Your roof is one of the most vulnerable areas on your house:
One event that is experienced by many homeowners is hail damage. While hail rarely causes lost lives, it can shatter windows, leave dents and/or holes in your siding and most importantly, damaging your roof.
What causes a Roof to wear out?
Many factors play a role in the decaying process of a roof. This can include, but is not limited to, ultraviolet rays from the sun as well as extreme changes in temperature. Exposure to wind, snow, ice, rain, and even foot traffic on the roof are not considered helpful elements either.
A study shows the impact of hail on asphalt shingles
A report was found depicting the details of many insurance companies and their adjusters quoting certain engineering companies . It stated that granular loss did not necessarily constitute damage to the asphalt shingles themselves. They tried explaining that the shingles are designed to lose granules, which is partly true. However, shingles that suffer accelerated granular loss due to hail storms are decreasing in product life and performance.
Marginal damage to your roof caused by hail:
Hail causes millions of dollars in property damage every year. A significant percentage of roofs that are hit by hail never get replaced. This is mainly due to the fact that many home owners don’t notice missing or fractured shingles from the ground. They do not feel the need to call their insurance company or have a roofer inspect their roof. Hail damage is insidious in nature and is not always visually evident . If this is left unchecked, this could cause major problems down the road.
Hail Damage Inspection Assessing hail damage on roofing systems requires a trained professional. Insurance companies send many of their adjusters to a specialized school, which teaches them the proper steps in assessing roofing systems and whether or not they have been damaged by hail. Despite this, many adjusters who do not analyze damage due to a catastrophe have very little or even zero continued assessment training.
Hail damage to the structural components of buildings have been the subject of several engineering studies .
Damage to asphalt shingles can include:
- Fractures (bruises) in the mat
- Granule displacement, which exposes the underlying bitumen mat
The actual roofing inspection
The insurance industry has set basic standards when it comes to evaluating your roofing system. These standards are used to determine the extent of any damage caused to your roof. Complete roof replacement or repair is, in most cases, dictated by a term called a “test square”. A test square is a ten foot by ten foot section marked off in chalk on your roof. The test square is then evaluated for those items listed, which usually constitutes hail damage.
This method is legitimate but there is a downfall, of course:
Many states do not have a law that dictates a minimum level of damage that must be found within the test square to warrant a repair or replacement. Your insurance company is responsible for setting the damage thresholds that depict legitimate hail damage. Depending on who your insurance company is, this important factor can either work for or against you.