Hailstorms are some of the most damaging weather possible for homes in the United States. If you know that a hailstorm could strike your area in the near future, it’s essential to prepare accordingly to minimize the damage to your property. Your home’s roof is the first line of defense against the damage a hailstorm can cause. To prepare effectively, take a good look at your roof, identify vulnerabilities, and do your best to prevent the hailstorm from causing significant property damage.
Address Damage in Advance of the Storm
Hailstorms have the potential to cause physical damage to many different parts of your house, damage your vehicles, and even cause severe injuries if you happen to be outside when a hailstorm strikes. If you live in an area where hailstorms are common, make sure you keep an eye on weather forecasts and prepare accordingly when hailstorms are possible in your area.
If a hailstorm is on the horizon, address any existing damage on your roof. If you have a traditional asphalt shingle roof, look for any spots with cracked, curled, or missing shingles. These are your most vulnerable areas and require the closest attention. When hailstorms cause significant property damage to a home, most of the damage comes from water that leaks through the holes in the roof left by hailstones.
Going into hailstorm season with damaged shingles is a bad idea. Even if you aren’t sure there’s a hailstorm coming in the immediate future, remember that March through June tends to be hail season for most of the United States; a roof inspection in advance of those months can help you identify any glaring vulnerabilities. An experienced roof inspector can check to see if your roof can withstand the damage a hailstorm could cause and recommend repairs or upgrades.
If your inspection report indicates that your roof needs significant repairs, it may be a good time to consider investing in an upgraded roof that can offer superior protection against hailstorms and other severe weather. Remember, do-it-yourself fixes are not wise when it comes to protecting your home against storm damage. Always defer to professional roofers and other service providers if you notice any damage to your roof or elsewhere throughout your home.
Protect Your Home from Wind Damage
Hail is typically just one part of a storm that can also bring heavy rains and high winds. Wind damage is a major cause of property damage claims throughout the country, and you should take steps to defend against wind damage before a storm hits.
Check the trees around your home for broken or weakened limbs. Strong winds can break these limbs and send them hurtling into your home, potentially damaging your roof, siding, or even breaking windows. If you have trees that hang over your home, consider calling a local tree service to trim them and inspect for any potential problems should a severe storm hit your area.
If you have storm shutters for your home’s windows, be sure to close them up before severe winds start pounding your home. Storm shutters can also protect against damage from flying objects. Finally, take a look around your home and clean up anything in your yard, on your porches, or anywhere else near your home that could suffer damage from wind. This includes lawn and patio furniture, kids’ toys, bicycles, and other objects strong winds might pick up and/or damage.
Assess Your Insurance Coverage
Homeowners concerned about storm damage should take time to reevaluate their homeowners’ insurance policies. Your insurance policy should detail exactly what type of coverage you can expect after a severe storm. It’s essential to read your policy very carefully, especially exclusionary clauses and disclaimers that may affect your coverage. For example, your homeowners’ insurance policy may state that it covers water damage, but the fine print includes a caveat that this coverage only applies to water damage from damaged plumbing, not severe weather. If your policy doesn’t apply to water damage to your roof due to hail, then you may not qualify for coverage if your home experiences this kind of water damage.
Most insurance carriers will offer policyholders the option of expanding their coverage in exchange for higher premiums. More extensive insurance coverage will be more expensive to maintain due to higher premiums, so it is essential for every property owner to strive for an acceptable balance of protection and affordability. You don’t want to overpay for extensive coverage you may never use, and at the same time you don’t want to underinvest in your homeowners’ insurance coverage and wind up with less coverage than you need after a severe hailstorm.
Consider the Benefits of Installing a Metal Roof
If you take a look at your existing roof before hail season and notice a few glaring vulnerabilities or if you’re uncertain about your homeowners’ insurance coverage, it may be time to consider upgrading to a new metal roof. A metal roof is usually more expensive to initially install than an asphalt shingle roof, but the tradeoff is a roof that will last up to three or four times as long as even the highest quality asphalt shingle roofs, minimal maintenance costs, and tremendous long-term value.
Some insurance carriers may even offer discounted premium rates after you install a new metal roof due to the extensive reliable protection they offer. Insurance companies adjust their premium rates and coverage options based on a policyholder’s perceived level of risk. For example, it would be much more expensive to maintain homeowners’ insurance for an older home with an outdated roof and no real storm protection than it would to insure a more modern home with a brand-new metal roof from a leading trusted manufacturer.
The average professionally installed metal roof can last 75 years or more with proper care, and regular maintenance requirements are minimal. Even the toughest storms that would absolutely devastate shingled roofs will cause cosmetic damage at most to a metal roof.
Metal roofs are available in many different colors, configurations, and styles to fit virtually any type of home. They are versatile enough for homes with basic or complex layouts and provide a host of superior benefits compared to asphalt shingle roofs. Hailstorm resistance is just one reason why homeowners should consider upgrading their roofs to new metal roofs that offer superior storm defense and much greater long-term value.