Has Your Texas Home Been Hit by A Storm?
Storms are a part of living in Texas; anyone who’s spent a short time in the Lone Star State is probably all-too-familiar with the long, dreary storms that can sullen a summer day (or week). Hail storms are particularly unpleasant weather events that we too-often forget about, but hail damage happens quickly and racks up serious costs.
Here at Gotcha Covered Contracting, we know hailstones rain down and wreak havoc on residential and commercial properties. We fix a lot of properties in the greater DFW area. These storms cause thousands of dollars in damages to cars, homes & properties.
Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the dangers of a hail storm. But if you’ve never been up on your roof, you might not be aware of the extent to which hail has caused chaos. And roof hail damage can cause serious problems!
Where Does Hail Come From?
Hail is formed high up in the clouds where the temperature of the air is below freezing. Drops of rain from lower-hanging storm clouds are launched by upward drafts of wind, freeze, and fall back down to the storm below.
This tiny speck of ice is still very light, though, and won’t necessarily fall right away. Instead, it will be blown around in the storm, catching more water, and eventually finding its way back up to the freezing clouds above, where it freezes over again. The hailstone has formed and started growing larger. With more intense updrafts in the storm cloud, hailstones can hang in the air for longer and longer, growing larger and more dangerous. Finally, the stones become too heavy for the storm’s winds to keep them adrift, and they rain down on the unsuspecting Dallas homeowners below.
Hailstorms can vary in their severity just like a rainstorm. The higher the wind speed during a storm, the more potential there is for hail damage to affect even the steeper parts of your roof that don’t take as much direct trauma as flatter parts of the roof. Flat roofs are particularly susceptible to storm damage, as hailstones are falling straight down onto them, rather than at an angle.
Hail the size of a softball in Texas?
Plus, hailstones can grow to surprisingly large sizes. As recently as 2016, Texas has seen hail storms producing stones larger than the size of a softball. That’s over 11 inches in circumference! As you can imagine, these sorts of hailstones are responsible for millions and millions of dollars in storm damage related costs across the state. Just roof hail damage alone accounts for a significant fraction of this cost.
Roof Hail Damage: What to Look For
Without even getting up on the roof, there may be a few key signs that your home has fallen victim to hail storm damage. If you see any of these signs of roof hail damage on your Dallas Fort Worth area home, you’ll want to schedule an inspection from our local roofers in North Richland Hills, TX. The roofing professionals from Gotcha Covered Contracting will come and give you an estimate for any necessary roof repairs.
- First, check around the edges of the house for dents in your gutters, the gutter screens, or spouts. More serious roof hail damage will also have exposed the gutters to some abuse, as well. Fortunately, Gotcha Covered Contracting has your gutter repairs covered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
- Then, check out the window casings and sills; it’s the same story with these. Large hailstones can cause damage even to lower parts of the house. If you have siding, you may also find dents or cracks in the siding, too.
- If you have any sort of metal surfaces showing on the face of the house, look for dings and scratches, particularly those that don’t appear in any kind of consistent pattern.
- You’ll also want to take a look at any outdoor equipment like your air conditioner (or even that darn bicycle you keep leaving outside). If it’s got a metal surface, it’s prone to hail damage.
- The same goes for wood… or, any solid surface. So, if you have a deck or a wooden patio, you’ll want to check for dings and scratches, particularly to your paint job.
Damages caused by hail are not covered by the roofing manufacturer’s warranty. For damage claims, You should work directly with your insurance company.
From The Roof
- First and foremost, and we can’t stress this enough… you should exercise great care and extreme caution whenever you’re getting up to work on your roof. Professional roofers are adept at safely navigating a rooftop, but you probably don’t walk around on uneven and awkward surfaces like that every day. Move carefully, and don’t go it alone; always make sure someone else is present and paying attention to what’s going on.
- Now that you’ve gotten up to the rooftop, start your analysis. You’ll want to look over your skylights, your chimney, any vents, and the surface roofing materials themselves.
- If you saw signs of damage to the house below, then what you see on the roof should be pretty obvious. Practically every type of roofing material is prone to being dented or chipped. Flimsy metal materials can even be punctured under severe enough conditions.
- Clay and wood roofing materials can also be particularly weak against hail storm damage. They can easily crack, gouge, split, and shatter under the heavy impact of larger hail stones.
- When it comes to shingles, hail damage to your roof can be a little less obvious. Shingles are a little bit softer and they absorb the impact of hailstones slightly better than other parts of your home, so a damaged shingle can really come down to just a few loose grains. But even this kind of damage is enough to warrant a closer look; shingles that have been stripped of even a few granules can allow water to seep into the roof, and spring a leak.
You’re going to want to take pictures for your insurance company; if any damage is small and hard to see, you can mark it with chalk to make it stand out better. Insurance companies are generally looking to see significant amounts of damage concentrated in small areas, so make sure you’re thorough, particularly if the damage is difficult to see against your shingles.
Make sure you get photos of all sides of the house, as some policies won’t cover damage to small or isolated areas. If you need to get a free estimate on your roof in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, give your friendly neighborhood roofers a call today at Gotcha Covered Contracting.