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How to Inspect Your Roof for Signs of Hail Damage Before Filing an Insurance Claim

Roof inspection from elevated platformTexas sees more than its fair share of hailstorms, and it can be hard to tell which storm will cause interruptions to your business. The truth is that even relatively small hailstones can and do cause damage that may not be easily detected. Attorney Bill Voss knows all too well how hail causes long-term damage to both homes and businesses, so it pays to take your time when examining your roof after a storm.

Telltale Signs That You Should Have the Roof Inspected After a Texas Storm

While inspecting a roof is necessary after a storm, it is dangerous for people who have never done so to scale their own roofs. Many contractors offer free or low-cost roof inspections, and these people have the professional experience to do the inspection safely and tell you what you need to know. Luckily, there are a few ways you can check for hail damage with your feet firmly on the ground, such as taking a closer look at:

  • Decks or sheds. Painted surfaces are some of the most obvious things to show signs of impact, including chipping, flaking, or scratches.
  • Siding and window casings. Vinyl and aluminum are slightly tougher than painted wood, but can still be dented by larger hailstones. Be sure to examine siding and windowsills carefully for dings, especially if the surfaces are textured.
  • Gutters and downspouts. Damage to gutters is easy to see with the naked eye, especially if the gutters are coated or painted. In many cases, noticeable gutter dings are a good indication of heavy roof impact.
  • Other outdoor items. Air conditioners, mailboxes, gas meters, and practically anything that sits outside in a storm can show evidence of hail damage.

Signs of Hail Damage to Look for on Your Roof

If your preliminary examination showed signs of damage, it is a good idea to have your roof examined by a professional. Your roofing inspector should have a good quality camera to document the damage, and have chalk to mark the hail damage that might be difficult for others to see clearly. Your inspector should take careful note of the:

  • Shingles. Damage to roofing shingles is the number one cause of hail-related roofing claims. Damage to the other areas of the roof is often not compensated unless there is also some shingle replacement. Unfortunately, shingle damage ranges from obvious to undetectable by the naked eye, and even damage that is barely noticeable can weaken the structure over time. Your roofing inspector should have a well-trained eye, and be able to spot lost granules, curling, flexing, cracking, and other signs of compromised shingles. If you have a metal, clay, slate, or wooden roof, you should find an inspector who has experience or training in detecting damage to these specific materials.
  • Roof vents. Any opening on the roof is a potential entry point for weather and water. The inspector should carefully check for dents or cracks on the vents, skylights, and other areas that raise up or sink below the surface of the roof.
  • Chimney covers. Some areas, such as the chimney covers and ridge cap, may sustain damage that is easier to feel than see. An inspector may rub chalk along the surface to make pockmarks more visible.
  • Flashing. Flashing is a plastic or metal trim that covers the wood layer and helps to protect the home by directing water around building layers or openings. Dents, curls, or tears in the flashing can cause water to run into the substructure, causing mold, rot, and mildew.

Business owners often have a hard time collecting payment for hail damage, causing them significantly more money when the roof finally needs to be fully replaced. If you are having trouble collecting full and fair payment for roof damage after a storm, fill out the form on this page today to contact the Voss Law Firm or order a free copy of our book, Commercial Property Owners Must Read This BEFORE Filing an Insurance Claim.

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