your roofing materials will help you determine the extent of the damage and potential repair costs. For instance, a metal roof will dent when exposed to heavy, rapid-fire hail. A minor dent might cause a little trouble with water flowing off your roof, while a major dent could be an indication of more severe damage underneath in your home itself. Meanwhile, clay or wooden shingles will split or shatter in a hailstorm, allowing damage to spread quickly.
Asphalt shingles, the most common roofing material, may lose granules during a hailstorm. In a severe case, the damage will be obvious. Other times, the missing granules will be so subtle that only a professional eye can spot them. Either way, missing granules indicate a high level of force from the hail and could be a symptom of more severe damage under the tiles. At the very least, the newly formed weak spot can turn into a leak.
What Will Your Insurance Cover?
Your roofing company can help you negotiate with your insurance provider and determine your next course of action. If the damage is severe enough that a full replacement is necessary, your insurance company will pay for a new roof. However, repairs get tricky. Some insurance providers consider certain minor repairs as cosmetic and not as critical as emergency storm repair. Your best strategy is to have your roof professionally inspected and then negotiate with your insurance company with an estimate in hand.
Pro Tip: From time to time, have your roof inspected even if you aren’t sure any damage has occurred. A professional opinion can help you prevent a minor problem from becoming worse in severe weather.
Is More Damage Likely?
Is local weather projected to get even worse and potentially damage your roof further? More importantly, how long can you really wait to fix the immediate problem? A few missing granules off a shingle ultimately require a new shingle, but your roof won’t start leaking immediately. On the other hand, missing shingles or leaks require immediate attention. Talk with your roofing contractor for a long-term plan and timeline for your roof repair.
Repair or Replace the Roof
Ultimately, your decision to replace the whole roof or pay for a few repairs will depend on your roof builder’s suggestions, the extent of the damage, your insurance’s contribution, and the likelihood of things getting worse. Different circumstances call for different solutions. Find the solution that works best for your situation.