If you live in an area that happens to be in the path of high winds and hailstorms, you need to check your home for wind or hail damage.
The roof edge bears the brunt of high winds, particularly when it hits the exterior wall and changes to an updraft. Begin your inspection by looking for shingles that may have been knocked out of place. A strong enough wind can tear off shakes and shingles as well as flashing off the roof. The gutter system may also suffer similar damage given its location. Keep an eye out for loose or missing gutter hangers and fasteners.
Hail damage is characterized by small craters or dents on the roof or siding depending on the wind direction. Hail damage on the roof is often mistaken for asphalt shingle blisters and has been the subject of disputed insurance claims. This is because blisters are a manufacturing defect and are considered by insurance providers as a cosmetic issue and, therefore, not covered. On the other hand, hail damage is a type of impact damage and should be covered by most insurers. Other signs of hail damage include excessive amounts of loose granules in the gutters shortly after a hailstorm.
What Should You Do?
There are some things that you can do if, during your inspection, you find any of the above signs:
Check Your Warranty
If your roof is still within warranty, check the part of your coverage that pertains to wind damage. Most roofs are rated to withstand certain wind speeds, and, if your roof is damaged well below its rating, you might be eligible for a warranty repair. The same goes if your asphalt shingle roof happens to have blisters instead of being damaged by hail.
Call Your Insurance Provider
The sooner you call your insurance provider, the better. They will need as much documentation as possible, including photos and video. All of these will be needed in case you need to file an insurance claim for repair costs.
Call Your Roofing and Siding Contractor
In addition to your insurance provider, you need to have your contractor present to document the damage, write an estimate for the repair costs and provide all of this information to your insurance provider. This will help ensure complete documentation, which can help minimize delays in processing your claim.